Liverpool go back to the top after James Milner converts late penalty at Fulham

There was a brief period here where doubt might have crept into Liverpool’s challenge, just as hope simultaneously flared in distant Manchester. Jürgen Klopp’s team had been so utterly dominant, albeit without ever threatening to run away with this contest, so to ship such a sloppy equaliser 16 minutes from time, surrendering to defensive indecision for the first time all afternoon, felt critical. As it was, their ability to recover from that setback in what time remained will merely serve to reinforce belief that the title will be theirs.

It would take a slip from Sergio Rico, first in failing to hold Mohamed Salah’s relatively tame shot and then, as panic gripped, wrapping his arm around Sadio Mané as he sought to reach the rebound, to hand Liverpool their lifeline nine minutes from time. The forward’s dramatic tumble made sure the referee, Craig Pawson, could not miss the offence and James Milner, unflustered, thumped in the resultant spot-kick. Klopp’s team go into the international break with a two-point advantage from Manchester City at the top. The initiative, for now, is theirs.

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