Liverpool 4 - 0 Fulham

Match info: Premier League at Anfield

Date: 22/12/2012 KO: 17:30 Ref: M Clattenburg Att: 44,570

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Liverpool

Martin Skrtel 8
Steven Gerrard 36
Stewart Downing 51
Luis Suarez 90+2

4
vs
0

Fulham


FT (ht: 2-0)

  • Last Updated: December 22 2012, 21:30 GMT

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing is determined to make a future for himself at Anfield after seeming destined for the exit a couple of months ago.

Downing: Finally scored a league goal for Liverpool
Downing: Finally scored a league goal for Liverpool

Only last week the England international revealed manager Brendan Rodgers had said he could leave and would assess his options when the January transfer window opens.

However, after recording his first Barclays Premier League goal and assist since his summer 2011 move from Aston Villa in the 4-0 win over Fulham - Liverpool's biggest in the league since April 2011 - Downing is more confident about staying.

"I'm just trying to work hard and take the opportunity when I'm given it," he said.

"I'm here to play and as long as I get the opportunity I'll try my best."

Rodgers said he had spoken to Downing at length during his most difficult spell at the club and it appears that pep-talk has paid off.

"I thought Stewart was brilliant today, in every aspect of the game," said the Reds boss.

"I spoke to Stewart about six or seven weeks ago and we had an honest conversation about where he was at.

"He's in his late 20s, he was an England international a few years ago and he wasn't playing.

"So we spoke about how he could get into the team. And I think his reaction from that moment, like it has been for Jose Enrique and one or two of the others, has been outstanding.

"His goal today was a fantastic strike and he combines very well with Glen Johnson out on the right side because he clears space for Glen to run into.

"Stewart's movement is really intelligent and his pass for Steven's (Gerrard) goal was superb.

"You'll find with attacking players, because their job is always to take people on, if it's not quite happening for them, they need that bit of support. But all they can do is work hard.

"Stewart has played a lot of games. He's a very important member of our group at the minute and if he keeps performing like that, hopefully he'll establish himself in (the side) and show the talent he clearly has.

"If he keeps playing like that, he'll be going nowhere - he'll be staying in the team and that's what it's about."

Martin Skrtel opened the scoring in the eighth minute with an impressive volley before Downing's brilliant reverse pass put Steven Gerrard through for the second.

Downing then smashed one in from the edge of the penalty area in the second half before Luis Suarez added a fourth in injury time.

"I thought we were outstanding today," added Rodgers.

"I knew we would get a reaction because I have very honest players here, working very hard every day.

"Last week (losing 3-1 to Villa) was disappointing but this week we have had our first clear week of work and we have worked through from Saturday to Saturday and I think you saw the reaction today.

"The pressing was outstanding and the quality of the football and the goals were brilliant."

Fulham manager Martin Jol was bitterly disappointed with the performance. "You could say if we concede goals like we did today you are almost playing against yourself," he said.

"We wanted to put them under pressure but we didn't do that in the first half.

"It was as if we had played together for the first time.

"We still have a good cushion (to the bottom three) with 20 points but I feel when everyone is back we will be fine.

"We have the same points as last year but we have to do better than today."


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