Premier League:Liverpool go top as Chelsea held by Everton
Liverpool took advantage of Manchester City’s later kick-off against Manchester United on Sunday by beating Fulham 2-0 to move top of the Premier League, while Chelsea stumbled in a 0-0 draw with Everton.
Both Liverpool and Chelsea remain unbeaten in the league after 12 games, but Jurgen Klopp’s men now enjoy a two-point advantage over the Blues thanks to goals either side of half-time at Anfield from Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Liverpool also edge a point ahead of champions City, who could open a 12-point gap over their local rivals United with victory in the Manchester derby at the Etihad.
Despite a fine start to their league campaign, Liverpool’s chances of Champions League progress were put in peril by a shock 2-0 defeat to Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.
Klopp’s side got back on track against rock bottom Fulham, who suffered a seventh straight defeat.
But Liverpool needed a huge slice of luck in 14 seconds that completely changed the game shortly before the break.
Aleksandar Mitrovic headed home for the visitors only to be wrongly ruled offside.
The hosts quickly broke upfield and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pass freed Salah to score his eighth goal of the season.
“The most important thing is reacting in a situation like that and that was brilliant. Allison, Trent, Mo and done, it was a fantastic situation,” said Klopp
“Good routine. At the end we were a bit lucky.”
Under-pressure Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic described the situation as “absurd”.
“We didn’t defend well this counter-attack but this counter-attack shouldn’t exist. It’s a completely absurd situation we have to defend.”
Shaqiri hadn’t made the trip to Belgrade in midweek due to concerns over the hostile reception the Kosovo-born Swiss international would receive for his controversial goal celebration against Serbia at the World Cup.
But he showed why his guile and eye for goal was missed by turning home Andy Robertson’s cross eight minutes into the second-half.
At Stamford Bridge, Maurizio Sarri’s unbeaten start as Chelsea boss in all competitions stretched to 18 games, but the hosts couldn’t find a way past inspired England number one Jordan Pickford.
In keeping with Chelsea’s season so far, Eden Hazard was the major threat for the hosts, but Alvaro Morata failed to build on his double against Crystal Palace last weekend in a frustrating afternoon for the Spanish striker.
Pickford saved Morata’s best effort from Hazard’s inviting cross before the Belgian took centre-stage.
Twice he forced Pickford into flying saves, while Willian fired wide from Hazard’s pass that opened up the visitor’s defence.
But Everton stood firm and got the luck they needed when Marcos Alonso’s effort came back off the post to pick up a very creditable point.