Premiership Result: Liverpool 5 – 1 Fulham
Stories before kick-off that Rafael Benitez had signed a new deal to keep him at Anfield until 2010 were enough to put those who heard into a good mood. By the end of the game the 5-1 scoreline – including goals from three different Liverpool strikers – made sure all Reds supporters were smiling.
Robbie Fowler’s opener was his first since coming back to Anfield, but Liverpool looked like being their own worse enemies when they let Collins John in for an equaliser on 25 minutes. It was then that Liverpool’s luck finally turned in their favour for the first time in an age. And own goal from Brown gave Liverpool a half-time lead, but that one-goal gap wasn’t enough to allow the fans to settle, bearing in mind how Liverpool’s defence has looked less certain in recent games. With a little over 20 minutes left Djibril Cisse was brought on for Robbie Fowler, no doubt at this stage Rafa thinking he needed to give a rest to his only scoring striker in the league this year. Almost immediately though Cisse saw an attempt saved by ex-Red goalkeeper Tony Warner, but the loose ball was sent over the line by Fernando Morientes. Peter Crouch was introduced with nine minutes left and he found himself on the scoresheet too, with just a minutes of regular time to play. Another substitute scored the fifth, Steven Warnock making sure he was noticed on the day Liverpool were linked with a Brazilian left-back.
Liverpool: J Reina, S Finnan, J Carragher, D Agger, D Traore, S Luis Garcia, S Gerrard, D Hamann, H Kewell (Sub: S Warnock, 88), R Fowler (Sub: D Cisse, 68), F Morientes (Sub: P Crouch, 81)
Other subs: J Dudek, S Hyypia
Scorers: R Fowler 16, M Brown 34 og, F Morientes 71, P Crouch 89, S Warnock 90
Fulham: T Warner, L Rosenior, Z Knight (Sub: P Christanval, 69), I Pearce, W Bridge, T Radzinski (Sub: B McBride, 78), S Malbranque, M Brown, M Pembridge, L Boa Morte, C John
Other subs: M Crossley, H Helguson, N Jensen
Booked: M Brown 31, W Bridge 71, C John 90
Scorer: C John 25
Referee: A Wiley