Sadio Mane reached the 20-goal mark for the second successive season on Sunday - and you can watch his 2018-19 haul so far in our free LFCTV GO video.
The Liverpool No.10 dispatched a crisp finish beyond Sergio Rico, having completed a one-two with Roberto Firmino, as the Reds saw off Fulham 2-1.
It was the latest contribution of an outstanding campaign for the Senegal forward, who is now level with Mohamed Salah in the LFC scoring chart.
Take a look at all 20 Mane has netted to date this season in the compilation above.
Virgil van Dijk feels it is only a matter of time before Mohamed Salah is back among the goals.
Sunday’s 2-1 victory at Fulham represented the seventh successive Liverpool game in which Salah has not scored but, despite that run, the forward’s record this season still reads an impressive 20 goals in 41 appearances across all competitions.
Such has been the Egyptian’s phenomenal impact since his arrival at Anfield in the summer of 2017, he stands on the brink of becoming the quickest player in the club’s history to reach 50 Premier League strikes.
Salah’s 49 in the top flight have come in only 67 appearances - five fewer than it took current record-holder Fernando Torres to hit his half-century.
And, speaking after the win at Craven Cottage that took the Reds back to the top of the Premier League, Van Dijk said his teammate’s recent lack of goals is no cause for concern.
“Mo is a world-class player,” the centre-back told Liverpoolfc.com.
“People can say all they want but I think all the teams in the Premier League would love to have him in their side. We have him and I think he is playing well.
“The goals will come. That’s something for a striker that is maybe going to be in your head but we tell him every time: you just need to keep working, keep going and you will be fine.
“He’s still scored plenty of goals for us, to be fair, so it’s not like two like me! It is like this.”
Paul Glatzel reflected on an Anfield debut to savour after his double led Liverpool into the final of the FA Youth Cup.
Young Reds captain Glatzel scored twice in the opening 25 minutes of his maiden appearance at the first-team stadium to earn a 2-1 last-four win over Watford on Sunday.
A final against either Manchester City or West Bromwich Albion now awaits Glatzel and co, who are seeking to become the first Liverpool side since 2007 to lift the Youth Cup.
And the Liverpool-born striker, who has now scored 28 times in all competitions this season, spoke of the pride felt by Barry Lewtas’ squad following their victory.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. We’ve come here trying to get to the next round and we wanted to put in a performance for ourselves that we can be proud of and I think we have done that,” Glatzel told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We played well and got the result, which is the main thing, and we have the Youth Cup final to look forward to.
“We have all looked forward to it [playing at Anfield] for a long time now. The day has come, and everybody has performed and that’s what we needed to do. We are all proud.”
On his match-winning brace at the Kop end, Glatzel continued: “It’s a great feeling. I mean, you dream of it.
“Obviously, it’s not quite what you dream of because it’s not quite full yet. But it was a great feeling to score in front of the Kop and to do it twice is a good feeling.
“But it’s all about the team and we got the win. We can look forward to the final now.”
Liverpool’s hopes of winning a treble of U18 Premier League North, the Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League were dashed by last week’s penalty shootout elimination to Dinamo Zagreb in the latter competition.
That defeat in Croatia, Glatzel explained, provided Lewtas’ players with an added incentive to overcome Watford.
“We want to do well in every competition,” he said.
“Obviously, we didn’t quite make it in the Youth League - going out on pens, which is disappointing - but the boys have bounced back.
“We had to go again, and we have. It’s a great feeling.”
Liverpool booked their place in the FA Youth Cup final after a 2-1 win over Watford in the semi-final at Anfield on Sunday - watch the highlights via LFCTV GO now.
Paul Glatzel had a debut to remember in front of the Kop as he netted twice to take his tally to 28 goals for the season in all competitions.
Barry Lewtas' side will now face either Manchester City or West Bromwich Albion in the final.
LFCTV GO subscribers can watch the best of the semi-final action above. Need to sign up? Click here to do so.
Sadio Mane continued his outstanding individual form with a 20th goal of the season in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Fulham.
The No.10 put Liverpool on course for three points with a clinical first-half strike, completing a one-two with Roberto Firmino and dispatching into the net.
In finding the target once again, Mane set a Premier League record, reached a Reds milestone and bolstered his chances of topping several scoring charts.
