Steven Gerrard scored a last-gasp penalty as Liverpool moved to within four points of the Premier League summit after a dramatic win at Fulham.

Kolo Toure's own goal gave the Cottagers a surprise lead before Daniel Sturridge levelled following Gerrard's delightful pass.

Kieran Richardson capitalised on poor defending by Martin Skrtel to restore bottom-of-the table Fulham's advantage.

But Philippe Coutinho equalised from 20 yards before Gerrard's penalty.

Rodgers praises 'peerless' Gerrard

The spot-kick was awarded by referee Phil Dowd after Sascha Riether's clumsy stoppage-time challenge on Sturridge.

Gerrard's calm conversion gave Liverpool a fifth league win of the calendar year and ensures they remain in the mix for the title after an unbeaten start to 2014.

Yet this was anything but easy for the Reds as Fulham twice took the lead before crumbling in the closing stages.

In a reversal of Saturday's 5-1 victory over Arsenal, in which they were 2-0 up in the opening 10 minutes, Liverpool found themselves behind for the first time in an away match this year after Toure's early error.

The 32-year-old, standing on the edge of the six-yard area, horribly sliced Richardson's innocuous low cross beyond Simon Mignolet with just eight minutes played.

Toure's chaotic start to the match continued moments later when he flattened referee Dowd by running into him.

Fulham's previous two home league games had ended in 3-0 and 4-1 defeats at the hands of Southampton and Sunderland respectively.

But the Cottagers, thanks to the infectious enthusiasm of midfielder Lewis Holtby, carried on from where they left off in their 2-2 draw against Manchester United on Sunday as they rattled their opponents.

Phil Dowd

Referee Phil Dowd was knocked to the floor in a collision with Liverpool defender Kolo Toure

Even before Toure's calamitous mistake, midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe had gone close after catching Liverpool's defence napping in the opening minute.

Indeed, in the opening half, Brendan Rodgers's side were a shadow of the one that had destroyed the Gunners a few days earlier. Even captain Gerrard was guilty of gifting the hosts possession.

With the Reds struggling to find any sort of rhythm, Darren Bent, back in Fulham's starting line-up following his last-gasp heroics at Old Trafford, spurned a glorious chance to double the lead from Richardson's tempting 32nd-minute cross.

Liverpool's key remaining games

16 March: A v Manchester United.

30 March: H v Tottenham.

12 April: H v Manchester City.

26 April: H v Chelsea.

And nine minutes later the Reds were level. Gerrard's delightful pass with the outside of his right boot sliced the home defence wide open and Sturridge kept his composure to score in off the post.

In an entertaining game, Luis Suarez was denied by the woodwork moments before Richardson put the hosts back in front from close range after a poor attempted clearance from Skrtel in the 63rd minute.

However, Fulham conceded their 57th top-flight goal of the season when Coutinho drilled home from just outside the area.

Soon after Fulham lost keeper Maarten Stekelenburg to injury before Gerrard's late heroics left Liverpool's travelling support in raptures - and their hosts another match closer to the Championship.

Defeat hard to take for Meulensteen

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen:

"I definitely think we deserved a point We actually played quite well, were well organised, we didn't let them settle into a rhythm.

"Out of a nothing ball, Gerrard made a pass with the quality he's got and they stuck it in the net so you have to start again.

"The penalty was just a silly challenge that should not have been made by Sascha.

"The first thing he admitted when he walked in the dressing room was: 'Sorry, I shouldn't have done it'."

Lineup, Bookings (7) & Substitutions (4)

Fulham

  • 01 Stekelenburg (Stockdale - 76' )
  • 27 Riether Booked
  • 03 Riise
  • 06 Kvist Booked
  • 04 Heitinga Booked
  • 33 Burn
  • 19 Tunnicliffe
  • 07 Sidwell
  • 39 Bent
  • 10 Holtby
  • 15 Richardson Booked (Kacaniklic - 71' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Hangeland
  • 08 Kasami
  • 11 Kacaniklic
  • 13 Stockdale
  • 16 Duff
  • 21 Cole
  • 28 Parker

Liverpool

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 20 Cissokho
  • 08 Gerrard Booked
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 04 K Touré
  • 10 Coutinho Booked (Agger - 92' )
  • 14 Henderson Booked
  • 15 Sturridge
  • 31 Sterling (J. Teixeira - 82' )
  • 07 Suarez

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 05 Agger
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 12 Moses
  • 24 Allen
  • 34 Kelly
  • 53 J. Teixeira
Ref: Phil Dowd
Att: 25,375

Match Stats

Shots

10 21

On target

3 7

Corners

7 5

Fouls

7 9

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Fulham 2, Liverpool 3.

