Jurgen Klopp came into Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Fulham demanding that his Liverpool side make sure Anfield is a “nightmare” for visiting teams.
Marco Silva may very well wake up in a cold sweat after his team’s 4-3 loss but it was hardly a performance that Liverpool’s manager would have dreamed of.
For the second weekend in a row, Trent Alexander-Arnold forced Liverpool’s first goal of the afternoon with a crisp strike. While his drilled effort into the bottom corner against Manchester City came at the end of a fluid move from open play, the defender broke the deadlock at Anfield with a brilliant free kick.
Before placing a finger to his lips in celebration, Alexander-Arnold’s face betrayed the satisfaction he earned from a sensational set piece.
Sunday’s match was Alexander-Arnold’s second consecutive Premier League outing after agreeing to a sponsorship deal with Adidas, donning the same predator boots that the likes of David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane made famous.
What Alexander-Arnold didn’t realise at the time was that his first strike of the afternoon would go down as a Bernd Leno own goal after the ball skidded off the crossbar and on to the goalkeeper before hitting the back of the net.
Barely five first-half minutes had elapsed before Alexander-Arnold’s former teammate Harry Wilson swiftly hauled Fulham level with a poked finish utterly against the run of play.
Alexis Mac Allister fired Liverpool back into the lead with a goal that immediately superseded Alexander-Arnold’s beauty. A loose ball sat up perfectly for the World Cup winner to swing his right boot through, sending it beyond a bamboozled Leno.
Sunday afternoon’s VAR, Paul Tierney, ensured that Fulham went in level at half-time, correctly awarding Kenny Tete’s stabbed finish which had been initially flagged offside.
Darwin Nunez squandered a pair of presentable chances for Liverpool after the break, clanking the crossbar with one golden opening in transition before Fulham took the lead for the first time in the match.
Unfortunately for those in the UK – outside of the Anfield crowd – the match was not broadcast live, much to many onlookers’ disappointment.
Most of the nation missed Liverpool surf an incredible wave of momentum to secure two quick-fire goals at the death.
Wataru Endo came off the bench to stuff the ball into the top corner a matter of seconds before Alexander-Arnold – who had been moved further up the pitch – snatched three points for the hosts.