Here’s a closer look at his stunning recent run…
49 – per cent shooting accuracy in the Premier League this season, with 34 of his 69 efforts so far on target
40 – league goals for the Reds was the landmark Mane reached when he fired a finish beyond Sergio Rico at Craven Cottage
20 – goals is the No.10’s total this term to date, equal to his haul for the entirety of last season and level with Mohamed Salah as Liverpool’s top scorer in 2018-19
17 – Mane has set a new record for goals in a single Premier League season by a Senegalese player, with his 17th of the campaign on Sunday beating Demba Ba’s previous benchmark of 16 in 2011-12
11 – goals scored in his last 11 appearances for the Reds, including braces against Watford, Burnley and Bayern Munich
9 – Premier League goals scored by Mane in 2019 so far, a tally matched only by Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero
8 – times he has found the net when the score has been level in Premier League fixtures this season
7 – away goals in the European Cup/Champions League, following his double at the Allianz Arena, is a club record
0.59 – goals per match is Sadio’s average in the Premier League this season (17 in 29 appearances)
Liverpool went back on top of the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Fulham on Sunday.
After Sadio Mane's opener was cancelled out by ex-Red Ryan Babel, James Milner slotted home a penalty to give the visitors another vital victory.
Here is what the media made of the match...
James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
It just wouldn't be a Liverpool title challenge without some late drama at Craven Cottage. A decade ago it was Yossi Benayoun who sent the travelling Kop into raptures. Back in 2014, the abiding memory next to the banks of the River Thames was Steven Gerrard swirling his shirt above his head in delight after converting a last-gasp winner from the penalty spot. This time substitute Milner was the hero as the vice-captain was engulfed by his team-mates after slotting home the decisive spot-kick. Having been minutes away from a highly damaging setback, the Reds pulled it out of the fire. The powers of recovery Klopp has instilled in this team came to the fore once again. Shoulders didn't hunch, they dusted themselves off and went again. Their two-pronged assault on the two biggest prizes in club football remains on track.
Neil Jones, Goal.com
If Milner was the match-winner, it was another 'M' who lit up the gloomy West London sky. He's the most softly-spoken member of the Liverpool dressing room, but there's nothing quiet about Mane right now. The Senegal star is the Reds' form player, and his hot streak continued here. His first-half strike set Liverpool on their way, and it was he who won the penalty from which Milner struck the decisive blow. Mane's run of form, meanwhile, is well-timed. His goal here was his 20th of the campaign, matching his tally for the whole of last season, and his 17th in the league. He's now level with Salah on both counts. He has 11 in his last 11 appearances. Mane's magic was exactly what Liverpool needed.
David Lynch, Evening Standard
If ever there was any doubt, today proved it: there aren't many players in the Premier League as mentally strong as James Milner. How easy it would have been for the Reds vice-captain to retreat into his shell after teeing up a Fulham equaliser with his very first touch after coming on. But when the chance to win the game came just minutes later, Milner stepped up to pass the ball in and collect all three points for his side. It was the perfect way to make amends for his mistake and said everything about the Englishman's character.
Jonathan Liew, The Independent
Milner's penalty nine minutes from time set Liverpool back on course, and back on top. They may have played a game more than City, but keeping up the pressure is all they can do for now. If they keep winning - and with games against Tottenham and Chelsea coming up, that's naturally no guarantee - then City may be in the position of having to go to Old Trafford on Wednesday April 24 needing a win to get back on top. This isn't over, whatever anyone else may try and tell you. Once again, Liverpool had proven themselves a team for all seasons.
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool have made contact with Benfica over a potential world-record move for Francisco Reis Ferreira, according to reports in Portugal.
The 21-year-old centre-back, commonly known as Ferro, made his first-team debut for Benfica in a 10-0 thumping of Nacional last month and has been a mainstay in Bruno Lage’s team ever since.
Ferro is regarded as one of the most promising talents to emerge from Benfica’s youth system in a number of years and the club are aware of growing interest from around Europe for the defender.
Record suggests that Liverpool have been keen on Ferro for some time and Jurgen Klopp’s side have approached Benfica with a view to signing the promising Portugal U21 international.
However, the report claims that Liverpool’s advances for Ferro have been rejected by Benfica – just as they were two years ago.
Back in 2017, the Merseyside giants made an offer to take Ferro on loan with an option to buy the central defender for £10million.
