Fulham's Display Against Liverpool Defies Agreed Wisdom of Premier League Once Again

13 December 2020 11:00

Getting people to agree on anything in 2020 is pretty hard.

Nowhere is this polarisation starker than the world of football. Even the most vanilla of opinions is likely to attract some rabid opposition if you have the audacity to put it in the public domain.

Perhaps the closest we have come to true harmony in the world of footballing discourse is Fulham. Specifically, the universal belief that the Cottagers have absolutely zero chance of staying in the Premier League this season.

Mere minutes after their return to the top flight was confirmed in the summer, there was already people queuing up to rubbish their chances of survival.

In their first few games back in the big time, Scott Parker's side gave their doubters very little reason to change their mind. An opening day defeat to Arsenal featured some of the most comical defending the Premier League had ever seen. until their following match against Leeds that is.

This downward trajectory continued unabated, until they finally secured their first win of the season against West Brom on Matchday Seven. Even this - and even their fabulous win over much fancied Leicester several weeks later - has does little to change the narrative.

However, their performance against Liverpool just might.

This was far and away their best display of the season. The Cottagers began the game with a restless tempo and as the things wore on they showed themselves capable of battening down the hatches defensively.

All the way through the ranks, Fulham were superb. The back three of Ola Aina, Tosin Adarabioyo and Joachim Andersen racked up an astonishing 21 clearances between them, testament to their stoic resistance in the second half.

Out wide, Bobby Decordova-Reid continued to be a revelation at right wing-back. Aside from his goal - which was bloody brilliant by the way - Decordova-Reid added incredible energy and also played his part in keeping Sadio Mane quiet.

His performance was matched by his left sided counterpart, Antonee Robinson, though. The American was plucked from cash-strapped Wigan Athletic for a pittance in the summer and he was excellent against the Reds. He made four tackles, an amount match only by the Cottagers double pivot, Mario Lemina and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

This wasn't all the pairing accomplished either. Both also racked up five interceptions each, preventing one of the best midfields in Europe gaining a foothold in the game.

This solidity provided the perfect platform for Fulham's backline to threaten on the counter. Since missing that penalty, Ademola Lookman has looked like a newman (pardon the pun).

Lookman played well | Pool/Getty Images

He continued his resurgence against the Reds as well, constantly causing headaches for their makeshift backline.

Although, Aboubakar Kamara's trademark act of self sabotage would ultimately mean that Sunday contest was two points dropped for Fulham, the performance was mightily encouraging.

Perhaps we were all wrong after all? Maybe Parker is a good manager? Perhaps he is the man to keep his side up? On the back of their performance against the champions, it certainly feels like their are three teams worse the them in the Premier League this season.

Source: 90min