Liverpool cruise past poor Cottagers

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It was the Luis Suarez show yet again as Liverpool got back to winning ways with a dominant 4-0 performance over Fulham.

After a poor display against Arsenal last week, a win at Anfield was an absolute must for Liverpool if they are still to be title contenders.

The Reds came out all guns blazing, winning a corner within the first thirty seconds of the match.

Brendan Rogers opted to play 4-4-2 against the Cottagers, instead of three in defence last week. However, full-backs Glen Johnson, who returned to the side, and Aly Cissokho certainly played just as far forward, making skipping runs to support attacks.

The Liverpool manager also opted to return Phillippe Coutinho to the side, after being out with a shoulder injury since September.

Their first came through an own goal by Fernando Amorbieta, who converted a defensive header into his own net from a Steven Gerrard free-kick.

The lead was then doubled through another set-piece assist by Gerrard (this time through a corner), as Martin Skrtel lost his marker and headed a bullet into the net at the Anfield Road end. 

The return of Coutinho and Johnson was also making a difference to the way Brendan Rodgers' side were playing.

Coutinho was like a magician with the ball at his feet, twisting and turning past Fulham players and exquisitely distributing the ball. He was denied by one excellent save by goalkeeper Maarten Skekelenburg, with the shot-stopper tipping the Brazilians shot over the bar.

Johnson offered Liverpool real width on the right hand side, which was missing from last week's game against Arsenal. The England international wriggled and turned past Kieron Richardson at left back, being a constant threat and whipping several crosses in.

Suarez got his first goal through an inch perfect ball from Jordan Henderson, and the Uruguayan slotted his right foot shot into the right hand corner to all but seal the game.

Martin Jol brought on Brian Ruiz after the break for Fulham to try and salvage a result for his side. However, he made no impact whatsoever and the home side continued their dominance.

The Reds missed several chances early on in the second-half, including Daniel Sturridge being denied by a good save by Skekelenburg, before Suarez couldn't covert the rebound into an open goal.

They finally broke down Fulham for their fourth, with another Gerrard assist, as his right foot shot steered itself again to the bottom right corner, this time at the Kop end.

Liverpool could not bag themselves another after playing much of the game in their opponents half. Chances fell to Sturridge, Suarez and Coutinho, who still awaits his first goal this season.

The home side's 32 shots at goal portrays their dominance, and the Reds go two points behind leaders Arsenal, who are away at Manchester United later today (Sunday).

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