Liverpool continued their exceptional run in the Premier League this season following a 2-0 win against Fulham on Sunday.
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri were enough as Fulham didn’t do enough to trouble Alisson. Here are the three key talking points from Liverpool’s win over Fulham.
#3 Should Liverpool focus solely on the league this campaign?
It’s no secret that Liverpool have performed well this campaign and with the on Sunday, they have now equalled their best ever start after 12 games.
In addition, Liverpool are one of only three teams to remain unbeaten so far this campaign, which raises the question as to whether or not should they solely focus on the league.
They do, however, have a decent chance of making it to the next round of the UEFA Champions League despite a shocking loss to Red Star Belgrade in midweek. Thus, it remains to be seen which competition will Liverpool prioritise as we head into the halfway mark of the campaign.
#2 Shaqiri should start more often
A few weeks ago, I made a case for Xherdan Shaqiri’s lack of involvement in the starting lineup, given how impressive he has been whenever he was called upon from the bench so far this season.
And on Sunday, the Swiss international made full use of his rare start, notably scoring from an excellent volley just after the restart.
Aside from the goal, Shaqiri was also very active in the final third, causing the opposition problems with his dynamic runs and robust movements. More importantly, he was never bogged down by Liverpool’s lack of end product, making a host of attempts to extend his side’s lead.
In fact, Shaqiri should have found himself on the scoresheet much earlier when Sadio Mane’s intelligent pullback fell into his path. But, his shot was wide while he narrowly missed the target with another effort.
Therefore, the 27-year-old should definitely start more often for Liverpool, even though it’s very difficult to accommodate Liverpool’s revered front-trio of Firmino, Mane and Salah and Shaqiri in the same formation.
#1 The role of fullbacks
One of the most key observations from Liverpool’s performance this afternoon was the role of fullbacks. Indeed, both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson played a key role, bagging an assist each.
But most importantly, both the fullbacks provided width going forward but stepped back whenever necessary, which, in turn, made it difficult for Fulham’s wide-attackers to have any sort of impact on the game.
However, with Liverpool boasting two attack-minded fullbacks in Robertson and Alexander-Arnold, things could get a bit tricky when they face an opponent of superior quality. Indeed, two attack-minded fullbacks ploughing forward could create instability at the back, ultimately leaving the defence exposed.
As a result, it will be interesting to see how Jurgen Klopp manages to preserve his side’s defensive stability, especially against big-teams and of course, in the Champions League knockout rounds.