Liverpool 4-0 Fulham: Suarez doubles gives Reds easy win – video

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Another week, another nightmare for Fulham, as the Cottagers were comfortably beaten 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield as Luis Suarez turned on the magic.

The Reds dominated from start to finish as Suarez scored twice, Martin Skrtel added another and Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta headed his own net early on. Liverpool’s captain Steven Gerrard put in a sublime display of set-piece delivery that helped put the game to bed before half time. Fulham were woeful as Liverpool had 32 attempts at goal and enjoyed 68 percent of the possession.

Suarez’ header deflected off Cottagers’ defender Amorebieta for the first, before Skrtel headed in a second and then Suarez tucked away a neat move in the first half to make it 3-0 at the break.

After half time the game continued to get away from Fulham as Suarez made the most of some poor defending to grab his second and Liverpool’s fourth.

The win sees the Reds climb back up to second and are just two points off leaders Arsenal, while Fulham stay 16th and are just two points above the relegation zone.

Liverpool started the game on the front foot as Daniel Agger volleyed over within the first minute. Gerrard’s corner found the Danish center back in the penalty box but the 28-year-old couldn’t quite keep his effort down.

(MORE: Premier League Roundup: Big wins for Liverpool, Saints, Norwich, Villa, Chelsea fight back – video)

The Reds kept pouring forward and in the fifth minute Gerrard slotted in Suarez but the Uruguayan’s shot across goal was saved down low by Fulham’s Marteen Stekelenburg as Daniel Sturridge sniffed around.

Fulham barely threatened going forward in the first half, as Liverpool looked to get Suarez, Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho on the ball as much as possible.

source: Reuters
Suarez and Coutinho tore Fulham apart on a comfortable afternoon at Anfield for the Reds.

But a long ball forward from Zverotic found Patjim Kasami at the back post and the Macedonian winger brought the ball down and saw his shot deflected into the side-netting.

Liverpool then took the lead in the 23rd minute as Gerrard’s free kick found Suarez on the edge of the six-yard box and the Uruguayan strikers effort deflected off Amorebieta and into the net to send Anfield wild.

Just moments later Liverpool made it 2-0 from Gerrard’s wonderful corner that found defender Martin Skrtel who beat Amorebieta to the ball and headed home.

The Reds were well on top and Fulham simply couldn’t get to grasps with the fluid attacking play Brendan Rodgers’ men were churning out.

In the 29th minute it could’ve been 3-0 as Coutinho riffled a right-footed volley towards the top corner but Stekelenburg saved superbly with his fingertips.

In the opening half hour Liverpool had 11 attempts on goal and were dismantling the West London club with ease.

Then, inevitably, the third goal arrived as Gerrard nutmegged Dimitar Berbatov before feeding the ball to Jordan Henderson. The midfielder then found Suarez with a fantastic through ball in the 36th minute and the Uruguayan forward tucked the ball home with ease.

For the rest of the first half Fulham stumbled around and tried to make sense of what was going on, in another terrible display from Martin Jol’s men.

But after the break normal service resumed as Kieran Richardson gave the ball away and Suarez capitalized to score his second goal of the afternoon, and eighth in six PL games this season, to make it 4-0 to the Reds.

Fulham boss Jol must be extremely worried about his future as manager of the Cottagers after another incredibly poor performance that makes it three defeats in a row.

The rest of the game was simple damage limitation for the West London side who sat back and hardly pressed forward. As for Liverpool, they were able to rest a few key players as the game petered out into a comfortable win for the Reds.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Cissokho (Jose Enrique, 61), Lucas, Gerrard (Allen, 67), Henderson, Coutinho, Suarez, Sturridge (Moses, 76)

Fulham: Stekelenburg, Zverotic (Hughes, 61) Senderos, Amorebieta, Richardson, Dejagah, Sidwell, Parker, Kacaniklic (Ruiz, 45), Kasami, Berbatov (Karagounis, 83)

Giovinco strikes twice to lift Toronto FC to Canadian Championship (video)

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Sebastian Giovinco scored twice including in stoppage time as Toronto FC overcame Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla’s fantastic strike to win 2-1 in the second leg of the Canadian Championship at BMO Field on Tuesday.

