Aleksandar Mitrovic proves he is prepared for the Premier League with beautiful two-goal efficiency towards Liverpool – after tormenting each Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold
- Liverpool got here from behind to rescue a 2-2 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage
- Aleksandr Mitrovic produced a surprising efficiency as he scored twice
- Darwin Nunez scored on his Premier League debut for Jurgen Klopp’s facet
- Mo Salah scored late to tug Liverpool degree and safe a league level for his facet
With simply 47 seconds on the clock, you puzzled whether or not previous habits have been going to die laborious. Trent Alexander-Arnold had carelessly conceded possession and handed the chance for Aleksandar Mitrovic to scuttle ahead.
Mitrovic was Fulham‘s ‘killer’ – an outline given to him by captain Tom Cairney – within the Championship, with 43 targets of their title-winning marketing campaign.
It might do his team-mates a disservice to name him a one-man band however, with out him, there prospects of enjoying within the Premier League would have been horribly diminished.
Aleksandar Mitrović got here out on prime in his battle with Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk
Fulham’s Serbian towers over Trent Alexander-Arnold to open the scoring towards Liverpool
The Premier League, nonetheless, has been a problem for the Serbian. The final time he was right here with Fulham, he managed three targets in 27 appearances.
It had been higher in 2018-19, with a tally of 11 in 37 video games, however not sufficient to recommend he was going to be a nuisance for prime defenders.
So in that first minute, as he charged in the direction of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, you puzzled what would occur – a dead-eyed end or ammunition for many who need to name him ‘jigsaw’, in that he falls aside in a field? A scuffed toe-poke broad steered the latter.
Maybe it was nerves. Within the opening half-hour, he had not given Virgil van Dijk or Joel Matip any indication that they might be taken out of their consolation zone; an opportunity was spurned within the twenty fourth minute, a horrible move out broad within the twenty eighth minute took the sting out of 1 counterattack.
Darwin Nunez scores to tug one again for Liverpool with a tidy end within the sixty fourth minute
Nunez began on the bench however got here on at half time to attain on his Premier League debut
Most obvious of all was his failure to attach with a peach of a cross from the terrific Neeskens Kebano, whose ball had whistled into the six-yard space and demanded a end be utilized.
Mitrovic grimaced as the possibility got here and went. His supervisor Marco Silva seemed to the sky in despair.
A case of déjà vu once more? Not a little bit of it. It was as if that final second flicked a swap for within the subsequent assault, it felt like everybody in Craven Cottage was singing ‘Mitro’s On Hearth!’ after he arrived on the again put up to energy in one other excellent ball from Fulham’s proper, this one delivered by Joao Palhina.
On a day when few had given Fulham a lot likelihood, right here was an exhilarating change of path.
From right here, you could possibly see him visibly fill with confidence and the influence it had on his workforce was profound – they did not play with any sense of being Liverpool’s inferior and went toe-to-toe.
No one epitomised this strategy greater than Mitrovic, who went up a gear within the second interval.
An indication of how a lot he was having fun with issues got here within the 56th minute when he bounced off Jordan Henderson after which turned van Dijk earlier than setting his workforce away once more.
Mo Salah scored 10 minutes from time to rescue Liverpool a degree of their league opener
It appears churlish to be questioning a participant whose aim report at worldwide is 46 in 74 video games however sceptics needed to see proof that there can be no famine for the 27-year-old, whom Fulham boss Silva as soon as needed to signal for Everton.
Seeing him battling with van Dijk and changing into a focus for Kebano to run off could have given everybody at his membership perception that he could be their talisman and show those that anticipate they are going to be relegated in Could incorrect.
Each level and each aim will probably be important and Mitrovic’s penalty – awarded after VAR felt van Dijk had tripped him within the 72nd minute – was expertly dispatched.
For a brief interval, it appeared like he can be the match winner however Mohamed Salah had different concepts.
A disgrace for Mitrovic, then, however this means there will probably be even higher days to return.
This must be the Launchpad for a season wherein he’s talked of when it comes to being prolific, not profligate.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was compelled into making adjustments at half-time together with his workforce behind