Sports

MOHAMED SALAH RESCUES REDS WITH AN EQUALIZER TO END THE GAME 2-2 WITH FULHAM

Match report as Liverpool twice come from behind to secure point with newly-promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage; Aleksandar Mitrovic scores both goals for hosts as Darwin Nunez opens his Premier League account as second half substitute; Free match highlights from 5.15pm

Fulham came close to producing one of the biggest shocks on the opening weekend of any Premier League season as Aleksandar Mitrovic marked his return to the top flight with two goals in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Craven Cottage.

Mohamed Salah levelled for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining to deny Marco Silva’s side a famous victory after a performance full of endeavour that celebrated Fulham being back in the top division.

Much has been made of whether Mitrovic can cut it at this level, having scored just three goals in his last Premier League campaign two seasons ago, but he bullied Trent Alexander-Arnold for his headed opener (32) before striking the winning penalty after being fouled inside the box by Virgil van Dijk (72).

Darwin Nunez came off the bench to open his account (64) and cancel out Mitrovic’s first strike from Salah’s cross while Jordan Henderson might have won it for Liverpool in second half stoppage time when his curled effort cannoned off the crossbar.

Jurgen Klopp told BT Sport: “The best thing about the game was the result. We got a point from a really bad game. The result was fine, I don’t think we deserved more than that. The performance can be massively improved.

“We could have won the game because we had good chances but it was probably a bit too much today.”

Mitrovic, who scored a record 43 goals in the Championship last season, had a sight of goal inside the opening minute after good high pressing from Bobby Decordova-Reid on Trent Alexander-Arnold, but the Serbian striker poked his shot wide.

Team news

New Liverpool signing Darwin Nunez had to make do with a place on the bench for the game at Fulham. The striker missed out as Reds boss Jurgen Klopp picked Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz up front.

Fulham manager Marco Silva handed debuts to Joao Palhinha and Andreas Pereira, with fellow new signings Bernd Leno, Shane Duffy and Manor Solomon on the bench.

It sparked a bright opening from the hosts, with debutants Andreas Pereira and Joao Palhinha looking classy operators midfield, but Liverpool would slowly assert themselves as Luis Diaz correctly had a goal ruled out for an offside against Andrew Robertson in the build-up on 15 minutes.

Unperturbed by the warning sign, Harrison Reed raced onto an Antonee Robinson cross to slam a shot into the body of Andrew Robertson but it would be a more familiar goalscorer who would have Liverpool on the canvas.

Having struggled to find a rhythm and create chances against a newly-promoted side giving it their all in their first game back in the top flight. The Cottagers took the lead in the 32nd minute. Kenny Tete sent in a deep cross to the far post where Mitrovic beat Trent Alexander-Arnold to head past Alisson.

Luis Diaz was comfortably the best performer in a Liverpool shirt before the interval, and the Colombian came within inches of an instant response when he ran onto Thiago’s pass to crash a left-foot shot against the post, but Fulham deservedly led at the break.

Klopp waited six minutes of the second half before introducing Nunez, and Liverpool’s new £85m club-record signing got to work immediately. Fulham might have doubled their lead when Neeskens Kebano’s diagonal shot struck the inside of the post, and they were ruing that miss as Nunez levelled.

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