All over here in West London. Liverpool simply too hot to handle for a lethargic Fulham on the night. A Maxi Rodriguez hat-trick finished off with a special strike but much of the plaudits will fall at the feet of Luis Suarez who seemed to be almost unplayable on times. Mark Hughes will look back at an opening 16 minutes in which Fulham were brushed aside by the Reds as they continue the quest for European football on Merseyside next season. FULL TIME – FULHAM 2 LIVERPOOL 5
In a moment that sums up Suarez on the night, the Uruguayan again runs the channel, flummoxes Aaron Hughes and cuts the ball back for Kuyt. AN OPEN GOAL for the Dutchman but Hangeland gets back to chest the ball off the line. Stunning from Suarez.
Yellow Card Chris Baird
Goal Steve Sidwell
WE’RE BEING TREATED TO SOME STUNNING STRIKES TONIGHT. Steve Sidwell cushions a headed clearance by Skrtel and volleys the ball past Pepe Reina into the top left hand corner. Thunderous strike by the January recruit. OUR SEVENTH GOAL. FULHAM 2 LIVERPOOL 5.
Hat-trick hero Maxi removed from the action to a huge applause from away supporters. Joe Cole, back in West London, takes to the pitch.
Substitution Maxi Rodríguez Joe Cole
Jamie Carragher’s 666th appearance takes him to second in the list of Liverpool’s all time appearance makers and the rugged defender has to be at his best to head for a corner with Andy Johnson lurking.
Substitution Mousa Dembélé Gäel Kakuta
Assist Jonjo Shelvey
Goal Luis Suárez
NOW THEY ARE RUBBING IT IN. Luis Suarez has been everywhere and now he’s on the scoresheet. Slid in beautifully by Shelvey, Suarez dummies Schwarzer, rounds him and strokes the ball over the line. FULHAM 1 LIVERPOOL 5.
Yellow Card Steve Sidwell
Goal Maxi Rodríguez
WHAT A STUNNER. Maxi Rodriguez wraps up his hat-trick in style. Hanglenad robs the Argentine of possession but quickly gives it back. 25-yards out, Maxi thumps the ball into the top left hand corner. A SUPERB STRIKE and SURELY THE POINTS FOR LIVERPOOL. FULHAM 1 LIVERPOOL 4.
Substitution Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen Andy Johnson
Yellow Card Martin Skrtel
Spearing wins the ball back on the halfway line and Liverpool temporarily have a 4v4 situation but the youngster decides to pass wide to Johnson. His cross is over hit.
FULHAM FANS ARE GETTING EXCITED as their side almost get another. A corner is met by Dempsey but bodies in the goal mouth manage to scramble it away.
Yellow Card C. Salcido
Suarez again fouled on half-way. Salcido picks up a yellow.
Fulham win a free-kick in a good area as they mount some pressure. The kick is dealt with but you get the feeling this is a big ten minutes for both sides. Another home goal would create a big atmosphere at the Cottage.
Assist B. Zamora
Yellow Card Pepe Reina
Goal Mousa Dembélé
IS THE COMEBACK ON? Moussa Dembele plays off a pass from Bobby Zamora and passes the ball into the bottom left hand corner. Great hold up play by Zamora, why wasn’t he in the starting line up? A glimmer for Fulham, THEY TRAIL, 3-1
Liverpool remind the home support of their threat with a quick break but Johnson’s cross is cut out for a corner. The Reds then win another free-kick near the corner flag when Sidwell fouls Kuyt.
Hangeland pulls Suarez down on the halfway line. A nuisance in the first-half, Suarez will need to be better policed.
Mark Hughes appears to have said something to his troops at half-time. Murphy feeds Dempsey who delicately lays off for Gudjohnson to strike wide. Neat play and far more cutting edge than the first half.
Substitution Raúl Meireles Jonjo Shelvey
Zamora already looking like he can make a difference. The England international connecting well with a Danny Murphy free-kick but the header is blocked. Moments later, Clint Dempsey hits s stinger from 25-yards but it just clears the bar. Better from Fulham.
Substitution Simon Davies B. Zamora
Luis Suarez and Raul Meireles get us underway in the second-half. Zamora is on as Fulham look to improve on a poor first-half display.
Half-time at Craven Cottage and a blistering Liverpool opening has them walking off in total control. Much like yesterday, we had a goal in the opening minute and the Anfield side have on times been devastating as they poured forward with attack after attack in the opening half an hour. Dirk Kut added to a brace from Maxi and unless Fulham can pull something remarkable out of the bag in the second-half, the points are heading north and Liverpool are taking charge of fifth place.
Yellow Card Clint Dempsey
Three minutes added to the first-half.
Simon Davies swings a cross in from the right and Steve Sidwell rises to head at goal. His header is solid but it’s from all of 14-yards and Reina gobbles it up. Just too far out to really be a threat.
Clint Dempsey tries to salvage some hope for Fulham from all of 35 yards. His strike is good but Reina watches it fizz wide of his near post. A very adventurous effort.
The last time Liverpool played on a Monday night they lead by three at half-time, on that occasion crushing Manchester City. With just two minutes of the half remaining, it looks like being a similar story.
Hangeland and Hughes in the centre of Fulham’s defensive line look out of sorts. Another long ball has to be cut out by Chris Baird as the pair watch Maxi chase it down. Are they having an off night or has Liverpool’s intensity just shaken them.
This time the diminutive Uruguayan gets into a crossing position from a Merieles knock down. His cross is blocked by Hangeland for a corner which Fulham deal with.
Suarez is fouled on the halfway line. His signing looks more astute with every second.
