Premier League
LiverpoolLiverpool4FulhamFulham0

Liverpool 4-0 Fulham

By Ben SmithBBC Sport at Anfield
Jordan Henderson, Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard of Liverpool

Liverpool produced another ruthless display at Anfield to overwhelm Fulham and leave manager Martin Jol facing more questions about his future.

Luis Suarez, once again, provided the spark for Liverpool as he scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season.

The win lifted the Anfield club into second place in the Premier League table, two points behind leaders Arsenal, who have a game in hand.

Fulham were never in this from the moment Brendan Rodgers's side took a first-half lead thanks to an own goal by Fernando Amorebieta. Martin Skrtel's thumping header doubled the lead and Suarez fired in the first of his two goals before half-time.

The Uruguayan added Liverpool's fourth with a rising shot 10 minutes into the second half, to leave Fulham fans streaming for the exits with their side just two points above the relegation zone after a third straight defeat.

Jol says he does not fear the sack but this result will only increase the speculation regarding his future. Just when Fulham needed pace, purpose and passion, his side produced a performance that lacked all of those qualities. They were insipid, not inventive.

It could have been far worse. That it wasn't owed much to Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who denied Liverpool certain goals on at least three occasions.

This was, of course, never going to be an easy task for Jol's side. Fulham have won just once in 33 visits to Anfield.

Actor Mike Myers, of Austin Powers and Wayne's World fame, watched on from the second row of the directors' box as his beloved Liverpool produced a command performance of their own.

Jol will not have seen the funny side. Liverpool's starring cast lead the way, with Philippe Coutinho instrumental and Steven Gerrard tremendous throughout. This was a truly decisive response to a 2-0 defeat by Arsenal last Saturday.

Liverpool 4-0 Fulham: Martin Jol 'frustrated' after seventh defeat

Liverpool have now scored 16 goals in six league games since Suarez returned from a 10-game suspension, with the Uruguayan and Daniel Sturridge grabbing 12 of them - more than the Fulham team combined have scored this season.

Dimitar Berbatov was, once again, a peripheral figure, isolated and alone as the target man. Steve Sidwell and Scott Parker fought hard but were off the pace throughout.

The visitors had held firm until the 26th minute. But once the floodgates opened, there was an inevitability about the outcome.

Liverpool's opener owed much to fortune as Amorebieta inadvertently headed beyond his goalkeeper. Gerrard's excellent free-kick had been headed on by Suarez only for the ball to deflect off Daniel Agger and then Amorebieta on its way in.

Three minutes later, Liverpool went further ahead with Amorebieta at fault once more. Skrtel lost the Fulham defender all too easily and found space to guide Gerrard's pin-point corner beyond Stekelenburg with a thumping header.

Liverpool 4-0 Fulham: Rodgers hails 'star talent' Luis Suarez

Liverpool added a third before half-time. This time Suarez finished a flowing move that began with Gerrard and featured a slide-rule pass from Henderson. The Uruguayan looked up and fired the ball low beyond the Fulham goalkeeper in one fluid movement.

The Reds might have had two more within three minutes of the restart, but they did not have to wait long for their fourth as Fulham threatened to fall apart.

Gerrard burst forward and played another delightfully weighted pass through to Suarez, the striker considered squaring it before unleashing a thumping shot that flashed beyond Stekelenburg and into the net.

With the contest over, the game fizzled out during the final 30 minutes with referee Mike Jones waving away Henderson's claims for a penalty. It mattered not to Liverpool but Fulham left Anfield with much to ponder.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said:

"Our appetite for the game was outstanding. Luis Suarez is a star talent but his core ingredient is his workrate, which is something we're trying to have throughout the team.

"He covers and presses and is a good talisman. Our quality was very good. At half-time I said I wanted us to be relentless, to keep pushing.

"But our intensity was outstanding after the first whistle. We saw today as a very important game, and we made an excellent start. Home games are important, so it was a good victory for us."

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Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-4-2

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Johnson
  • 20CissokhoSubstituted forEnrique Sanchez Diazat 61'minutes
  • 8GerrardSubstituted forAllenat 67'minutes
  • 37Skrtel
  • 5Agger
  • 14Henderson
  • 21Leiva
  • 7Suárez
  • 15SturridgeSubstituted forMosesat 76'minutes
  • 10Coutinho

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 3Enrique Sanchez Diaz
  • 6Romero Alconchel
  • 12Moses
  • 17Sakho
  • 24Allen
  • 31Sterling

Fulham

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Stekelenburg
  • 22ZveroticSubstituted forHughesat 61'minutes
  • 15Richardson
  • 7Sidwell
  • 4Senderos
  • 35Amorebieta
  • 24Dejagah
  • 28ParkerBooked at 25mins
  • 9BerbatovSubstituted forKaragounisat 83'minutes
  • 8Kasami
  • 11KacaniklicSubstituted forRuizat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Ruiz
  • 13Stockdale
  • 14Karagounis
  • 18Hughes
  • 19Taarabt
  • 23Boateng
  • 39Bent
Referee:
Michael Jones
Attendance:
44,768

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamFulham
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home32
Away4
Shots on Target
Home10
Away1
Corners
Home9
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 4, Fulham 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 4, Fulham 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

  4. Post update

    Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

  6. Post update

    Scott Parker (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Luis Suárez (Liverpool).

  10. Post update

    Aaron Hughes (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Joe Allen (Liverpool).

  12. Post update

    Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Glen Johnson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Pajtim Kasami (Fulham).

  15. Post update

    Joe Allen (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Pajtim Kasami (Fulham).

  17. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Victor Moses tries a through ball, but José Enrique is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).

  19. Post update

    Scott Parker (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Joe Allen (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal108112291325
2Liverpool1172221101123
3Southampton116411551022
4Chelsea116321810821
5Everton115511410420
6Tottenham1062295420
7Man City1061328111719
8Man Utd105231713417
9West Brom113531212014
10Aston Villa114251112-114
11Newcastle104241416-214
12Hull11425914-514
13Cardiff11335915-612
14Swansea103251212011
15Norwich11326921-1211
16West Ham11245911-210
17Fulham113171019-910
18Stoke10235711-49
19Sunderland10118722-154
20Crystal Palace11119621-154
View full Premier League table

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