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He described it as a “brilliant afternoon” but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had a few nervy moments before his side finished off Fulham to return to the top of the Premier League.

The Reds won 2-1 at Fulham courtesy of substitute James Milner’s late penalty to move two points clear of Manchester City, which has a game in hand.

Liverpool scored first through Sadio Mane halfway through the first half but confusion between defender Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson led to an equaliser for Ryan Babel against his old club with 16 minutes left.

The visitors looked in danger of dropping two vital points as the title race hots up, but they were gifted a spot kick when Fulham goalkeeper Sergio Rico fouled Mane and Milner duly converted.

READ: Champions League draw: Man Utd to face Barcelona

James Milner celebrates after his penalty gave Liverpool the win against Fulham.

‘Perfection is rare’

“We started really well, and did a lot of good things but lost the rhythm a bit,” Klopp told Sky Sports.

” Second half we could have finished it off and then it is clear at 1-0 if you don’t kill it off that can happen. Babel was there that is how football is. They deserved a goal but we deserved three points. A brilliant afternoon I have to say.

“I am not in any doubt about my players nerves. It is about intensity. We go for perfection but it is rare that you get it.

“Burnley, Munich, Fulham - you have to adapt. People will say we need to be more convincing, but we are at the start of a development, not the end.”

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Liverpool’s next two league matches are Tottenham at home and Southampton away before it takes on FC Porto in the Champions League quarter finals on April 9.

Defending Premier League champion Manchester City also plays Fulham next before a trip to Tottenham for its Champions League quarter final first leg.

Liverpool has never won the Premier League and lifted the last of its 18 First Division titles in 1989-90.