Liverpool edge dramatic seven-goal thriller as Klopp eats own words in Fulham win | Football | Sport

Liverpool edged a dramatic thriller at Anfield with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s late winner sealing a memorable comeback and crucial 4-3 victory over Fulham. The Cottagers had twice battled back to take a 3-2 lead in the 82nd minute, over for Endo Wataru and Alexander-Arnold to turn the game around.

Here are five takeaways.

Liverpool duo make Klopp eat his own words

Alexander-Arnold and Mac Allister left Jurgen Klopp red-faced by scoring stunning goals from long range. Alexander-Arnold’s 20th-minute free kick appeared to be taken from a position in which a cross seemed likelier.

But the in-form England ace struck his second goal in as many games with a delightful effort that curled in via the crossbar, although the ball might take a slight deflection off Bernd Leno as it made its way over the line. And when Fulham equalised through Harry Wilson, Mac Allister took it upon himself to better Alexander-Arnold’s strike.

Latching on to a loose ball 35 yards from goal, the Argentine struck an incredible dipping half-volley that flew into Bernd Leno’s top corner. The goals were remarkable pieces of individual talent, but not the type of skill that Klopp enjoys too frequently.

The German is known to prefer his players to create genuine scoring opportunities, rather than shooting from long range. He points out that the likelihood of scoring every effort from distance is extremely unlikely. In fact, he was wound up when Alexander-Arnold and Harvey Elliott scored long-range goals in Liverpool’s 9-0 thumping of Bournemouth last season.

“I don’t like it too much. when a player is 35 yards away and the whole crowd shout ‘shoooooot’ but in this case it worked out well,” Klopp said after that game, albeit slightly in jest.

Alexander-Arnold thumped home an equally-excellent winner, taking down a knockdown on the edge of the penalty area before slamming a volley into the bottom corner. Klopp certainly won’t have an issue with that.

Salah shows true colours

Salah might have wanted to follow the precedents set by Alexander-Arnold and Mac Allister. The Egyptian is still chasing his 200th Liverpool goal after a frustrating afternoon at Anfield.

He had an early goal disallowed for offside and rarely got another chance to sneak into a second century of goals for the goal. Salah had a couple of opportunities to shoot from distance but instead opted to either cross or pass – showing he was putting the team ahead of his own personal landmark.

Liverpool’s defence too easily picked apart

There are not many remnants of the disastrous form that saw Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League last season, such was the success of the summer overhaul. But there are still signs that Klopp’s side are often too easy to piece apart, especially on the counter-attack.

Former academy starlet Wilson finished a wonderful Fulham move, with Liverpool unable to stop a flowing attack. There are weaknesses at set-pieces, too, with Kenny Tete somehow able to bundle home a second equaliser in first-half stoppage time. Bobby Decordova-Reid’s ability to outjump Liverpool’s entire defence to score might have stung harder had it not been for a remarkable final five minutes.

Nunez-Gakpo debate continues

Klopp was insistent that Darwin Nunez was his first-choice Premier League striker when quizzed on Friday. The Liverpool boss now has the issue of having two in-form stars to choose from as the central attacker in his front three, with Cody Gakpo scoring twice in the 4-0 win over LASK in midweek.

“Darwin is in a top moment and that didn’t change, super-important for us. That he didn’t start [on Thursday] has nothing to do with anything else. Now Cody scored twice, fantastic,” Klopp said.

“Does that mean he has to play the next five games in a row? Other players score as well. It is not about that and Cody doesn’t expect [that] now because of that.

“They have to score, that’s the job, that’s what they want, but it is not that I have sleepless nights now and don’t know who to start. It’s not that much a choice, to be honest.”

After Nunez drew a blank against Fulham, Gakpo will surely feel it is his opportunity to start in Wednesday’s visit to Sheffield United.

Liverpool send message to title rivals

Klopp’s sides have made huge strides in the last six months and sent a message to Arsenal and Man City that they will not go down without a fight. This was a gritty performance akin to the Reds sides that won Premier League and Champions League titles at their pomp.

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