Ferro signed a new deal with Benfica at the beginning of March and the club inserted a €100m (£85m) release clause in the defender’s contract.
The youngster is now tied to Benfica until the summer of 2023.
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Barry Lewtas declared himself a happy manager after seeing his Liverpool U18s side reach the FA Youth Cup final with a 2-1 victory over Watford at Anfield.
On a day when six of his team stepped out in front of the Kop for the first time, the young Reds were full value for their semi-final success.
Captain Paul Glatzel netted twice, taking his tally to eight goals in the competition this season so far, and despite the Hornets pulling a late goal back, the hosts held on for the win.
Read on for Lewtas' thoughts on his side's display and enjoying the Anfield experience…
On the overall performance…
I thought we played really well. We scored two goals and probably could have scored more. We made life a little bit hard for ourselves at the end, but I think it was a fair result. I thought we were well worthy of it.
On the amount of chances his side created during the 90 minutes…
That was down to good play. They are a good team. They have beaten some really good teams along the way. I thought some of our forward play, the way we passed it and the way we played, I thought we were excellent. That's probably the one criticism: that we didn't finish the game off at 2-0. But we are through and we have got a final to look forward to.
On his team enjoying their first taste of Anfield, with six playing in front of the Kop for the first time…
It was a fantastic day. We said in the last round, before it, that we were so excited to play here. Obviously, a big pitch, fantastic surface. We said we have got to back it up and I think we did the way we passed the ball - I thought we were excellent.
On the progress of his side this season and reaching the club's first FA Youth Cup final since 2009…
It's part of their development, to be in a final and everything that comes with a final: preparation, the game day, the game itself, dealing with what goes on after finals as well. It's another part of their development and we are really looking forward to it.
On the other semi-final, with Manchester City facing West Bromwich Albion…
Whoever we are going to play is going to be a good team. So, we are going to be up against a top team, good opposition, somewhere nice to play. We are excited to be there, but we will prepare properly for whoever we play, and we will be ready.
The reaction in the away end upon the full-time whistle at Fulham was felt just as strongly by Andy Robertson and his Liverpool teammates.
Its confirmation of three crucial Premier League points for the Reds came at the end of a week in which Jürgen Klopp’s side had not only strengthened their resolve in the title race but also eliminated Bayern Munich from the Champions League.
They had to dig deep to ensure a positive conclusion to the run of fixtures, however, after a defensive mix-up had allowed Ryan Babel to cancel out Sadio Mane’s clinical first-half breakthrough.
But Liverpool found a way; Mane was fouled inside the box on 80 minutes and substitute James Milner held his nerve to successfully lift a penalty into the middle of the goal for a 2-1 win.
“It was massive for us. It would have been a bit gutting had we not got the three points, if I’m honest,” Robertson told Liverpoolfc.com post-match at Craven Cottage.
“The first half, we dominated them and even in the second half we were very much in control up until the unexpected mistake.
“But these things happen and it’s all about how we bounce back and we had chances before that. Luckily, we got the penalty and Millie put it away.”
The left-back continued: “It gets to this point in the season where people are fighting for their lives from relegation and that’s so tough, and people are fighting for European spots and positions and trying to get in the top 10 and stuff.
“It’s very rare that teams aren’t playing for anything at this time of the season so people start fighting and giving it their all. Luckily, we had enough in the tank.
“[It was] a massive week for us. Obviously beating Burnley at home was difficult, as they are in a similar position to what Fulham are in, and we fell behind there.
“Bayern speaks for itself and then it was all about trying to get our legs ready and go again and go flying into the international break top of the league – and luckily enough we have done that.”
Milner, a second-half substitute, made a point of being honest about his role in the chain of events that led to Fulham levelling the score.
It was from the midfielder’s skewed clearance that Virgil van Dijk, pushed towards his own goal, subsequently sent a header short of Alisson Becker and Babel pounced to net.
But Milner made amends in the coolest way possible when he took responsibility of the decisive spot-kick for Liverpool and delicately chipped it straight in.
“[He is] the most experienced guy in our dressing room and he’s already got the trophy we are all fighting for because he’s already won it,” said Robertson.
“His experience is crucial for us and he practises them every day; when he steps up, he’s confident and put it down the middle and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way.
“Fair play to him, we all had belief in him and that was enough for us.”
