Football: Liverpool make hard work of victory over struggling Fulham with goals from Salah and Shaqiri

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores their first goal during the English Premier League match against Fulham at Anfield on Nov 11, 2018.
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores their first goal during the English Premier League match against Fulham at Anfield on Nov 11, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS/ACTION IMAGES

(REUTERS) - Goals by Mo Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri took Liverpool from third place to the top of the English Premier League for a couple of hours at least with a 2-0 victory over bottom club Fulham at Anfield on Sunday (Nov 11).

They moved above the other two unbeaten teams, Manchester City and Chelsea, who were both playing home games later on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's side made hard work of it for 40 minutes, however, and could easily have fallen behind.

Just before half-time, the visitors' Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic had a headed goal disallowed for offside by the closest of margins.

Liverpool immediately counter-attacked and Salah went clear to open the scoring.

Shaqiri's side-footed volley after 53 minutes doubled the lead, pushing Fulham towards a sixth successive Premier League defeat, which equals a club record.

Fulham's defending was poor again when the unmarked Shaqiri scored from Andy Robertson's cross.

"We scored a lot of goals last season but this season we have been solid at the back as well," said left-back Robertson.

His manager was philosophical about the key refereeing decisions, citing a wrong offside call that went against Liverpool in their previous league game.

"Against Arsenal we scored a clearer goal and didn't get it," said Klopp, who had made four changes after the disappointing 2-0 defeat by Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League last Tuesday.

He also praised the quick reactions of his players to Fulham's disallowed goal.

"The most important thing is the reaction, that was brilliant.

"Apart from (not) scoring more goals it was a really good performance. We created, passed, had big chances, so I'm completely happy."

Understandably less happy was Fulham's beleaguered manager Slavisa Jokanovic, who said of the two crucial decisions: "It's shown disrespect to my team, myself and Fulham supporters."

Liverpool play at Watford next while Fulham are at home to Southampton.