Premier League wrap: Liverpool stage late comeback to beat Fulham

Chelsea overcome red card to beat Brighton; Aston Villa get late goal to draw with Bournemouth

Premier League: Liverpool 4 Fulham 3

Liverpool staged a dramatic late comeback to beat Fulham 4-3 after some hapless defending wasted two world-class strikes from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alexis Mac Allister and left them staring at a rare Anfield Premier League defeat.

The Cottagers looked like being the first side since Real Madrid in February to win at Anfield – and the first in the Premier League since Leeds in October 2022 – after substitute Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s 80th-minute goal.

However, Japan international Wataru Endo, who had spoken on the eve of the game about how difficult he had found the top flight since his arrival in the summer, sparked the comeback when he stroked home the equaliser seven minutes later.


When Alexander-Arnold grabbed his second of the game barely a minute later, Liverpool’s 100 per cent home record was extended to 11 matches to move back to within two points of leaders Arsenal.

While thrilling, it was an unnecessary end to a game which the hosts should have controlled much better, especially after the quality of the early goals they scored.

Fulham were operating with a compromised goalkeeper after Bernd Leno played almost 100 minutes with a bandaged head having being injured in an eighth-minute incident which saw Mohamed Salah’s goal ruled out for offside after spilling Dominik Szoboszlai’s shot.

But while Liverpool had plenty of attempts on goal, Leno was not properly threatened until it became last-chance saloon territory.

The problem was at the other end where they allowed a team averaging just one Premier League goal a game all season to score three times away for the first time since April – also on Merseyside at Everton.

Either of Alexander-Arnold’s or Mac Allister’s goals were worthy match-winners and the fact they were not will have been of considerable frustration to both players and boss Jurgen Klopp.

A trip on Szoboszlai 25 yards out was all the invitation Alexander-Arnold needed as he dispatched a 25-yard free-kick – Liverpool’s 50th of the season – via the underside of the crossbar.

It had all appeared so easy to that point and part of the problem was a team showing six changes from the midweek win over LASK struggled to get out of second gear.

Worryingly for Klopp, at the start of December it seemed his side lacked the energy needed to properly dominate opponents but even Fulham’s unexpected equaliser four minutes later failed to provide the wake-up call.

Their right side was exposed with Alexander-Arnold central covering for Virgil van Dijk, who was returning from a run upfield, and former Red Harry Wilson squeezed a near-post shot under Caoimhin Kelleher from Antonee Robinson’s cross from the Cottagers’ first attempt on goal.

Retaking the lead in brilliant fashion was only a small part of what was required from the home side.

Luis Diaz’s mazy run caused issues and Kenny Tete’s poor clearance was compounded by Raul Jimenez’s poor header back into the danger area and Mac Allister’s path.

The Argentina international allowed the ball to bounce across his body before unleashing a rising drive which found the same top corner Alexander-Arnold had: his first Liverpool goal and a worthy 500th at Anfield in Klopp’s 219th game at the ground.

Jimenez and Tete made amends with the former flicking on a near-post corner for the latter to nod past Kelleher, making his first Premier League start of the season for the injured Alisson and although he was flagged offside, VAR overruled.

The assistant’s flag did come to Liverpool’s rescue, however, deep into added time when Kelleher kept alive Joao Palhinha’s header and an offside Tim Ream tapped in.

Leno’s legs denied Salah just before interval and although Klopp’s side increased the tempo after the break, the same problems remained with Darwin Nunez’s shot deflected behind and Szoboszlai firing wide from the subsequent corner.

Nunez had yet another game where his contribution was minimal and he smashed an angled drive against the crossbar and also bundled the ball wide after twice being set up by Salah.

Then came the sucker punch as substitute De Cordova-Reid outjumped Kostas Tsimikas at the far post.

Endo had a header saved and Salah fired over the rebound before the Japan international stroked home the equaliser, setting up Alexander-Arnold to deliver the killer blow.

