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Premier League: Liverpool 4 Fulham 0

Liverpool ended their 2012 home commitments with a dominant 4-0 victory over Fulham at Anfield on Saturday.

Martin Skrtel handed the hosts the lead with a close-range drive following a corner before Steven Gerrard doubled the advantage, latching onto Stewart Downing’s pass.

The winger then capped arguably his best English Premier League performance since moving to the Anfield club by hitting the third after an impressive run from the right before Suarez grabbed the goal his tireless running merited from close range late on.

Liverpool rise to eighth thanks to the win against a lacklustre Fulham, who are 13th.

The hosts started brightly and capitalised on that dominance with a goal after just nine minutes.

A Gerrard corner was allowed to travel as far as Skrtel, who took a measured touch unbefitting of an aggressive centre-back before smashing home on the volley.

Liverpool deserved the lead and set about trying to capitalise on it but were largely kept at bay by a Fulham team slowly finding their feet.

Their slow passage back into the game was underlined as Alexander Kacaniklic’s shot was kept out following an excellent run and through ball from Ashkan Dejagah.

But the visitors were soon given a huge let off as Daniel Agger showed decidedly less attacking prowess than his centre-half partner in blazing a Suarez pass over with an open goal at his mercy.

Brendan Rodgers’ men have generally lived to regret such wastefulness at Anfield in recent history but with 36 minutes on the clock they found themselves two ahead.

A wonderful pass from Downing found Gerrard’s excellent run in behind the back four and the captain finished with aplomb into the far corner.

Liverpool took that lead into half-time and should have been 3-0 up not long after the break as Suarez missed a golden opportunity at the back post, driving Downing’s deflected cross wide.

The much-maligned winger had clearly gained confidence in notching his first Premier League assist for Liverpool and soon had his first goal in the English top flight since moving to Merseyside.

Gerrard showed excellent vision to find Downing’s run on the right and he ran inside the anonymous John Arne Riise before smashing the ball past Mark Schwarzer.

The hosts were subsequently unfortunate not to add a fourth, as a slalom run from Suarez was denied the finish it deserved by a desperate Schwarzer dive.

Suarez would get on the scoresheet as Liverpool netted a fourth when the Uruguayan tapped in following an excellent run from Jose Enrique.

Sat 22 December, 2012
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