Darwin Nunez came off the bench to score one and create another as Liverpool twice came from behind to save a point in a chaotic game at newly promoted Fulham.
The Reds, who pushed champions Manchester City all the way to the title race last season, fell behind when Aleksandar Mitrovic edged past Trent Alexander-Arnold to head Fulham after encountering an excellent cross from Kenny Tete.
Luis Diaz had a goal disallowed for offside at 0-0 before shooting the post after Fulham went ahead.
In a thrilling match, substitute Núñez marked his Premier League debut by equalizing with a short move before Fulham restored the lead from the penalty spot after Virgil van Dijk fouled Mitrovic.
Mitrovic rose to beat Alisson from the spot before Mohamed Salah equalized closely after a pass from Núñez, a £64m signing from Benfica.
Jordan Henderson came close to winning it late when he hit the crossbar in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Fulham give the Reds a real scare
Fulham’s previous Premier League victory was against Liverpool on March 7, 2021 but, on that occasion, it was not enough to save them from relegation.
On a beautiful day in west London, they showed they are up for the challenge after giving Jurgen Klopp’s side a real scare.
His goal this season is to establish himself in esteemed company, and while there is a long way to go, this was a very encouraging start.
Last season’s Championship champions certainly weren’t intimidated when they took the game to the Reds, the spirited Mitrovic signaling his intent by shooting wide with 50 seconds left after diving inside the box.
Marco Silva’s team was well organized and played with confidence while continuing to create chances.
They came close to going 2-0 up when Neeskens Kebano hit the post while new signings Joao Palhinha and Andreas Pereira added creativity to the side.
It took Fulham until game five to register a point the last time they started a Premier League season in 2020-21.
They are up and running after one game this time thanks to a dynamic performance from Mitrovic.
Thiago’s injury adds to Klopp’s concerns
This is the fourth consecutive season that the Reds have opened a Premier League campaign against a promoted side, but it was anything but an easy start for Klopp’s side.
With Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ibrahima Konate all ill or injured, the Liverpool bench included a 20-year-old, a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old Stefan Bajcetic.
Fortunately, it also included Núñez.
For the second weekend in a row he came off the bench to make a valuable contribution as he continued his performance in the Community Shield’s win over Manchester City with another goal.
He produced a clever move to make it 1-1 before the Uruguayan striker got involved in Salah’s equalizer to make it 2-2.
One concern for Klopp will be a growing injury list with the season barely underway.
The loss of Thiago Alcantara to a suspected hamstring injury early in the second half will add to Liverpool’s concerns, and it remains to be seen whether they will turn to the transfer market to fix the problem before the September 1 deadline. .
- twoteaReserved at 17 minutes
- 26Lobo Alves Palhinha Goncalves
- 7kabanoReplaced forSolomona 66′minutes
- 18PereiraReplaced forCairneya 89′minutes
- 14De Cordova-ReidReserved at 90 minutesReplaced forDuffya 90+4′minutes
- 19Muniz Carvalho
- 4van dijk
- 3fabinhoReplaced forMilnera 59′minutes
- 6Thiago AlcantaraReplaced forElliotta 51′minutes
- 9firminoReplaced forNuneza 51′minutes
- 23diazReplaced forFreitas Gouveia Carvalhoa 78′minutes
- 28Freitas Gouveia Carvalho
- 72Van den Berg
Match ends, Fulham 2, Liverpool 2.
Second Half ends, Fulham 2, Liverpool 2.
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) hits the crossbar! Right footed shot from outside the area. Assisted by Harvey Elliott.
Change, Fulham. Shane Duffy replaces Bobby De Córdova-Reid.
Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) is shown a yellow card.
Change, Fulham. Tom Cairney replaces Andreas Pereira.
Offside, Liverpool. Trent Alexander-Arnold tries a through ball, but Mohamed Salah is caught offside.
Foul by Fabio Carvalho (Liverpool).
Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) has been fouled in the defensive end.
Foul by Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool).
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) has been fouled in the defensive end.
Harvey Elliott (Liverpool) has been fouled in the defensive end.
Foul by João Palhinha (Fulham).
Foul by Fabio Carvalho (Liverpool).
Kenny Tete (Fulham) has been fouled in the defensive zone.
Goal! Fulham 2, Liverpool 2. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the center of the box to the center of the goal. Assisted by Darwin Nunez.
Failed attempt. Fábio Carvalho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the center of the box that goes too high following a corner kick.
Corner, Liverpool. Corner committed by Harrison Reed.
Change, Liverpool. Fábio Carvalho replaces Luis Díaz.
Failed attempt. Darwin Núñez (Liverpool) shot with the right foot from the right side of the inside of the box that misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a through ball.
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