Liverpool kept alive their outside hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League after Mohamed Salah continued his remarkable Anfield scoring form to help sink Fulham.
Salah scored for the eighth home game in a row as the Reds won for the fifth successive Premier League game to maintain their flourishing late-season form.
The Egypt forward beat Bernd Leno from the penalty spot in the 39th-minute after Darwin Nunez was fouled by Issa Diop.
However, it required an outstanding one-handed save by Liverpool’s Brazil keeper Alisson in the 77th-minute to keep out countryman Carlos Vinicius.
With Trent Alexander-Arnold and Luis Diaz in sparkling form, Liverpool created a string of chances but were unable to add to their lead.
Jurgen Klopp’s side stay fifth in the table, four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who have two games in hand including Thursday’s match at eighth-placed Brighton – kick-off 20:00 BST.
Despite defeat, Fulham remain on course for a first top-10 Premier League finish since 2011-12.
The last time Salah failed to score in a game at Anfield was way back on 21 January, while he now has 99 in all competition’s at Liverpool’s iconic home.
He is the first Liverpool player to score in eight consecutive home appearances since Luis Suarez did so April 2013 to January 2014.
Having missed from the spot recently against Bournemouth and Arsenal, he has now scored penalties in back-to-back games to help maintain Liverpool’s winning momentum.
With only four games remaining, Liverpool might have left themselves too much to do in terms of sealing a top-four spot but Klopp’s side are certainly finishing the season strongly.
Alexander-Arnold has come in for criticism this season but he was at his outstanding best registering three attempts – including one on target – while Diaz earned a standing ovation for his work in a move which saw Salah fire over the bar in the second-half.
The thrills and spills of recent performances might have been missing on this occasion but the Reds produced a first clean sheet win since putting seven past Manchester United on 5 March.
The game was in the balance right until the end, with Bobby De Cordova-Reid going close to equalising in the 94th-minute, but in the end Liverpool were able to celebrate another win.
Fulham pushed Liverpool all the way and would have taken something back to London but for two excellent saves by Alisson to keep out Vinicius.
Having thwarted the forward with a diving stop early in the game, Alisson bravely denied Vinicius inside the six-yard box as Fulham finished strongly.
Harry Wilson was also lively against his former club but Fulham have lost eight of their past 10 matches in all competitions, winning the other two.
Despite that run, it has still been an impressive first season back in the Premier League for the Cottagers and they were the better team in the second-half at Anfield.
This, however, was their third straight defeat and, with four matches left, manager Marco Silva will demand the season does not fizzle out.
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