Chelsea 3 Brighton 2

Chelsea played the entirety of the second half with 10 men as they clung on to defeat Brighton 3-2 after a tense finale at Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were already two up thanks to headers from Enzo Fernandez and Levi Colwill when Conor Gallagher was shown a second yellow card for fouling Billy Gilmour in stoppage time at the end of the first half.

Moments before Gallagher’s dismissal, Facundo Buonanotte had pulled Brighton back into it at 2-1 with swinging strike inside the post, and the stage looked set for a fightback by the visitors.

Instead, it was Chelsea that reasserted their charge, Fernandez converting from the spot midway through the second half after the excellent Mykhailo Mudryk had been fouled.

Joao Pedro came off the bench to head a goal back at the start of a lengthy period of added time, before Chelsea survived a penalty scare for a possible handball against Colwill with virtually the game’s final action.

This was a statement win from Pochettino’s team. Not only was it a first league victory in six attempts against Brighton, it came after their captain had been sent off after 45 minutes, and with arguably their best player this season, Cole Palmer, starting the game on the bench, a knock sustained in training on Saturday meaning he was fit only to emerge once his team were 3-1 up.

The opening goal came after good work from Palmer’s replacement Mudryk, taking a high, looping pass down well with his chest and crossing cleverly to win a corner. From the resulting ball in, Benoit Badiashile showed balance and poise to take charge at the back post and hooked a ball into the six-yard box from which Fernandez rose to nod home his first Premier League goal.

Igor Julio needed to be alert with a sliding interception to prevent a certain goal for Nicolas Jackson, but after the defender had poked the ball behind for another corner Brighton were caught out again with a near identical routine.

This time it was Jackson keeping the move alive at the back post, arcing the ball back into middle and on to the head of Colwill, who despite a brave effort from Gilmour to hook the ball back from behind the line would not be denied his first Chelsea goal.

Mudryk looked as confident as he has been in Chelsea blue and nearly made it three before half-time, beating Joel Veltman on the turn with a dazzling first touch in midfield and driving at the heart of Brighton, only to see his fizzing 30-yard drive fly inches past the post.

Instead it was Brighton in whose favour the game turned before the break. First, the coolest of strikes from Buonanotte halved the arrears, the Argentinian lashing the ball inside the far post with his left foot after Simon Adingra and Adam Lallana had combined to pick him out.

Then in stoppage time at the end of the half, a more serious setback for Pochettino, his captain Gallagher shown a second yellow card for sliding in late on Gilmour, and Chelsea would play the second 45 minutes with 10 men.

Brighton emerged determined to make their numerical advantage count. Adingra was a growing threat playing high on the left, most notably in the 55th minute when he crossed for Lallana who took a touch and hooked narrowly wide.

Roberto De Zerbi gambled, making four substitutions in one swoop, whilst Pochettino looked to his depleted bench and prepared Palmer.

Yet before Chelsea’s appointed penalty taker could take to the pitch, the brilliant Mudryk won a spot-kick, outpacing the recently arrived James Milner before being shouldered to the ground. A pitchside VAR check was required for referee Craig Pawson to make the call, and Fernandez showed his own credentials from 12 yards for 3-1.

Ten minutes of stoppage time had been announced by the time substitute Pedro rose to glance a header across goal and in at the far post to give Brighton hope.

Then at the death, Pawson was called pitchside once more to adjudicate on handball against Colwill.

The evidence seemed to show the ball strike the defender’s face, as Stamford Bridge breathed a sigh of collective relief.

Bournemouth 2 Aston Villa 2

Ollie Watkins came up with a sensational and dramatic 90th-minute equaliser as Aston Villa came from behind twice to rescue a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

Villa looked to be heading for a shock defeat on the south coast until Watkins pounced on substitute Moussa Diaby’s cross to score his 13th goal of the season with a terrific backwards header.

The hosts, who had won three of their previous four matches, started brightly and took a deserved lead in the 10th minute, with a little bit of help from Villa defender Diego Carlos.

