Jose Mourinho sent clear Liverpool message as Virgil van Dijk anticipates move

Jose Mourinho looks on from the stands during the Premier League match between Fulham and Liverpool at Craven Cottage on April 21 2024
Jose Mourinho looks on from the stands during the Premier League match between Fulham and Liverpool at Craven Cottage on April 21 2024 -Credit:Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Liverpool dragged their Premier League title challenge back on track with an impressive victory over Fulham on Sunday.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's brilliant free-kick and second-half goals from Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota earned the Reds a 3-1 triumph. The result means Jurgen Klopp’s men are now behind leaders Arsenal on goal difference with Manchester City a point adrift with a game in hand.

But there was plenty that went unnoticed or under the radar during the 90 minutes at Craven Cottage.

READ MORE: What Jurgen Klopp did after Fulham win as Liverpool boss faces unthinkable Mohamed Salah question

READ MORE: Cody Gakpo's 'difficulty' at Liverpool explained as Ryan Gravenberch impresses team-mates

Van Dijk the prophet

As one of the world's finest centre-backs, Virgil van Dijk's game is based on anticipating danger. But the Liverpool skipper has also long had a reputation for being able to envision what's happening at the other end of the pitch.

When the Reds are on the attack, Van Dijk can occasionally be spotted in back play with his arms outstretched celebrating a goal before it has even struck the back of the net.

But even the Dutchman's prophetic prowess was working overtime given how he was celebrating Gravenberch's goal before his compatriot had even lined up the shot. Any chance of this week's lottery numbers, Virg?

Mourinho's hard no

There was significant intrigue over the sighting of Jose Mourinho at Craven Cottage, not least with the Portuguese manager currently out of work having been sacked by Roma earlier this year.

That Mourinho lives local to the area and was just taking in a Premier League match didn't stop him being instantly linked with the soon-to-be vacant role of Reds boss.

But the reaction on social media from Liverpool supporters suggests they would very much rather the former Chelsea and Manchester United remained in the stands rather than take up a job in the dugout for the Reds. No way, Jose.

Harvey class

Harvey Elliott may have only been 16 when he left Fulham almost five years ago, but that hasn't stopped him becoming a target of the boo boys whenever he returns to his former club.

And some home supporters were at it again with Elliott being jeered at every touch, although the one to set up Gravenberch's goal did ultimately silence them.

Elliott, though, showed there were no hard feelings by saluting the Fulham fans after the match and handing over his jersey to one of the locals. A classy gesture.

United disappointment

Even Liverpool fans would be the first to admit Craven Cottage didn't see the most memorable game in London on Sunday, as Manchester United somehow managed to both lose and win their FA Cup semi-final against Championship side Coventry City.

And when Coventry went ahead in the last minute of extra time, the away end couldn't resist bursting into a song that reminded all of what they regard is the main constituent of Manchester, before the misery-guts VAR chalked off the strike.

Meanwhile, Andy Robertson was unwittingly injured when poked in the eye by substitute Curtis Jones during the celebration of Alexander-Arnold's opener. "Still can't see" joked the left-back when later posting an image post-match with his team-mate.