Mane’s opening goal in the encounter, a stylish finish powered in after a one-two with Roberto Firmino, was the forward’s 11th strike in his last 11 games and 20th overall this season.
With seven Premier League fixtures remaining and more Champions League football to come next month, Robertson is hoping his teammate can maintain such outstanding form.
“He could have had a few more actually but the goal he scored just shows you how confident he is just now,” the No.26 said of Mane.
“He’s scoring for fun at the moment but long may that continue – that he keeps scoring and all of us can pitch in as well and we have a good run-in. We have seven games left now and we look forward to it.”
Virgil van Dijk held his hands up after making a rare, yet ultimately incidental, error during Liverpool’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Fulham.
The No.4 has been practically flawless throughout 2018-19, but played an unwitting part in Ryan Babel’s goal at Craven Cottage, which drew the home team level in the 76th minute.
A breakdown in communication between Van Dijk and Alisson Becker enabled the centre-back’s fellow Dutchman to nip in and score against his former club.
The man who would end up the Reds’ match-winner, James Milner, shouldered partial responsibility for the concession after the game, with Van Dijk doing the same.
“It’s one of those situations where you try to head it back. The ball was a little too short and it was a difficult ball to get, and Ryan was good to intercept the ball and score the goal,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It gave them some belief but obviously that happens sometimes in games. Mistakes are a part of football, you have to take it and I will as well.”
A victory that lifts Liverpool back above Manchester City at the top of the Premier League was earned by Milner’s ice-cool, 81st-minute penalty.
However, Van Dijk believes the visitors should have had the three points sewn up earlier.
“I think in the first half we could have maybe killed the game and scored a second goal and make it a little bit easier,” he said.
“In the second half they obviously had belief and they could play freely as they have nothing really to lose. I think we made it pretty difficult for ourselves with the goal we conceded obviously, but in the end we got the three points and that’s what matters.”
The Reds now sit two points clear of City, who have a game in hand, domestically and have a Champions League quarter-final against FC Porto on the horizon following their impressive victory over Bayern Munich in midweek.
On his side’s prospects heading into the final weeks of the season, Van Dijk continued: “[It’s] not bad, no. The media makes it sound even negative sometimes!
“It’s a fantastic position that we are in and we have to enjoy it but you know we want to go all the way. It’s going to be tough because Manchester City are fantastic and the Champions League is very tough like we know, so we’ll see. We will take it game by game.”
Jürgen Klopp described Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Fulham as ‘an average game, a sensational result’ after his side returned to the summit of the Premier League.
James Milner kept his nerve to strike home a penalty with nine minutes of normal time remaining at Craven Cottage to ensure the Reds moved back to the top of the table, two points clear of Manchester City having played a game more.
The Reds had opened the scoring midway through the first half as Sadio Mane slammed in his 20th goal of the season; however, Ryan Babel levelled on 74 minutes when he netted against his former club following misjudgement between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
Read on for a summary of Klopp’s post-match press conference…
On the game and Liverpool’s performance...
We started better and then we lost the rhythm a little bit because of two things. Fulham are a really good football-playing side; I saw the last two games, and over the season I saw a few more, but I had to watch the last two games more intensely. They are a really good football-playing team, in the moment without getting really dangerous in front of goal. It means they play around and we have to run a lot, in a week where you played on Wednesday. For us, it would be easier if we’d had more chances to win the ball; you cannot win the ball because they just play around, you have to only close the gaps until they make a mistake or you win the ball one time. It’s a strange one, it’s so different to the two games we played in the week, Burnley, Munich and now Fulham. They were three nearly different kind of sports.
That cost us a bit of rhythm. We scored a wonderful goal and we could have had more of these situations, we were still dominant. But when they had the ball we had to work a lot. Second half, I thought we were a bit clearer in the situation and had better chances in the box, we immediately started better. That’s all OK, it’s a normal game against a good football team. We could have scored one or two more before Fulham. We let them back a bit into the game, with counter-attacks and passing the wrong ball. It’s just the intensity of the competition, it’s nothing to do with nerves. Trent passed the ball into the middle, they get the ball, pass only one time and then Babel is against one or two [defenders]. These situations hurt, but it’s normal.
