Liverpool Player Ratings v Fulham

Yes, Clattenburg is a joke. Actually he had a decent game, the Sterling penalty appeal aside. - Clive Brunskill

Did anyone get a Downing kit for Christmas? I would hope not, but if you did you should have whomever bought it for you go out and buy a lot of lottery tickets.

STARTERS:

Reina - 7 - Overall he was untroubled for most of the match. He did have a nice kick save early on when he lost track of a shot. Otherwise he was pretty much a spectator.

Johnson - 7 - Dangerous down the flank. He pretty much overran my gingie man-crush (Riise) all game long. Fulham really struggled to cope with the width he provided as well as when he cut into the center of the park. He really didn't defend much. In fact, at one point he was the man furthest forward charging down a back pass to Fulham's keeper.

Agger - 7 - Should be a 6 for missing that sitter, but it is Christmas. Otherwise, I can't argue with a clean sheet, especially this year. The defense limited Fulham to only 3 shots from inside the box.

Skrtel - 8 - What a wonderfully taken goal. Not only did he manage to get himself free, he beautifully took the ball on his chest and then lashed it home. Also played a huge role in limiting Fulham's attack. They were so good back there I had forgotten Berbatov was even on the pitch.

Enrique - 8 - I was disappointed not to see the baby celebration for the proud new papa after the first goal went in. He was also very dangerous down the flank and really did all the work for Suarez's goal. Also strong in defense on a number of occasions. He appears to be back in the form that we saw him in early last year.

Gerrard - 8 - Finally a fantastic display. He looked like the Gerrard of 4 years ago for most of the game. His movement off the ball was superb for his goal and he cleaned up his passing significantly. He also completely dominated the midfield. It was like looking back in time.

Lucas - 7 - great display to keep Fulham's chances far from goal. Did well to back up Gerrard and cut out the counterattacks that Liverpool have been so vulnerable to lately. He still looks short of match fitness however.

Shelvey - 6 - Started brightly, but about 20 minutes into the game he just seemed to be lost. I'm not sure if this was Gerrard just putting in a performance that meant Shelvey wasn't needed or it was his lack of positioning, but it wasn't a great display. He wasn't poor, just the game seemed to be flying by him.

Suso - 6 - His movement across the pitch really seemed to give Fulham a headache. He would pop up in great places to play the one-two pass, but it didn't always come off. He seems to have lost a bit of that hunger as well as understanding with Suarez that he had before he signed his new contract. That said, he is young and there is plenty of talent and vision to turn into a fantastic player.

Downing - 9 - The one you have all been waiting for. He broke his assist and goal duck on the same day. Can anyone tell me the odds the bookies had on that before the game? His pass to Gerrard for the second goal was sublime. He also took his goal wonderfully, giving Schwarzer no chance. Two good games in a row. Could he actually be finding some form?

Suarez - 8 - Another good game for the Uruguayan. He was very very quite for the first 20 minutes almost as if he and Berbatov were playing the quiet game my parents used to make my brother and I play on road trips. However, Berbatov definitely outplayed Suarez in the quiet game, but Suarez turned it on and outplayed Fulham in the game that mattered. Again, Fulham had no answer for his movement and trickery. Glad to see he got a goal as he seemed to be growing quite frustrated which is bad for his game in general. Also, nearly scored a beauty of a free kick. It is definitely an understated part of his game.

SUBS:

Carragher - N/A - Just padding the appearances stats.

Sterling - 7 - Probably should have won a penalty. While it might have been slightly soft, the defender made absolutely no attempt to play the ball that was not even within playing distance. Also won the free kick that Suarez nearly struck home. Not bad for a brief cameo. It was good to see him rested as well.

Allen - 6 - Really didn't have much to do as Liverpool were pretty dominant. Did well as Fulham pressed for a consolation goal towards the end. I'm still not convinced that bot he and Lucas can play together.

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