Carlos was too casual playing out from the back and passed the ball straight to Ryan Christie who instinctively fed Antoine Semenyo to confidently pick out the bottom corner from 12 yards.

Semenyo came close to doubling the Cherries’ lead but his shot from a tight angle was kept out by a smart save from the legs from Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez.

Martinez’s opposite number Neto had already done well to turn behind Douglas Luiz’s 25-yard shot when Leon Bailey equalised with a superb solo goal in the 20th minute.

Watkins, who had come through a late fitness test, played the ball out to Bailey on the right wing and the Jamaica international danced into space inside the penalty area before curling home left-footed beyond the despairing Neto.

Villa thought they had taken the lead moments later when Carlos sidefooted home from close range but the goal was rightly ruled out after a lengthy VAR review because Lucas Digne was offside in the build-up.

Semenyo, who was fortunate to escape a second yellow card for hauling down Bailey having already been booked, forced another excellent save from Martinez with a stinging shot across the face of goal after getting the better of makeshift right back Ezri Konsa.

Martinez was on hand again to claw out Dominic Solanke’s shot from point blank range when the Bournemouth striker looked certain to score from Christie’s cross as the teams went in level at half-time.

There was no denying Solanke seven minutes into the second half as he fired Bournemouth back in front with his seventh goal of the season.

Milos Kerkez broke well down the left before fizzing the pass into feet of Solanke, who pirouetted away from Pau Torres before blasting beyond Martinez.

Solanke had a golden chance to extend the lead in the 63rd minute but could not beat Martinez from four yards after Marcus Tavernier had carried the ball all the way from his own half to the edge of the Villa penalty area.

Villa substitute Jhon Duran was inches away from equalising 18 minutes from time when his deflected shot from the edge of the Bournemouth box struck the right-hand post.

But just as Bournemouth looked to be holding out for the win up stepped the in-form Watkins to salvage a share of the spoils.

West Ham 1 Crystal Palace 1

Woeful West Ham defending handed Crystal Palace a point in a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium.

The Hammers were leading through a fine goal from Ghana winger Mohammed Kudus and heading for a fifth straight win in all competitions.

But West Ham’s Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos came bearing a gift when his crazy back-pass let Odsonne Edouard in to equalise.

Once again the Hammers’ inability to keep a clean sheet cost them – they have managed just one in the Premier League this season.

Palace looked there for the taking, especially without the attacking threat of Eberechi Eze, who suffered an ankle injury last week.

But they went close to opening the scoring when Joachim Andersen headed Michael Olise’s free-kick back across goal and Edouard volleyed wide.

However, the Hammers took the lead with their first real chance after 13 minutes.

Kudus started the move when he spun away from Will Hughes in the centre circle and found Lucas Paqueta.

The Brazilian fed the ball to James Ward-Prowse, who switched the play out to Vladimir Coufal on the right.

Czech full-back Coufal pulled the ball back for Kudus, who had continued his run into the area and thumped a first-time shot past Palace keeper Sam Johnstone.

Jarrod Bowen, back in West Ham’s attack after missing two games with a knee knock picked up on England duty, could have doubled the lead when he latched on to Nayef Aguerd’s ball over the top but his attempted lob did not beat Johnstone.

Palace went close to an equaliser before half-time when Andersen’s free-kick was deflected off the back of Edson Alvarez and looped narrowly wide with home keeper Alphonse Areola stranded.

Kudus had the ball in the net again moments after the break but Tomas Soucek was offside and interfering with play when he swung a boot at the ball.

Edouard was denied by a Ward-Prowse header underneath the crossbar as he tried to get his head on to Marc Guehi’s cross, but moments later came Mavropanos’ brain fade.

The former Arsenal defender, only in the team as Kurt Zouma was missing due to a family issue, sent a no-look back-pass straight into the path of Edouard.

The French striker could not believe his luck as he strolled forward, evaded Alvarez’s last-ditch tackle and fired low into the bottom corner.

Bowen could have won it in stoppage time, and continued West Ham’s recent run of last-gasp winners, but planted his header straight at Johnstone.