90:00 +5:49 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Fulham 2, Liverpool 3.

90:00 +4:07

Attempt blocked. Lewis Holtby (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Tunnicliffe.

90:00 +2:52

Attempt missed. João Teixeira (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a fast break.

90:00 +1:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Daniel Agger replaces Philippe Coutinho.

90:00 +1:19 Booking

Booking Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

90:00 +0:32 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 2, Liverpool 3. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

90:00 +0:08 Booking

Booking Johnny Heitinga (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.

89:37

Penalty Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge draws a foul in the penalty area.

89:37

Penalty conceded by Sascha Riether (Fulham) after a foul in the penalty area.

87:28

Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).

87:28

Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

85:59

Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).

85:59

Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:59

Attempt missed. João Teixeira (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

84:02

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.

83:59

Attempt blocked. Lewis Holtby (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

82:28

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Luis Suarez.

81:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. João Teixeira replaces Raheem Sterling.

78:47

Foul by Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool).

78:47

William Kvist (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:25 Booking

Booking Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

76:18

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

76:18

Darren Bent (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:26

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

75:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. David Stockdale replaces Maarten Stekelenburg because of an injury.

73:31

Delay in match Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham) because of an injury.

73:10

Foul by Luis Suarez (Liverpool).

73:10

Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 2, Liverpool 2. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge.

70:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Alexander Kacaniklic replaces Kieran Richardson.

68:16

Attempt blocked. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

64:48

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:48

Foul by Lewis Holtby (Fulham).

63:45 Booking

Booking Kieran Richardson (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

62:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 2, Liverpool 1. Kieran Richardson (Fulham) right footed shot from very close range to the top right corner.

61:33

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:33

Foul by John Arne Riise (Fulham).

60:45

Luis Suarez (Liverpool) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Aly Cissokho.

59:23

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Dan Burn.

59:22

Attempt blocked. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

58:55

Attempt saved. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jon Flanagan with a cross.

55:39 Booking

Booking Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

55:33

Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).

55:33

Kieran Richardson (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

54:06

Attempt missed. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge.

52:50

Attempt saved. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Lewis Holtby.

51:38

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by John Arne Riise.

50:08

Attempt missed. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from long range on the left is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

49:15 Booking

Booking Sascha Riether (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

49:01

Luis Suarez (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

49:01

Foul by Sascha Riether (Fulham).

47:59

Jon Flanagan (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:59

Foul by Lewis Holtby (Fulham).

47:09

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).

47:09

Lewis Holtby (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Fulham 1, Liverpool 1.

45:00 +2:13 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Fulham 1, Liverpool 1.

45:00 +1:22

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by John Arne Riise.

45:00 +0:43

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00 +0:43

Foul by John Arne Riise (Fulham).

44:22

Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Luis Suarez.

43:29

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

42:24

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

42:24

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

40:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 1, Liverpool 1. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steven Gerrard with a through ball.

38:55

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Raheem Sterling with a cross.

37:53

Attempt blocked. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.

36:31

Attempt missed. Lewis Holtby (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by William Kvist following a corner.

35:54

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Jordan Henderson.

35:15

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Kolo Touré.

35:09

Attempt blocked. William Kvist (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

34:37

Attempt missed. Darren Bent (Fulham) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Kieran Richardson with a cross.

29:24

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jon Flanagan.

28:14

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Jon Flanagan.

28:11

Attempt blocked. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from long range on the left is blocked.

26:37

Attempt saved. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Luis Suarez.

20:35

Foul by Luis Suarez (Liverpool).

20:35

Ryan Tunnicliffe (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:34

Attempt missed. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is too high. Assisted by Jon Flanagan.

14:31

Attempt saved. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

13:16

Foul by Aly Cissokho (Liverpool).

13:16

Darren Bent (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:44

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Maarten Stekelenburg.

12:43

Attempt saved. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aly Cissokho.

11:36

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Dan Burn.

9:10

Attempt missed. Lewis Holtby (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Darren Bent with a headed pass.

8:51 Booking

Booking William Kvist (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.

7:16 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Kolo Touré, Liverpool. Fulham 1, Liverpool 0.

3:29

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Philippe Coutinho.

1:09

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Steven Gerrard.

0:43

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.

0:42

Attempt saved. Ryan Tunnicliffe (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Darren Bent.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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