The goal they scored, I thought a little bit we begged for it – there were two or three moments where we asked for it. There were two or three moments not exactly like that but they had their best moments in that period of the game – and then finally they scored. But then I actually saw the reaction of my players and I’m really pleased with that. It was a good reaction. After they got the equaliser, we were again much clearer than we were before the equaliser. So, all good, a good reaction. Not a perfect football game but, in a difficult week for us, a sensational result.
On Milner taking the penalty…
Mo scored a lot of goals and then he got the penalties as well, but when Millie is on the pitch I think it makes sense – wonderful. Doubts, no, but even Millie is a human being and you can fail. Very, very good.
On the character his team showed to respond after the equaliser…
Football is sometimes like this; now we got a penalty and we say we didn’t panic. I didn’t see us panic, that’s right – I liked how we reacted – but we needed a penalty for that situation. That doesn’t say we were sensational, the boys are human beings. I was sure we would not panic, we would not show the nerves you are all waiting for. We are long enough in this situation. We know it’s difficult for other teams to beat us, that always gives us the opportunity pretty much to win it. Most of the draws we had, we were closer to winning the game. That gives us confidence, that we know another chance will come – go for it and do the right things. We didn’t do the right things before; five or 10 minutes before the equaliser we had so many little mistakes that made it a wild game. We controlled the game completely and then we gave Fulham the ball, the crowd came and it was a bit more exciting again. We had a very intense week, going to Munich and coming back, travelling to London is not around the corner for us. So I’m completely fine – average game, sensational result.
On being top going into the international break…
It’s the best position you can be in. For us, it was clear – it is always clear – City don’t look like they’ll drop a lot of points, so we have to win and to win and to win. That’s our job to do. They don’t play today, we knew that, but now they have a game in hand. That doesn’t mean we are now far away from them or something like this. It is very important that we won today; I think you could see it in our reaction after the game, we are really all very, very happy about it. The most important thing now is they all come back healthy again. For quite a lot of players they will come up against quite an intense time, two games for most of them and then we start immediately against Tottenham. An interesting game against a really good football team. Nothing is decided, all we can make sure is we stay in the race – and we want to stay in the race. Today we showed that, so all good.
On whether Fulham could take confidence from their performance today into their next game with Man City…
It’s after the international break. I don’t know exactly how many international players Fulham have that will have to go, but City have a lot, I’m pretty sure, so that’s then always a different game. Fulham play good football. The next step for them, Scott [Parker] will do it by himself, but it is to create something and [create] chances or whatever. It didn’t feel that we were properly under threat even when they had the ball, to be 100 per cent honest, but a lot of things are really good. This is my second game against Fulham – my first game at Fulham – it’s kind of the DNA of the club, I know how they got promoted last year and they’re really a football-playing side. There is so much potential here. What I liked today is they looked quite calm, they’ve kind of accepted a situation and now come on, let’s play football again. They worked so hard for it, a few more years so hard for it, to get into the Premier League. Now maybe it looks like next year they will not be there, but ‘now let’s enjoy it still’ – and that’s how it was. [It was] difficult to play against them, I have to say, really difficult.
On whether Jordan Henderson will be back after the international break…
It’s Hendo. Hendo will go to the national team; two or three days at Melwood to do the rehab, but it looks positive. I think he is in contact with Gareth [Southgate] so when he can train in that moment, he will go to the national team. If he plays, Gareth will decide then, but it’s really positive. He was still not able to play today but it was not that serious – and now, in three or four days, he should be fine.
A nerveless late penalty by James Milner secured a vital 2-1 win for Liverpool at Fulham on Sunday.
Sadio Mane’s superb opener midway through the first half put the visitors in charge, but former Reds forward Ryan Babel levelled against the run of play with 76 minutes on the clock.
However, all three points were sealed five minutes later when substitute Milner stepped up to convert in front of an elated away end after Mane had been fouled in the area.
Here are five talking points to emerge from a dramatic afternoon at Craven Cottage…
Liverpool will spend the international break at the summit of the Premier League.
Top spot was reclaimed from Manchester City with Sunday’s victory, and the Reds now sit two points clear - albeit having played one game more than Pep Guardiola’s team - as the season edges towards its conclusion.
Next up: Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield in a fortnight’s time.
With 11 goals in his last 11 appearances, it’s fair to say Mane is a man in form.
And, just four days on from his breath-taking brace at the Allianz Arena, Liverpool’s No.10 was at it again at Craven Cottage.
