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Fulham 2-2 Liverpool: Aleksandar Mitrovic scores twice to shock Reds

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Aleksandar Mitrovic scores for Fulham against Liverpool
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his first Premier League goal for Fulham at Craven Cottage since 29 January 2019, when he netted two headers in a 4-2 win against Brighton

Darwin Nunez came off the bench to score one and create another as Liverpool were forced to twice battle back to salvage a point in a chaotic game at newly promoted Fulham.

The Reds, who pushed champions Manchester City all the way in the title race last season, fell behind when Aleksandar Mitrovic got the better of Trent Alexander-Arnold to head Fulham ahead after meeting a superb cross by Kenny Tete.

Luis Diaz had a goal ruled out for offside at 0-0 before curling a shot against the post after Fulham had taken the lead.

In a thrilling match, substitute Nunez marked his Premier League debut by equalising with a close-range flick before Fulham restored the lead from the penalty spot after Mitrovic was fouled by Virgil van Dijk.

Mitrovic picked himself up to beat Alisson from the spot before Mohamed Salah equalised from close range after a pass by Nunez, a £64m signing from Benfica.

Jordan Henderson went close to winning it at the end when he hit the bar in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Fulham give Reds a real scare

Fulham deserved something more - Silva

Fulham's previous Premier League win was against Liverpool on 7 March 2021 but, on that occasion, it was not enough to save them from relegation.

On a gorgeous day in west London, they showed they are up for the challenge facing them on their return to the Premier League after giving Jurgen Klopp's side a real scare.

Their aim this season is to establish themselves in esteemed company and, while there is a long road ahead, this was a highly encouraging start.

Last season's champions of the Championship were certainly not intimidated as they took the game to the Reds, the lively Mitrovic signalling his intention by firing wide with 50 seconds on the clock after darting into the box.

Marco Silva's side were well organised and played with confidence as they created nine chances - three on target - during an entertaining match.

They went close to going 2-0 ahead when Neeskens Kebano hit the post while new signings Joao Palhinha and Andreas Pereira added creativity.

"I think that our organisation, our great first half, the way we blocked almost everything from them, in terms of organisation in the first half - it was almost perfect," said Fulham boss Silva.

It took Fulham until the fifth game to register a first point the last time they started a Premier League season in 2020-21.

They are up and running after one game this time thanks, in part, to a dynamic performance from Mitrovic.

"In the box Mitro will score if you provide him good chances," added Silva. "But I repeat something I said last season maybe 20 times: Mitro is not just a goalscorer for us. He did an unbelievable job for us without the ball."

Thiago injury adds to Klopp's worries

Fulham 2-2 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp says result was only positive

This is the fourth straight season the Reds have opened a Premier League campaign against a promoted side, but it was anything but a straightforward start for Klopp's side.

With Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ibrahima Konate either ill or injured, Liverpool's bench included a 20-year-old, one 19-year-old and 17-year-old Stefan Bajcetic.

Fortunately, it also included Nunez.

For the second successive weekend he came off the bench to make a valuable contribution as he followed up his performance in the Community Shield win over Manchester City with another goal.

He produced a clever flick to make it 1-1 before the Uruguay forward was heavily involved in Salah's equaliser to make it 2-2.

A concern for Klopp will be a mounting injury list with the season barely under way.

The loss of Thiago Alcantara to a suspected hamstring injury early in the second half will add to Liverpool's worries, and it remains to be seen whether they will turn to the transfer market to ease their problems before the 1 September deadline.

Player of the match

MitrovicAleksandar Mitrovic

with an average of 8.32

Fulham

  1. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic
    Average rating

    8.32

  2. Squad number18Player nameAndreas Pereira
    Average rating

    7.23

  3. Squad number26Player nameJoão Palhinha
    Average rating

    7.17

  4. Squad number33Player nameRobinson
    Average rating

    7.14

  5. Squad number6Player nameReed
    Average rating

    6.89

  6. Squad number2Player nameTete
    Average rating

    6.88

  7. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid
    Average rating

    6.87

  8. Squad number4Player nameTosin
    Average rating

    6.82

  9. Squad number13Player nameReam
    Average rating

    6.80

  10. Squad number7Player nameKebano
    Average rating

    6.71

  11. Squad number5Player nameDuffy
    Average rating

    6.65

  12. Squad number10Player nameCairney
    Average rating

    6.57

  13. Squad number11Player nameSolomon
    Average rating

    6.55

  14. Squad number1Player nameRodák
    Average rating

    6.55

Liverpool

  1. Squad number27Player nameNúñez
    Average rating

    6.82

  2. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah
    Average rating

    6.17

  3. Squad number23Player nameDíaz
    Average rating

    5.64

  4. Squad number7Player nameMilner
    Average rating

    5.58

  5. Squad number1Player nameAlisson
    Average rating

    5.55

  6. Squad number26Player nameRobertson
    Average rating

    5.40

  7. Squad number19Player nameElliott
    Average rating

    5.34

  8. Squad number14Player nameHenderson
    Average rating

    5.28

  9. Squad number32Player nameMatip
    Average rating

    5.20

  10. Squad number28Player nameFábio Carvalho
    Average rating

    5.14

  11. Squad number6Player nameThiago Alcántara
    Average rating

    5.05

  12. Squad number4Player namevan Dijk
    Average rating

    5.04

  13. Squad number3Player nameFabinho
    Average rating

    4.88

  14. Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino
    Average rating

    4.84

  15. Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold
    Average rating

    4.74

Line-ups

Fulham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Rodák
  • 2TeteBooked at 17mins
  • 4Tosin
  • 13Ream
  • 33Robinson
  • 6Reed
  • 26Lobo Alves Palhinha Gonçalves
  • 7KebanoSubstituted forSolomonat 66'minutes
  • 18PereiraSubstituted forCairneyat 89'minutes
  • 14De Cordova-ReidBooked at 90minsSubstituted forDuffyat 90+4'minutes
  • 9Mitrovic

Substitutes

  • 5Duffy
  • 10Cairney
  • 11Solomon
  • 17Leno
  • 19Muniz Carvalho
  • 27Mbabu
  • 35Francois
  • 38Harris
  • 65Stansfield

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 32Matip
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 14Henderson
  • 3FabinhoSubstituted forMilnerat 59'minutes
  • 6Thiago AlcántaraSubstituted forElliottat 51'minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forNúñezat 51'minutes
  • 23DíazSubstituted forFreitas Gouveia Carvalhoat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Gomez
  • 7Milner
  • 13Adrián
  • 19Elliott
  • 27Núñez
  • 28Freitas Gouveia Carvalho
  • 43Bajcetic
  • 72van den Berg
  • 88Chambers
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
25,000

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home33%
Away67%
Shots
Home9
Away11
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home7
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Fulham 2, Liverpool 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Fulham 2, Liverpool 2.

  3. Post update

    Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Harvey Elliott.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Shane Duffy replaces Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

  5. Booking

    Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Tom Cairney replaces Andreas Pereira.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Trent Alexander-Arnold tries a through ball, but Mohamed Salah is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Fábio Carvalho (Liverpool).

  9. Post update

    Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool).

  11. Post update

    Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Harvey Elliott (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by João Palhinha (Fulham).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Fábio Carvalho (Liverpool).

  15. Post update

    Kenny Tete (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Fulham 2, Liverpool 2. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Darwin Núñez.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Fábio Carvalho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Harrison Reed.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Fábio Carvalho replaces Luis Díaz.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Darwin Núñez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a through ball.

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