Liverpool beat Fulham by 5 goals to 2 in a thrilling encounter that sees King Kenny’s men move into 5th place in the Premier League, putting them in the qualification spot for a Europe League place next season.
The goal-rich clash saw Maxi Rodriguez bag an amazing second hat trick in three games as the Merseyside squad swept aside the Cottagers to overtake London club Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League table.
Rodriguez opened the goalscoring after just 32 seconds, following swiftly by volleying home a second goal before Fulham goalkeeper Schwarzer allowed a poor effort from Dirk Kuyt to slip through his waiting fingers to bring the score to 3-0 as the clock showed just 16 minutes. Later on, a further goal from Rodriguez and one from Luis Suarez racked up 5 goals for the Reds, with goals for Fulham from Dembele and Steve Sidwell proving to be little more than a consolation in a match where Liverpool dominated the proceedings.
Liverpool were rejected a penalty shout in the 14th minute, which could have gifted the Reds a sixth goal, making the win even more impressive. Striker Luis Suarez was pushed over by Brade Hangelande, but the Merseysider’s penalty appeal was rejected by the referee.
The game showed the improvement in Liverpool’s performances over the past months, bringing to a head their display of sensational form that has seen them score 13 goals in their last 3 games. The team now sit two points clear of Tottenham, and are yet to play the side in a match which will decide who is to play in the Europa League next season, the sister tournament of the more prestigious Champions League.
However, it remains to be seen whether a Europa League place will prove to be a blessing or a curse for either club, with many fans and pundits speculating that the amount of games that qualification to the tournament would bring could prove too many for both clubs, who are still improving and may benefit from a development season.