Slick, quick link-up with Roberto Firmino afforded Mane the chance to extend his rich vein of goalscoring form 26 minutes in - and it was no surprise whatsoever when he fired past Sergio Rico with unerring certainty.
That strike took the Senegalese to 20 for the season in all competitions - equalling his total for the entirety of 2017-18 - and means he now sits just one goal adrift of current Premier League Golden Boot front-runner Sergio Aguero, who has 18 to his name.
Liverpool still have seven Premier League games left to play this term - and they have already topped their points total for the whole of last season (75).
Their 31 top-flight matches to date in 2018-19 have yielded 23 wins, seven draws and just the one defeat.
And that the Reds’ current tally of 76 points has only been bettered four times by the club in the 28-campaign Premier League era is testament to the remarkable relentlessness of Klopp’s current vintage.
Late goal specialists
Eighteen of Liverpool’s 70 Premier League goals have now been scored in the final 15 minutes of games this season - more than any other team in the division.
In terms of significance, though, Milner’s ice-cool, 81st-minute spot-kick is right up there with the most important.
There were echoes of Steven Gerrard in 2013-14 as the No.7 stepped up in front of the visiting fans at Craven Cottage - same end, same outcome, same wild celebrations in the away end.
Milner has now scored 13 of the last 14 Premier League penalties he has taken, by the way. Not bad.
Seventeen Premier League starts, zero defeats.
Fabinho has now been on the winning side on 13 occasions when he’s been named in Liverpool’s XI in the top flight, with the other four matches ending in draws.
The Brazil international once again stamped his authority on proceedings in west London, with only Andy Robertson making more passes for the Reds than his 75.
Some 89.3 per cent of Fabinho’s passes were accurate too, putting him second behind Virgil van Dijk in the list of Liverpool players who started the match, while Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were the only two players to have more touches than his total of 84.
James Milner's penalty kept Liverpool's Premier League title challenge on track with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Fulham on Sunday afternoon.
The vice-captain calmly converted a spot-kick nine minutes from time after a foul on Sadio Mane, whose first-half goal was cancelled out when former Reds forward Ryan Babel pounced on a defensive mix-up.
It meant Jürgen Klopp’s side moved back to the top of the table, two points clear of Manchester City having played one match more than the reigning champions.
Klopp made two changes to the XI that started in Munich in midweek, with Fabinho and Adam Lallana selected to replace Jordan Henderson, who missed out due to injury, and Milner.
Liverpool quickly established control of possession at Craven Cottage and Mohamed Salah’s eyes lit up when, just four minutes in, Lallana’s lofted pass over the defence was nudged into his path.
On this occasion, though, the Egyptian could only skew a shot wide of the target from the six-yard box.
Jean Michael Seri dispatched a curler from left to right too high to concern Alisson Becker at the other end, but it was a fleeting glimpse for the home side as the visitors dominated.
Andy Robertson might have done better than find the goalkeeper with a low cross after his sprint into space along the left was picked out by Joel Matip – a tactic consistently employed by Klopp’s men – and Trent Alexander-Arnold swept in a fine delivery from the other flank that evaded his teammates.
A more intricate move generated the breakthrough for Liverpool on 26 minutes.
Mane got it, having released Roberto Firmino into freedom in the left channel of the area and dashed into the middle to meet the return pass with a thudded finish beyond Sergio Rico.
The No.10 reached the 20-goal mark for the season with the emphatic conversion, equal with his tally for the entirety of the previous campaign.
Robertson saw a shot blocked from the angle after another clever give-and-go with Lallana, before Babel scampered clear of Alexander-Arnold down the left and pulled a pass back to Tom Cairney, whose strike sailed over.
And so Liverpool carried a one-goal advantage into the half-time interval.
With the weather worsening in London, the Reds continued to set the tempo in the game and Lallana’s persistence and strength in the area almost forced a second goal.
He managed to hold off a series of challenges and turn the ball to Georginio Wijnaldum; his diagonal hit across the hosts’ box was flicked towards goal by Firmino but blocked by Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
Wijnaldum headed into the stand from Robertson’s cross, with Salah perhaps better placed behind him, and Rico then thwarted Virgil van Dijk’s nod after Fabinho had hoisted a delivery to the far post.