TFC held the advantage after a 1-1 first leg in Montreal. The Reds advance to the CONCACAF Champions League.

Tabla, who just turned 18 in March, is an Ivorian-born Canadian youth international who now has four senior goals for the Impact.

Montreal veteran Patrice Bernier saw red in the 89th minute, putting the Impact’s chances behind the 8-ball.

[ MORE: USMNT Gold Cup questions ]

Toronto FC entered the match with a road goal advantage, which was undone in the quick flash of a left-foot, as Tabla dug a ball from underneath him and past a flying Clint Irwin to make it 2-1 on aggregate.

The goal was a double whammy for Toronto, which went to the break knowing it would need to score twice (or win in penalty kicks) to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League.

Yet TFC came back after a horrendous pass from Montreal, as Michael Bradley pinged a gorgeous diagonal ball to Sebastian Giovinco. The Atomic Ant recovered from a tough opening touch to bury his chance. 1-1.

And, oh yeah, watch this man work for his second…

Who is Kenny Saief, and other USMNT Gold Cup personnel questions

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Kenny Saief is an 23-year-old American left-sided player with UEFA Champions League experience.

So why do we know so little about the Miami-born man?

The answer is pretty straight-forward: Saief’s entire career has been under-the-radar. After coming up through a series of Israeli teams, he moved to KAA Gent in Belgium. None of those matches, even adding in his representing the full Israel national team twice, got a ton of play on American soil.

[ MORE: Saul scores stunner for Spain U-21s ]

So when Saief filed his one-time switch to represent the United States, paving the way for a USMNT call-up for this summer’s Gold Cup, even those of us who’d followed his career from afar had put a limited amount of actual observation on match footage.

So here’s the long-and-short:

  • Saief turns 24 in December.
  • He moved to Gent from Israeli second tier side Ramat haSharon in 2014.
  • Played a total of 35 minutes in friendlies versus Serbia and Croatia.
  • Saief has 20 total appearances between the Europa and Champions Leagues.
  • Posted a UCL assist versus Wolfsburg in the 2015-16 Round of 16.
  • Had goal, 2 assists in UEL this season, played 180 mins vs. Spurs.
  • Has 15 goals, 9 assists in 107 apps for Gent.

Saief should get an opportunity to make an impact for Bruce Arena’s USMNT, perhaps as soon as Saturday’s friendly against Ghana in East Hartford.

Who else stands a chance to gain the most from this tournament?

Joe Corona — The 26-year-old made his thirst-inducing name in American soccer circles by scoring a pair of goals in the 2013 Gold Cup, but has just 17 caps to his name. His call-up over veterans like Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan either shows how high he’s risen or how far those veterans have fallen.

Cristian Roldan — Seattle’s hard-nosed midfielder was playing college ball at Washington just three years ago, and it’s not crazy to think strong performances could boost him onto the radar of bigger clubs abroad (let alone make him a mainstay along Kellyn Acosta with the USMNT).

Dom Dwyer — If Roldan’s rise is surprising, Dwyer’s really is astounding. It’s easy to forget that the Sporting KC star forward was playing junior college soccer in 2010 before spending one season of Division I soccer with South Florida. Now he has 57 MLS goals and a look at becoming the clinical finisher the American side has wanted for some time.

Justin Morrow and Eric Lichaj — The 29- and 28-year-old fullbacks would love to prove their mettle is as good if not better than Jorge Villafana, the current front-runner to start at left back should the Yanks complete their revitalized run to the World Cup. Lichaj, a Nottingham Forest veteran, is also adept at right back.

This isn’t to say that Juan Agudelo and Kelyn Rowe won’t benefit from strong tournaments, but the names above have either been rescued from soccer’s scrap heap or at least Jurgen Klinsmann’s prison.

PODCAST: Bob Bradley talks MLS past, USMNT

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Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.

Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]

Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check out the podcast here:

U.S. Open Cup preview: Which underdog has best odds?

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Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.

Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?

  1. Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
  2. FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
  3. LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack.  Upset chance: Long shot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.