Fulham sit 14th, but should be very proud of their gutsy display.
Story of the Game
Liverpool made three changes from their 1-1 draw at Manchester City last weekend.
Fulham made three changes from the 3-2 win over Wolves on Monday night.
Fulham started better and Alex Iwobi’s early cross nearly caused the hosts some trouble but was smothered by Kelleher.
Liverpool responded instantly, Diaz hitting his effort early in an attempt to catch out Leno, to no avail.
The hosts nearly went ahead seven minutes into the contest. Mohamed Salah thought he had an milestone 200th Reds goal on his 300th start for the club, after Leno split Dominik Szoboszlai’s long range effort but Diaz was ruled offside in the build up.
There was concern from the visitors bench when Leno was down for around 5 minutes with a head injury, however he carried on.
The visitors gifted the hosts a free kick in a dangerous position when Szoboszlai was felled by Palhinha, and it was blasted in by Alexander-Arnold, a truly stunning strike 20 minutes into the game, which was ruled an own goal after it had deflected in off of the Fulham goalkeeper's back.
The Londoners were level after 24 minutes, Wilson, who was at Liverpool from the age of nine, made them pay when he put Antonee Robinson’s cross through Kelleher’s legs, the Reds far too sloppy after controlling the game up to that point.
Fulham were not siting back, Robinson drove forward and his effort deflected off Matip and luckily for the hosts did not end up in the net but for corner which led to nothing.
The Reds had a long range effort of their own as Alexander-Arnold’s effort deflected for a corner which fell to Virgil van Dijk, but was blocked.
They then took the lead through another, Mac Allister’s first goal for his new club, a breathtaking half-volley into the top right-hand corner, a goal of the season contender.
The visitors had an equaliser in the second minute of nine in stoppage time after a VAR check, the ball squirmed past Kelleher by Tete, the Irishman should have done better.
It was Fulham’s first time scoring two at Anfield in 67 years and they thought they had another just four minutes later but Tim Ream was judged to be offside by VAR.
Nice interplay between Darwin Nunez and Salah led to a Liverpool chance but the Egyptian’s shot was saved by Leno when he probably should have squared to the unmarked Diaz.
The hosts began the second half with a swagger that had eluded them before the interval.
Two more long-range efforts this time from Szoboszlai failed to break Leno’s resistance.
Then the first real chance of the second half came from Nunez, who hit the crossbar after a lightning quick break from Salah to put him in behind.
The next Red to have a crack was Diaz, but his spinning shot from Alexander-Arnold’s cross was far too easy for Leno.
The perfect touch eluded Nunez after Salah had headed Szoboszlai’s pass into the forward who was through on goal as the game passed the 60 minute mark.
The visitors then made substitutions, Wilson and Pereira were replaced by Cairney and Willian.
Approaching the 70th minute, Diaz headed just over from Salah’s deflected cross as the hosts pushed for a winner.
Marco Silva then replaced Tete and Iwobi with Castagne and Bobby DeCordova-Reid as he tried to add fresh impetus to his side.
Fulham broke with speed and Robinson’s effort was well saved by Kelleher, a reminder that it would be a tense last 10 minutes or so for the Anfield faithful.
It was worse than that, Decordova-Reid heading in at the back post from a hopeful cross from Cairney in the 80th minute.
The Reds made another change, Wataru Endo on in the place of Gravenberch after Alexander-Arnold’s clever cross narrowly evaded the boot of Nunez.
The Japanese midfielder nearly had a goal with his first touch, his shot deflected past Leno, who had no clue where it was going to end up.
From the resulting corner, Diaz tested Leno and Salah blasted over somehow from close range.
The hosts would get a spectacular equaliser with five minutes of normal time remaining, as Endo curled the ball into the top corner from range from Salah’s cut-back.
Another twist was still to come, Alexander-Arnold put his side in front with a deceptive low volley into the bottom left hand corner in the 88th minute.
Every tackle or deflection was cheered like a goal by the crowd as they willed their side to the victory.
Player of the Game
What more is there to say about the 25-year-old?
A stunning goal last week against Manchester City and then the last-gasp winner today and unlucky not to have another with the free-kick eventually going down as an own goal.
His attacking contributions outweigh his defensive issues, the extent of which are vastly exaggerated.