A misunderstanding between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker allowed Ryan Babel to steal in and score what could have been a costly goal, but parity lasted just seven minutes as James Milner dispatched a penalty after Sergio Rico had dragged Mane to ground.
Find out how all of the action unfolded in West London courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.
It is second from bottom versus second from top at Craven Cottage, where Liverpool could move top of the table and Fulham are looking to kickstart the most unlikely of great escapes. Time really is running out for the hosts, but they face a Liverpool side that knows only a win will do for their title ambitions.
Kickoff is just five minutes away, so let's have a quick look at the team news before we get started...
SUBS: Fabri, Christie, Odoi, McDonald, Sessegnon, Kebano, Vietto
SUBS: Mignolet, Lovren, Milner, Sturridge, Moreno, Shaqiri, Origi
Mane is given far too much room out wide left and brings it inside before playing a cute pass down the channel for Firmino. The Brazilian cuts it back from the byline back to the in-form Liverpool man, who applies the finishing touch to a devastating one-two.
17 - Sadio Mané has scored 17 goals in the Premier League this season, overtaking Demba Ba as the Senegalese player with the most goals in a single campaign (16 in 2011-12). Lions. pic.twitter.com/Z76rOGmelK— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 17, 2019
Liverpool's level of dominance should translate into more than a one-goal lead, but they have not created as many chances as their possession might suggest.
The Senegalese forward exchanged passes with Firmino inside the area before sweeping home the return pass, after Firmino had picked him out with a really good cutback from the byline. That is now 17 Premier League goals for him this season, and 20 across all competitions.
Liverpool have enjoyed acres of space in the wide positions, but Rico has not been tested as much as he might have expected so far. Liverpool still need at least one more before they can relax, but they were comfortably on top in that first half.
Thirteen points separate them from safety with only seven-and-a-half games remaining, and defeat today would see them slip ever closer to an immediate return to the Championship. They have no choice but to throw caution to the wind.
Van Dijk tracks a long ball forward back towards his own goal before trying to nod the ball back to Alisson, but he doesn't put enough on it. Babel latches on to it, but Alisson still should do more as he misses the ball and leaves the former Liverpool man with the simplest of tap-ins.
Mane had earlier opened the scoring for the visitors, only for Babel to equalise after a horrible misunderstanding between Van Dijk and Alisson of all people.
Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's contest as Liverpool survive an almighty scare to regain top spot in the table at the expense of Fulham, who look increasingly doomed. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.
We also have live coverage of the second Premier League game of the evening between Everton and Chelsea coming up for you this afternoon, so be sure to check back in for that too!
From me, though, it is goodbye for now!