But with the deficit only one, Fulham began to rally and had the ball in the net on 64 minutes, though Floyd Ayite was offside when he diverted a deflected shot around the reach of Alisson.
Moments later, the Liverpool goalkeeper had to get down to collect a tricky strike from the edge of the box by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, following a breakaway led at speed by Babel.
With 20 minutes remaining, Klopp sent on Milner and Divock Origi for Lallana and Firmino, and from the resumption of play Mane guided a header from Alexander-Arnold’s corner off the crossbar.
It was a pivotal piece of misfortune, because Fulham soon levelled.
Milner’s clearance towards his own goal forced Van Dijk to shepherd possession back to Alisson but his pass fell short and Babel capitalised on their hesitations to tap into an unguarded net.
The Reds had to find another way – and they did.
The clock showed 80 minutes when Salah’s latest shot was fumbled by Rico, and Mane’s urgency on the follow-up drew a clumsy foul by the home stopper and earned a penalty.
Substitute Milner took responsibility from 12 yards and deftly clipped a cool finish down the middle to snatch three more crucial points in the Premier League title race.
Liverpool FC Women fell to a 3-0 defeat away to Manchester City FC Women in the quarter-final of the SSE Women’s FA Cup on Sunday.
Georgia Stanway netted twice and Janine Beckie was also on the mark for Nick Cushing’s side.
After impressive victories over MK Dons and Millwall Lionesses in the competition, Vicky Jepson knew her team faced a difficult test against a City side who are one of the strongest teams in the Women’s Super League.
The Reds started the game brightly with the pace of the recalled Rinsola Babajide causing plenty of problems for the City backline.
Babajide came close to the opening goal on 23 minutes when she cut inside and fired an effort just wide.
Two minutes later the home side were ahead when Beckie pounced to net beyond the reach of Anke Preuss.
England stopper Karen Bardsley was then the hero for the home side when she made a superb stop to deny Babajide an equaliser.
Jepson’s side applied themselves well again in the second half but City managed to get the key second goal when Stanway made it 2-0 on 68 minutes.
Liverpool FC Women had no luck in front of goal and substitute Leandra Little went close with a glancing header that landed just wide after a superb delivery from Jemma Purfield.
To rub salt into their wounds City added a third goal three minutes from time when Stanway grabbed her second goal of the contest.
Liverpool FC Women: Preuss, Robe, Purfield, Rodgers (Hodson, 90), Fahey, Bradley-Auckland, Babajide, Coombs, Sweetman-Kirk, Murray (Little, 75), Daniels.
Paul Glatzel scored a brace in front of the Kop as Liverpool booked their place in the FA Youth Cup final with a 2-1 win over Watford at Anfield.
The young Reds' captain twice capitalised on excellent work by strike partner Bobby Duncan in the opening 25 minutes to send his side to the showpiece of the tournament for the first time since 2009.
Ryan Cassidy pulled one back late on for Watford, but Barry Lewtas' side held on and will now face either Manchester City or West Bromwich Albion, who contest the other last-four tie on Monday April 1.
Lewtas made four changes to the U19s team that was elimiated from the UEFA Youth League in midweek, with Luca Ashby-Hammond replacing injured goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros and Yasser Larouci, Leighton Clarkson and Elijah Dixon-Bonner returning after helping see off Bury in the Youth Cup quarter-final.
Kicking towards the Kop, Liverpool started well in the Merseyside sunshine as they prodded and probed Watford's defence, but it was the visitors who mustered the first shot on target when Sonny Blu Lo-Everton brought a routine save from Ashby-Hammond with a long-range effort.
But on their big day at Anfield, the young Reds responded immediately with a burst of pressure and only a last-ditch block in the box denied an early opener for the prolific Glatzel.
The skipper's first goal of the afternoon arrived soon after, though, when he was on hand to finish off from Duncan's marauding run in the 10th minute.
Liverpool's Scouse No.10 got the better of centre-back Harry Hudson as he chased a long ball and then appeared to be felled as he rounded goalkeeper Dante Baptiste.
No decision needed to be made by the referee, however, as Glatzel was there to pounce on the loose ball and finish on the slide from three yards out.
Photos: Anfield win seals Youth Cup final spot for LFC
The hosts were now exerting a measure of control and Neco Williams drew a gasp from the crowd when his long-range drive flashed wide of post.