From the corner, Dempsey looks to have scored with a great volley but Glen Johnson clears off the line. The benefits of having a man on each post.
One positive for Mark Hughes is that Liverpool look less rampant over the last ten minutes. The Reds could be forgiven for considering it job done. Fulham win a corner as Carragher blocks Gudjohnson’s run.
It’s hard to really draw any positives for Fulham so far. Dembele has looked fairly neat and tidy but the home side really haven’t been allowed to play yet.
Teenage full-back John Flanagan finds himself in behind the Fulham defence after an over-lapping run but he can’t manage to pull the ball back for the runners in the box.
Reina picks up a Hangeland knock down and Liverpool break quickly. Meireles feeds Suarez who fires a cut back at Maxi. His volley is high and clears the bar but it was another Liverpool chance. This has been as dominant an opening quarter as you’ll ever see.
Suarez again gets in down the left from in Liverpool throw and strikes over the bar from an acute angle. Maybe the livewire should have squared for Meireles.
Twenty minutes of this one has passed, Fulham have had one scuffed effort from 18-yards whilst at the other end, Liverpool have ran three goals in already. Maxi with a brace and Kuyt with the third. Surely Mark Hughes needs his side to score before the break.
Liverpool popping the ball around like a side with true confidence. What has Dalglish done to this side?
Assist Glen Johnson
Goal Dirk Kuyt
WHAT ABOUT THIS. FULHAM 0 LIVERPOOL 3. Dirk Kuyt hits a speculative effort from the right hand side of the area. Food and drink for Schwarzer normally but this time, the giant Aussie lets it through his body. An incredible start for Red’s supporters. Game over? Or can Fulham pull this back from the brink?
CONTROVERSY, CONTROVERSY, CONTROVERSY, Fulham attack for the first time but a huge long ball gets Luis Suarez in behind. The ball is bouncing and Breda Hangeland appears to nudge the Uruguayan to the deck. He is the last man and should be sent off but referee Lee Mason says NO PENALTY.
Play temporarily stops as Skrtel has sustained a head injury but the giant Slovakian should be fine. Maxi’s double strike takes him to nine goals for the season and six goals in three games.
Another corner for the Reds, Suarez being a nuisance to win it. The headed clearance falls to Maxi who gets his strike all wrong. A ten minute hat-trick would have been some going.
Kenny Dalglish will be ecstatic with this start. Every Liverpool player seems to want the ball. Johnson the latest to win a corner.
Assist Glen Johnson
Goal Maxi Rodríguez
THIS IS INCREDIBLE. Glen Johnson released up the left hand side, a superb clip to the back post and who should be there to volley past Schwarzer, YOU GUESSED IT, MAXI RODRIGUEZ. FULHAM 0 LIVERPOOL 2.
Liverpool have started with tempo and intent. A clever lay off by Suarez nearly gets Kuyt in and from the resulting throw in, Spearing drives low and hard, testing Schwarzer who holds well.
Our man in the press box is Andrew Kennedy, he says: Conceding an early goal has not dampened the home fans spirits just yet, but the 5,000 travelling Liverpool fans are in full voice after seeing their side take the lead in less than a minute.
Yellow Card Danny Murphy
What a start to this fixture, Liverpool’s travelling support enjoying a golden opening under the sunshine.
Goal Maxi Rodríguez
Underway the the Cottage, AND AGAIN AN INCREDIBLE START TO A PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURE. LIVRPOOL LEAD INSIDE A MINUTE. Suarez is released down the left and has a shooting opportunity but the Uruguayan chooses to square the ball. Salcido looks like he’s scored an own goal and as Schwarzer claws the ball away, Maxi Rodriguez thumps home from 12 yards. Low and hard, LIVERPOOL LEAD AT THE COTTAGE.
David a 43-year-old Fulham Fan from Kensington said: ‘Well Liverpool are definitely looking like a top side under Dalglish, but you can’t argue with our home form at the moment. The way results have gone this weekend, I fancy us to sneak a victory 1-0.’
The fans have had plenty to say outside the ground ahead of this one, Sean, a 22-year-old Liverpool Fan from Cockermouth said: ‘We’re in a cracking vein of form, and I fancy us to get a result today, we need to get a win really to make the Tottenham game meaningful. I hope to see Carroll get a good run out as well. I’ll go for a 3-1 win for Liverpool.’
Goal.com’s reporter in the press box is Andrew Kennedy, he says: It’s a lovely summer’s evening here in west London as Fulham entertain Liverpool at Craven Cottage. A welcoming atmosphere awaits all but the opponents, with the Fulham hierarchy providing make shift paper clappers to raise the noise levels tonight. The host’s will be looking to maintain their superb home form, having won six and drawn one of their past seven games. Liverpool’s resurgence in recent weeks has been well documented, with Kenny Dalglish’s men gaining 30 points since the turn of the year, a record only surpassed by Chelsea. A strong away-crowd is in tow again, and they will be hoping for the three points that would move them up to fifth place and pole spot in the race for Europe.
Liverpool (4-4-2): Reina, Flanagan, Johnson, Skrtel, Carragher, Spearing, Lucas, Maxi, Merieles, Suarez, Kuyt. Subs: Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Robinson, Cole, Shelvey, Wilson, Poulsen
Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Salcido, Hangeland, Hughes, Baird; Davies, Murphy, Sidwell, Dempsey; Dembele, Gudjohnsen. Subs: Stockdale, Johnson, Senderos, Etuhu, Kakuta, Zamora, Greening.
Hello and welcome to live match commentary from Craven Cottage as Fulham entertain Liverpool. You won’t miss a kick as we bring you every moment served up by these two in-form sides.
Times In IST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed