Fulham 1-3 Liverpool: Reds follow Arsenal with vital win to keep Premier League title hopes alive

On target: Ryan Gravenberch fired home his first Premier League goal for Liverpool (Action Images via Reuters)
On target: Ryan Gravenberch fired home his first Premier League goal for Liverpool (Action Images via Reuters)

Liverpool produced a decisive second-half display to beat Fulham and follow Arsenal by keeping their Premier League title hopes alive.

Ryan Gravenberch thundered home his first top-flight goal for the Reds and Diogo Jota’s smart finish stood after the tightest of offside calls to seal a crucial 3-1 victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who bounced back effectively from a torrid week that saw them lose at home to Crystal Palace and then be ousted from the Europa League quarter-finals by Atalanta.

Like Jota, the fit-again Trent Alexander-Arnold had earlier marked his first league start for two months after injury with a brilliant free-kick that fizzed over the wall and beyond the despairing dive of goalkeeper Bernd Leno, only for Belgian full-back Timothy Castagne to then side-foot in his first Fulham goal on the stroke of half-time to pull Marco Silva’s men level.

A vital triumph for Liverpool sees them leapfrog Manchester City into second place, behind new leaders Arsenal - who got their own pivotal bounce-back win at Wolves last night - only by virtue of an inferior goal difference.

Defending champions City, not in league action this weekend as they instead beat Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley yesterday to reach another FA Cup final, are now a point behind both their title rivals in third, but will have two games in hand on both by the time they return to action in a rearranged trip to Brighton on Thursday night.

Before that, Arsenal host Chelsea in a London derby at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night, with Liverpool then making the short trip to Everton for the latest instalment of the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park 24 hours later.

Liverpool’s win over Fulham came despite Klopp making six changes to the team stunned at Anfield by Crystal Palace - the most he has ever made between league matches in his entire nine-year tenure on Merseyside.

The likes of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ibrahima Konate were all named on an incredibly strong bench, with Klopp rejecting any notion of a selection “gamble” as he insisted he has to employ such rotation with so many important games coming thick and fast between now and the end of the season.

As it was, the ploy worked out perfectly, with the likes of Gravenberch and Jota stepping up to provide a timely reminder of Liverpool’s formidable strength in depth with their injury woes having crucially cleared over recent weeks.