Half time: Fulham 0-1 Liverpool
Peep peep! Liverpool lead through Sadio Mane’s excellent goal. They have been in complete control of the match, even if much of their domination has been sterile. It’s hard to see Fulham getting back in the game. We’ll find out soon enough; see you in 10 minutes for the second half.
43 min “Hello Rob,” says Kári Tulinius. “I believe Tristan da Cunha has the full range of televisual football offerings, however I have been led to believe that St. Kitts & Nevis and North Korea have no televised football on offer, and one is probably a more restful place to visit.”
Not where I’m going, Kári. Where I’m going there is no television, no internet and no nothing.
41 min The crowd want a second yellow card when Fabinho is penalised for a lunge at Seri. It was a foul; it wasn’t a yellow card.
40 min Liverpool have been slightly sloppy in the last few minutes, with the occasional bit of showboating. You can understand why, because the game has been so easy for them.
37 min Good play from Babel, who skins Alexander-Arnold down the left and tees up Cairney 25 yards from goal. He curls high over the bar.
35 min A chance for Liverpool. Robertson plays a simple give-and-go with Lallana, surges into the area and smacks a shot from a tight angle that is beaten away by Rico.
30 min Liverpool are in complete control of this game, and are working Fulham so hard defensively with their constant switches of play.
28 min Salah whips a long-range curler that is claimed by Rico at the second attempt. Van Dijk was sniffing around but Rico got to the loose ball just before him.
This is a really nice goal. Robertson plays the ball wide to Mane, who runs infield at Fosu-Mensah, slides a short angled pass towards the byline for Firmino and hares into the area. Firmino, realising that all the Fulham defenders have run into the six-yard box, cuts the ball back into space for Mane to guide a first-time shot into the net from 10 yards.
24 min A rare Fulham attack. Babel plays a one-two with Ayite, zips infield and hits a stinging long-range shot that is blocked by Matic.
23 min “I am getting such a thrill,” pants Adrien de la Touche, “from the crossfield full-back to full-back passing action.”
22 min “Following your highlights from my desk at work today,” says David Hackwood. “Expecting another big performance from Lallana today. He was sensational against Burnley. Mo Salah always seems to pop up with a goal or two when he’s under pressure so I’m thinking 3-0 Liverpool with Mo to get a brace. Come on you Reds!”
20 min Alexander-Arnold curls a brilliant, Beckhamish pass into the area for Salah, who controls it well with his back to goal but can’t wriggle away from Chambers and Bryan.
18 min Salah tries to run Ream, who times his tackle well. Corner to Liverpool. Alexander-Arnold swings it out towards the near post, where Matip flashes a header across goal and out for a Fulham throw-in. That was a chance.
17 min There is so much space for Liverpool’s full-backs, and they look the likeliest source of a goal.
14 min Nothing much is happening. Liverpool are starting to dominate the game, though at the moment everything is in front of the Fulham defence.
11 min Matip swishes a superb 60-yard pass across the field to Robertson, who beats Fosu-Mensah on the edge of the area but then crosses too close to the keeper Rico.
10 min “Liverpool often treat Salah like a big man up front with long balls up to him,” sniffs Ian Copestake. “Thankfully for a big small man he has a good touch.”
7 min It’s all a bit scrappy at the moment, though Liverpool’s full-backs look sharp as ever, particularly Alexander-Arnold. For a 20-year-old full-back, his passing is seriously good.
4 min The first half chance for Liverpool. Lallana lobs a speculative short-range pass over the defence that skims off the head of Chambers and falls for Salah, whose mis-hit shot from a tight angle bobbles wide of the near post.
3 min Fulham have started brightly, with lots of possess- Chambers lumps a crossfield pass out of play.
2 min “We might have the marginally easier run-in,” says Niall Mullen, “but they have the more than marginally better squad. If it comes down to the Manchester derby, Rob, will you be wearing your Nicky Summerbee jersey?”
I’ll be wearing nothing, as it gets warm on Tristan da Cunha this time of year, and Bobby will be going native the moment City and Liverpool reach the Champions League final.
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“Losing is indeed so unthinkable I can’t bear the thought,” says Ian Copestake. “Surely even the many who can’t stand Liverpool want our failure to go to the wire (or the end if you are into the whole plain English thing).”
As a United fan, I’m rooting for the apocalypse.
Scott Parker dispenses words from his open face
“Training’s been first class and it feels like this is the best XI for this game. We all understand that there’s a big, long road in front of us, but a win today against a top side could be a springboard.”
Jurgen Klopp speaks
“We had a really good week, but Munich feels longer than three days ago – it’s another competition and completely different circumstances, so we have to be ready to play another really good football game today. You’re only tired when you think you’re tired; the boys looked really sharp in training. They want to use the momentum we have, but they have to work hard today.”
You can get odds of 9/4 on Liverpool winning the title, which looks pretty generous given they have the easier run-in
If you’re into the whole FA Cup thing, Daniel Harris is following Millwall v Brighton.
Fulham (4-2-3-1) Rico; Fosu-Mensah, Chambers, Ream, Bryan; Anguissa, Seri; Ayite, Cairney, Babel; Mitrovic.
Substitutes: Fabri, Odoi, Christie, Sessegnon, McDonald, Kebano, Vietto.
Liverpool (4-3-3) Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Lallana; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Substitutes: Mignolet, Lovren, Moreno, Milner, Shaqiri, Origi, Sturridge.
Referee His name is Craig Pawson.
Hello and welcome to inclusively live coverage of Fulham v Liverpool from Craven Cottage. The bad news for Fulham is that they are going down; the good news is that they are still in the title race. The next two matches at the top of the Premier League both take place in west London, where Fulham host Liverpool today and Manchester City a week on Saturday.
With City on quadruple duty this weekend, a Liverpool win will take them back to the top of the table. Their away form has been a little squeaky of late, with nervy draws at West Ham, Manchester United and Everton, but their win in Munich on Wednesday was so convincing that it should have a positive impact on their away performances for the rest of the season.
Liverpool’s remaining away fixtures in the Premier League – Fulham, Southampton, Cardiff and Newcastle – are all eminently winnable. Good job, too, because they have used up all their margin-for-error tokens. Anything less than a win today is unthinkable; anything less than the best a felony.
Kick off is at 2.15pm.