Fulham draw Liverpool to deny Reds top spot

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Bobby Decordova-Reid is Fulham's top scorer this season with four goals in 11 games
Bobby Decordova-Reid is Fulham's top scorer this season with four goals in 11 games

Liverpool missed out on the chance to go top of the Premier League and were somewhat fortunate to come away with a draw from a game in which they were second best for large periods to an impressive Fulham.

Mohamed Salah earned them their point, firing a low penalty under home goalkeeper Alphonse Areola after Aboubakar Kamara leapt in the wall and blocked a Georginio Wijnaldum free-kick with his arm.

Bobby Decordova-Reid had given Fulham the lead during a first half that the home side dominated and would have scored more but for returning Reds goalkeeper Alisson.

The Brazilian, who had missed the last two games through injury, twice denied Ivan Cavaleiro with fine saves after the Cottagers forward had broken through the Liverpool defence.

The visitors also survived an early shout for a penalty, that required referee Andre Marriner to come to the touchline VAR monitor to assess Fabinho’s challenge on Cavaleiro, which saw him make contact with both man and ball.

They were further hampered when Joel Matip failed to come out for the second half, joining what is already an extensive injury list that has at times this campaign included most of their first-choice back five.

They stuck at the task, though, and improved after the break, with Jordan Henderson drawing a superb save from Areola before Salah was given his opportunity to salvage a point with 11 minutes to go.

With fans allowed into Craven Cottage for the first time this season, the home side were cheered from the pitch in recognition of their sterling efforts, and they now have eight points, two clear of the bottom three.

On a weekend that also saw Chelsea, Tottenham and both Manchester clubs drop points, Liverpool will be disappointed that they failed to take advantage, although they remain level on points at the top with Spurs, behind the Londoners only on goal difference.