Jose Enrique played for an hour Liverpool U21s missed out on the chance to go top of the Barclays U21 Premier League after a 2-1 loss to Fulham at Chester on Tuesday.

Michael Beale's side began strongly, pinning Fulham back in their half and putting in a number of dangerous crosses in the opening 20 minutes. Ryan McLaughlin on the right particularly troubled the Fulham defence, creating chances for Jerome Sinclair and Alex O'Hanlon with his willing running.

However, after 29 minutes, it was down the Liverpool left that the breakthrough came. Enrique, who was in the side to gain fitness ahead of a first-team return, played a cute through ball to O'Hanlon which the Fulham defence couldn't cut out. The midfielder's finish was impressively clinical.

But Fulham, who had offered little before O'Hanlon's goal, seemed to be spurred into life by it.

After Liverpool committed too many players forward, Fulham winger Moussa Dembele finished off a swift break on 33 minutes.

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The hosts had been shocked out of their rhythm and were punished again just minutes later by Adetayo Edun, who smashed a left-footed shot past Vigouroux. The half ended with the Reds frustrated as Fulham looked confident.

The second period started in a similar fashion, as the young home team struggled to string their passes together and Fulham's counter-attacking threatened.

Liverpool weren't about to allow an opportunity to top the league slip by that easily, however, and as the half wore on began to look more likely. Fulham 'keeper Rodak though was in inspired form, stopping efforts from O'Hanlon, as well as substitutes Ryan Kent and Samed Yesil.

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Meanwhile, at the other end, a Joshua Smile effort for Fulham which struck the bar served as a reminder that visitors still possessed an attacking threat.

Captain Cameron Brannagan's frustrations in many ways summed up the Reds performance, as he saw one effort slip wide, before again coming up against the inspired Rodak in stoppage-time.

Liverpool U21s: Vigouroux, Randall, Enrique (Yesil), Cleary, Maguire, Chirivella, McLaughlin (Kent), O'Hanlon, Sinclair, Brannagan, Canos. Subs: Trickett-Smith, Firth, Kent, Pelosi