Liverpool (Agencies): Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a controversial 2-0 win over Fulham at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah’s opener 12 seconds after Aleksandar Mitrovic had a goal ruled for offside put Liverpool ahead, before Xherdan Shaqiri ensured the points stayed at Anfield in the second half.
The home side move above Chelsea and Manchester City into first place ahead of their games later on Sunday.
Salah should have put Liverpool ahead earlier than he did, but was unable to control the ball when one-on-one with Sergio Rico in Liverpool’s best chance in the opening 15 minutes.
Ryan Sessegnon was proving suspect defensively for Fulham, but he nearly gave them the lead after racing onto Mitrovic’s flick on, only to put the ball wide of Alisson’s goal from close range after 24 minutes.
Fulham continued to threaten in the following minutes, with Alisson parrying a speculative effort from Andre Schurrle back into the box, but Mitrovic and Sessegnon were both just unable to reach the ball before it was cleared.
The game sprang into life five minutes before half time as Mitrovic’s header was ruled out for offside. Alisson took the free kick with the ball rolling and it eventually found Salah, who swept home to make it 1-0.
Sadio Mane nearly doubled the lead after 53 minutes with a shot from 25 yards parried behind by Rico, but Shaqiri was able to score after the resulting corner with a controlled finish from Andrew Robertson’s cross.
Fulham have now conceded two or more goals for the 10th time in 12 matches this season, and nearly had to pick the ball out of the back of the net again when Roberto Firmino found Robertson on the counter, but Rico was on hand to keep the score at 2-0.
Liverpool were not troubled in seeing out the game with Fulham offering little threat in the second half. Slavisa Jokanovic’s men remain bottom of the table going into the international break.