Sturridge seals first hat-trick as reds power past Fulham

Premier League
Sunday 12 May 2013 - 3:00 pm
Craven Cottage
Fulham1
3Liverpool
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Liverpool completed a league double over Fulham, coming from behind to run out comprehensive winners thanks to Daniel Sturridge's first hat-trick.

Sturridge hat-trick at Fulham

Sturridge now has 11 goals to his name in just 14 games since arriving at Liverpool at the beginning of January.  His creator-in-chief, Coutinho, assisted two of his goals to continue his involvement in Liverpool's attacking play.

The reds started with a much changed team.  With Gerrard and Agger both out through injury, and Skrtel unavailable due to illness - Rodgers reshuffled the formation - playing 3 centre-backs.  Andre Wisdom and Sebastian Coates partnering up with Jamie Carragher at the back.

Jonjo Shelvey got the nod to replace Steven Gerrard.

Liverpool started the brighter of the two sides, but the possession play wasn't creating many gilt edged chances.  Eventually Fulham got back in to the game and struck first - just after the half hour mark - when Berbatov opened the scoring.

As has been the reds problems so often, it was a cross that undid Liverpool - and Berbatov was good value as he headed the opener.

But Liverpool's response was instant.  Sturridge picking up a long ball and getting the better of Aaron Hughes before firing past Schwarzer to equalise.

The second half saw a moment of controversy when a cross from Ruiz hit Lucas Leiva's arm.  The referee waved away appeals for a penalty and deliberate handball and Fulham took their eye off the ball.  The reds went up the other end and Coutinho slipped as he shot, but Sturridge was well placed to control and put Liverpool 2-1 ahead.

Sturridge could have had more but Schwarzer produced some good saves.  Jonjo Shelvey too was wasteful with a couple of chances.

Fabio Borini eventually replaced Shelvey and he rattled the post with a shot.

Eventually Sturridge did grab the hat-trick goal that was a long time coming.

Five minutes from time Coutinho weaved inside and placed a perfect pass for Sturridge to place past the Fulham keeper.

Liverpool will finish 7th in the Premier League this season, but with one game left Rodgers will be hoping that the relatively minor achievement of 61 points becomes a reality.

MOTM: Daniel Sturridge

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