Liverpool U21s suffered only their second defeat of the calendar year on Tuesday as divisional rivals Fulham edged a closely-fought encounter 2-1 at Craven Cottage.
The travellers started the encounter brightly and Kristoffer Peterson stung the palms of Fulham goalkeeper Max Oberschmidt after spinning on the ball and unleashing a dipping punt from the edge of the area as the clock ticked into a fourth minute.
Joao Carlos Teixeira, back on the ground where he made his senior debut for the club in February, worked the German next, latching onto a through pass by Sheyi Ojo and driving into the stopper's fists.
Between the posts for the young Reds was Lawrence Vigouroux, who is training with Alex Inglethorpe's team from Tottenham Hotspur, and he had to be alert to deny a low hit by Ange-Freddy Plumain midway through the half.
The 'keeper then provided evidence of his reflexes with a fingertip over the crossbar from Lyle Della Verde's volley; the wide-man then set up Josh Passley, supporting on the right, but the full-back's strike carried wide to the left.
And the hosts' pressure told in the 33rd minute from the right foot of Plumain - the striker latched onto an incisive assist by Chris David and powered a finish underneath Vigouroux to open the scoring.
Inglethorpe's charges mounted a series of attacks when the action resumed for the second half - with Jordan Rossiter, who recently signed his first professional deal at Liverpool, a particularly prominent force from midfield.
A smart dink forward by Cameron Brannagan created an opportunity for Peterson, running into freedom, but the attacker's blast from the left channel was dealt with by Oberschmidt.
But their challenge was ended with eight minutes remaining in West London. Lasse Christensen drifted in from the right flank and, as a chance to shoot presented itself, calmly side-footed low into the corner to seal the victory for Fulham.
Jack Dunn successfully converted a spot-kick in the fourth minute of added time, after Rossiter had been felled inside the Cottagers' area, but it was a mere consolation as the referee ended the clash almost immediately.
Liverpool team: Vigouroux, Williams, Smith, Paez, Jones, Rossiter, Brannagan, Dunn, Ojo (Randall), Peterson, Teixeira (Maguire (Kent)). Unused substitutes: Fulton, Baio.