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Liverpool beat Fulham 3-1 to climb level with Arsenal

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LIVERPOOL, April 22: Liverpool stayed in the hunt for the Premier League title and moved level on points with leader Arsenal with a 3-1 victory over Fulham that was illuminated by a brilliant free kick by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool bounced back from Thursday’s exit to Atalanta in the Europa League quarterfinals and last weekend’s home loss to Crystal Palace by winning at Craven Cottage after Jurgen Klopp dropped Mohamed Salah and Alexis Mac Allister to the bench.
Alexander-Arnold’s curling free-kick in the 32nd was canceled out by Timothy Castagne’s first goal for Fulham in first-half stoppage time.
Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota scored in the second half as Liverpool joined Arsenal on 74 points – one more than defending champion Manchester City, which has a game in hand.
Fulham academy graduate Harvey Elliott, who swapped London for Merseyside in 2019, was galvanized by jeers from the home fans as he helped his side create the first chance of the match.
The attacking midfield player instinctively picked out Alexander-Arnold, whose cross could not be directed in by Luis Diaz’s glancing header as the ball narrowly missed the inside of the post.
Alexander-Arnold then showed off his elite ball-striking ability. First, he received the ball centrally and he delivered a first-time side-footed pass in behind Fulham full-back Antonee Robinson before Diaz’s low cross to Jota was struck wide of the right-hand post.
Then, after Joao Palhinha brought down Jota on the counterattack, Alexander-Arnold stood over the set-piece in an almost central position near the edge of the area and whipped the ball over the wall into the top left-hand corner.
The Cottagers had been quiet all half but they came alive in added time to equalize.
Rodrigo Muniz’s blocked header off Alex Iwobi’s cross fell kindly to the unmarked Castagne, who slammed his effort home from close range.
Parity did not last long as, in the 53rd minute, Liverpool punished a series of errors to retake the lead. Iwobi’s wayward pass found Elliott in a dangerous position and he opted to lay the ball off to Gravenberch, whose first-time curled effort flew past Bernd Leno to make it 2-1.Liverpool wrapped up the win in the 72nd after Cody Gakpo’s pass split the defense and Jota finished with a strike into the bottom right-hand corner. (PTI)

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