Liverpool shred simply awful Fulham
Remember when dispatching a side that was clearly asking for it didn't used to be anything resembling a surprise? Seems so long ago now. Maybe it never happened.
But this Liverpool side has struggled so mightily to take advantage of others' mistakes or make their domination count, so let's just be happy that they managed that. But let's not make it a watershed or anything. Fulham are seriously, laughably, groin-grabbingly terrible. From Hangeland tackling his defensive partner during a corner to leave Skrtel free to score the opener, to the entire Fulham side watching Stewart Downing's well picked out but not well paced through ball for Steven Gerrard like it was the last putt in "Caddyshack", to John Arne Riise's "defending" for Stewart Downing's strike, which amounted to the same as a buddy waving you to do another shot at the bar, Fulham asked for this. Thankfully, Liverpool gave it to them.
-That kind of poise and finish in the box? It's clear what the answer is now: Martin Skrtel must play in the front three.
-We already have a post about Stewart Downing and what his future holds. Before I weigh in, he did have an excellent match today. Lively, incisive, and a goal to mark it. However, Riise is a decaying corpse at the moment, and we should probably wait for Stewie to have this kind of a match against a fullback actually intaking oxygen before we get carried away.
-Suso did a much better job of working hard on the wrong side of the ball, second in tackles in fact. While he wasn't as instrumental in attack, that will make Rodgers happy. He still should have scored.
-Lucas created two glorious chances by well-timed tackles in the attacking half. Rounding into shape is what I hope that means.
-That was the good Steven Gerrard. Passing sublime, not rash in distribution or tackle, but committed enough. Again, hard to draw conclusions from such an opponent, but it does hint that maybe Gerrard is best deployed when bracketed -- the shield of Lucas behind him but the more dynamic Shelvey or Henderson in front of him, where he won't be constantly counted on to have his aging legs surge into the box. He can pick his spots better from deeper, as he did for the goal. At least the finishing eye isn't wavering.
-Four goals, and Suarez wasn't really simmering. That's ok.
-I think Jose Enrique makes something happen every time he touches the ball.
-Is Mark Clattenbury on the Atkins Diet?
-It may have been a match or two late, but Rodgers did finally admit that Sterling and Allen needed a rest. Liverpool didn't suffer because of it. Will he admit the same about Gerrard sometime soon? At least he sees what everyone else sees.
-Sorry for the delay. Agger's finish in the first half actually ended up hitting me and I've only now just come to to finish the match.
So, all the way up to 8th, though Swansea could pass tomorrow. And a chance to break away from the group a little with a win over Stoke, who are currently level on points and host on Boxing D....you know what? I'm doing it again. Let's just enjoy this one.