Sturridge threesome outwits cottagers.

Fulham 1-3 Liverpool
Berbatov (33), 1-1 Sturridge (36), 1-2 (62), 1-3 (85)

It was a day where attentions were focused elsewhere, the chase for the Champions League, the struggle to avoid relegation and some do at the Theatre of Delusion. Unlike us, United don’t do flags very well, do they?

This game was seen as a hoo hum, dead rubber in terms of deciding things. Sure Fulham could go down given a freak mathematical occurrence not mention run of results however, it was humdrum unless of course you are Liverpool fan.

If I was being cynical I would say this was a end of season game against a side of the standard, assuming we are on the ball, we were more than capable of beating. Unlike Everton last week or those above them Fulham, like Newcastle a few weeks ago, are a side we can, if we the mind to, bully however, when it comes to facing up the big boys we are still callow, awkward youths!

BR made was forced into at least three changes Steven Gerrard has been wrapped in newspaper and stored away until next season pending a shoulder operation. He also shuffled the defence by including Wisdom and Coates as Agger (injured) and Skrtel (sick) were unavailable. Of course we were without Luis Suarez however, as with game up at St James Park his absence wasn’t felt. Daniel Sturridge, with his first Premiership hat trick, proved again that we have more than one option going forward.

It would be churlish to knock Sturridge after this performance, he was also roasted by the Fulham crowd because of his Chelsea connection, however his three goals were punctuated by some poor finishing and, arguably a lack of awareness to the alternative, easier chance i.e. a pass to a player in better position. However Suarez, for all the praise his play gets, is also no stranger to these “crimes” and thee goals cannot be argued with, as BR said

“He’s not perfect. He should have squared one when he was through. But he was looking for his hat-trick, he’s a goalscorer, and to be greedy you’ve got to be good. He’s an outstanding player.”

This victory made it seven unbeaten. Fulham had their moments but on the whole they were a distant second best as we cut through at will and created numerous chances. Despite this the home side started things off with a Berbatov’s typical, deceptively lazy far post header from Riether’s cross with Johnson and Carragher in no mans land. After that it was, more or less, one way traffic. It only took three minutes after the goal for us get on level terms. Sturridge athletically picked up Wisdom’s long ball, wriggled past Hughes and thumped it past a helpless Schwarzer in the Fulham goal.

Perhaps things might have taken a difference turn had the referee given a penalty when Lucas appeared to handle Ruiz’s cross. A penalty? Yes, I think so or does “ball to hand” hold much sway into today’s game? To make matters worse we promptly charged up the pitch and made it 2-1. The increasingly impressive Coutinho slipped as took his shot but the ball broke to Sturridge who had an easy job to side foot it home. Borini hit a post and Reina saved well from Hughes however eventually Sturridge, after number of misses thanks to poor finishing and some great saves from Schwarzer, finally secured his third after he picked up Coutinho’s inch perfect pass and flipped it over the keeper.

So a good day and there seem to be more them these days however, just like The Mancs and Everton all eyes, for different reasons, will now be on next season.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Hangeland, Richardson (Emanuelson – 15′ ), Hughes, Riether, Karagounis (Riise – 82′ ), Duff, Kacaniklic (Petric – 71′ ), Enoh, Berbatov, Ruiz Substitutes: Etheridge, Riise, Senderos, Frimpong, Emanuelson, Petric, Rodallega

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson Booked, Coates, Carragher, Wisdom (Jose Enrique – 46′ ), Phillippe Coutinho (Coady – 88′ ), Henderson, Downing, Lucas, Shelvey (Borini – 77′ ), Sturridge Substitutes: Jones, Jose Enrique, Coady, Jones, Assaidi, Borini, Suso

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