It seemed only a matter of time before Liverpool doubled their lead - and Glatzel duly obliged with 25 minutes on the clock with his 28th goal of the season.
Midfielder Clarkson launched the attack by racing down the left flank and Jake Cain caused chaos when he rounded keeper out wide and crossed to Duncan, who saw two efforts cleared off the line before Glatzel bundled the ball into the back of the net.
Duncan staked his claim that the ball had already crossed the line before his captain made sure, but could have got his name on the scoresheet for certain minutes later when he placed a side-footed shot just the wrong side of the post.
The Hornets rallied towards the end of the half and squandered a good chance to cut the deficit moments after the break when Cassidy found space in the area but screwed his shot wide of the far post.
Once again, Liverpool found an instant response and only a point-blank save from Baptiste denied Glatzel from heading in his hat-trick goal at the end of a flowing move.
The young Reds maintained their dominance and produced a flurry of chances as the game passed the hour mark.
Yasser Larouci carried the ball to the edge of the box and passed up the opportunity to shoot to square the ball to Duncan, who curled an effort narrowly wide.
Baptiste denied Glatzel and then Duncan in a one-on-one to keep his side in the game before Larouci popped up again and this time thundered a blistering shot onto the crossbar.
More opportunities came and went for Glatzel and Duncan, but Baptiste in the Watford goal continued to make his case for Man or the Match.
Then, with ten minutes to go, the visitors got the goal their battling endeavour deserved when captain Cassidy fired into the roof of the net at the Kop end.
A few nervy minutes ensued as Baptiste pulled out yet another save, this time to deny Abdi Sharif from the angle, in the closing stages but the young Reds held firm to secure a deserved win.
Liverpool: Ashby-Hammond, N. Williams, Larouci, R. Williams, Boyes, Clarkson, Sharif, Cain, Glatzel, Duncan, Dixon-Bonner (Longstaff 70).
Unused substitutes: O'Rourke, Kelly, Ritaccio, Walls.
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Liverpool make two changes for this afternoon’s Premier League clash with Fulham.
Fabinho and Adam Lallana are named in the starting line-up at Craven Cottage, replacing James Milner and the injured Jordan Henderson.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Mignolet, Lovren, Milner, Sturridge, Moreno, Shaqiri, Origi.
We'll bring you confirmed team news from Craven Cottage first at 1.15pm GMT, but we already know a bit about the selection options available to Klopp.
Jordan Henderson is out due to the ankle problem he picked up in the midweek win in Munich, but Naby Keita could return after he missed the match at the Allianz Arena with a minor injury.
For Fulham, Andre Schurrle has missed the last four games with a virus, and Marcus Bettinelli’s knee problem has ruled him out of the previous six.
Defender Alfie Mawson, meanwhile, has not played since December because of a knee injury of his own.
Ryan Babel could face Liverpool for the first time since leaving the club this afternoon - and Georginio Wijnaldum believes the Fulham forward will pose a significant threat to the Reds’ aspirations of picking up three points.
The Netherlands international made 146 appearances and scored 22 goals for the club between 2007 and 2011.
Now 32, Babel joined Fulham in January on a short-term deal and is friends with his compatriot, Wijnaldum.
“I am really close with him,” explained Liverpool's No.5.
“We speak with each other quite often and we just speak about each other’s career. Beside that, we’re also good friends. I am happy to see him back, but unfortunately he plays for the team we are going to play against so I hope we can beat them.
“I play with him for the national team and I see how focused he is to play a good game and to score in a game.
“For the national team, he is really important for us - I think he is important for Fulham with the way he is and the way he plays, so it will be difficult to stop him.”
With Manchester City not in Premier League action this weekend, Liverpool will be aiming to move clear at the summit of the division, albeit having played a game more than their title rivals.
Fulham, meanwhile, went into the weekend occupying 19th position in the standings - but Wijnaldum insists the Reds cannot afford any complacency.
He said: “It is going to be difficult. Almost every week you will lay against a team who plays for something. We play for first in the race, to be champions, and they will play to stay in the race, to stay up.
“It’s going to be a really difficult game. They want to win against us, they want the points - and we want to win against them. It is not the case that one of the teams are playing for nothing.
“We both have to go at 100 per cent - or even more - to win the game, so it’s going to be a really tough one.”