Fulham 1-3 Liverpool – Sturridge and Coutinho Steal the Show

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool team traveled to Craven Cottage on Sunday without Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez. Fringe players like Sebastian Coates, Jonjo Shelvey and Andre Wisdom all got the call to start from Rodgers. Liverpool needed to win to keep up the pace with Everton and hope the blue half of Merseyside slips up. As it happened there was no such luck.

Liverpool went behind to a Dimitar Berbatov header after the Bulgarian lost Jamie Carragher and Andre Wisdom at the far post. Later on in the half Wisdoms clearance found Sturridge alone up front and after turning two Fulham defenders inside out the striker finished with aplomb to level the score at 1-1.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

As the game wore on Philippe Coutinho started to influence the game more and more. The little Brazilian had two assists at the end of Sundays game but each assist was of supreme quality. First an inside of the foot pass to find Sturridge onside through a maze of Fulham defenders and late on an outstanding defence splitting pass with the outside of his foot to again find Sturridge who went on to lob Schwarzer in the Fulham goal.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Liverpool are now guaranteed to finish 7th and with one game left against already relegated QPR, Rodgers will look to blood some youngsters and still build towareds next season. Coutinho has really impressed as of late and Sturridge’s ability to play up front without Suarez is also commendable after many pundits said Liverpool were a one man team. Brendan Rodgers will not receive much credit for this season, seventh place isn’t anything to write home about. The football however has improved and the foundations look good for the future with many youth team players on the verge of the first team. Next season will be a true test of Rodgers capability and the summer transfer window will go a long way to how Liverpool do in the 2013-2014 season.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Match Statistics

Fulham                                  Liverpool

Possession                          39%                                           61%

Shots                                    10                                              20

Shots on Target                     8                                               14

Corners                                 7                                                8

Fulham

  • 01 Schwarzer – 5
  • 05 Hangeland – 5
  • 15 Richardson – 5 (Emanuelson – 15′ )
  • 18 Hughes – 4
  • 27 Riether – 5
  • 14 Karagounis – 6 (Riise – 82′ )
  • 16 Duff – 6
  • 31 Kacaniklic – 5 (Petric – 71′ )
  • 33 Enoh – 5
  • 09 Berbatov – 7
  • 11 Ruiz – 6

Substitutes

  • 38 Etheridge
  • 03 Riise
  • 04 Senderos
  • 12 Frimpong
  • 28 Emanuelson
  • 10 Petric
  • 20 Rodallega

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina – 6
  • 02 Johnson – 6 (Booked)
  • 16 Coates – 7
  • 23 Carragher – 7
  • 47 Wisdom – 7 (Jose Enrique – 46′ )
  • 10 Phillippe Coutinho- 8  (Coady – 88′ )
  • 14 Henderson – 7
  • 19 Downing – 7
  • 21 Lucas – 7
  • 33 Shelvey – 7 (Borini – 77′ )
  • 15 Sturridge – 8

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 35 Coady
  • 51 Jones
  • 11 Assaidi
  • 29 Borini
  • 30 Suso
Referee: Mark Halsey
Attendance: 25,640
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