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)

USSF says nominations submitted for 8 president candidates

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
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CHICAGO (AP) The U.S. Soccer Federation says it received the required three letters of nomination for eight candidates in its presidential election, one fewer than the total of people who announced their intention to run.

The USSF is conducting background checks on the candidates whose nominations were received by Tuesday night’s deadline. The governing body said the check is to ascertain that a candidate has “no conviction or no contest plea to a felony or crime of moral turpitude” and it will announce the candidate slate after completing the process.

[ MORE: Atlanta acquires Nagbe ]

Sunil Gulati, the USSF president since 2006, decided after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup that he will not seek a fourth four-year term.

The nine people who announced they are running include former men’s national team players Paul Caligiuri, Eric Wynalda and Kyle Martino; U.S. women’s goalkeeper Hope Solo; Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter; USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro; Boston lawyer Steve Gans; New York lawyer Michael Winograd; and Paul LaPointe, Northeast Conference manager of the United Premier Soccer League.

The election will be held in February.

Madrid rallies to beat Al Jazira, reach Club World Cup final (video)

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Gareth Bale scored an 81st-minute winner as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Emirates club Al Jazira 2-1 on Wednesday and reach the Club World Cup final.

Madrid will try to win its third world title in four seasons when its faces South American champion Gremio on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League Weds. roundup ]

The match had two goals disallowed by video review, one for each team.

Madrid struggled early and allowed the local league winners to open the scoring with a goal by Brazilian forward Romarinho just before halftime.

But Cristiano Ronaldo equalized early in the second half and Bale netted the winner less than a minute after entering the match as a substitute for Karim Benzema.

Paul Clement admits helplessness at facing Man City

Nick Potts/PA via AP
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Swansea City manager Paul Clement may have the enduring quote of the season so far when it comes to facing the behemoth that is Manchester City.

[ RECAP – City hammer Swansea ]

The suffering Swans have had their share of poor performances this season — Clement later said January transfer spending “is a must” if the club wants to stay up — but he’s throwing his hands up in the air when it comes to Wednesday’s loss at the Liberty Stadium.

The man sounds exasperated, and sorry for his team. From the BBC:

“At times it was horrible to be on the sideline watching that, seeing my side trying but suffering for long periods. They’re not the games that will decide our season but it was hard to watch at times because they were so dominant. For me, one of the best sides I’ve ever come across. So many good athletes, so many intelligent footballers and it’s really hard to pin them down. We actually had some attempts on their goal so I’m disappointed we didn’t get on the score sheet but they were a far superior side to us. We’ve got to put it aside that game. We’ve got Everton away (next) and we’ve got to try and pick something up there.”

All that’s left is for Clement to pick up a clarinet, awkwardly blow into it, then point at Pep Guardiola and say, “He’s good.”

Free message board points to the first one to name the reference.

Premier League roundup: Reds, Gunners stumble

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The Top Four looks set for tumult on a weekly basis, and this week’s seen clubs move in-and-out at the lash of a whip.

[ MORE: Atlanta acquires Nagbe ]

Tottenham’s back in. Leicester City would like to come closer.

Burnley’s out. Liverpool and Arsenal, too.

First place might be out of the question, with unbeatable looking Man City 11 points clear of the pack. But nearly everything else is in play.

Manchester United 1-0 Bournemouth — RECAP

United didn’t have it’s A-game, but that was okay thanks to fine defensive play from star backstop David De Gea and some gutsy tackles from Phil Jones. The goal came when Juan Mata‘s cross was nodded home by Romelu Lukaku in the 25th minute, and United rode that marker for all it was worth to stay three points ahead of third place Chelsea.

Swansea City 0-4 Manchester City — RECAP

How good is Man City? Pep Guardiola‘s bunch have now won a Premier League record 15-straight in a single season, and have scored 52 goals while conceding just 11. Markers 49-52 came from David Silva (two), Kevin De Bruyne, and Sergio Aguero. Tottenham is next.

Liverpool 0-0 West Bromwich Albion — RECAP

A ball bounded off Ahmed Hegazi’s body, and off Dominic Solanke‘s body and forearm to give Liverpool its presumed breakthrough, but the call was intentional handball. The Reds had myriad chances to score before that, but instead hand a point to the visiting Baggies.

Newcastle United 0-1 Everton — RECAP

Mikel Merino and Matt Ritchie both hit goal posts as Sam Allardyce‘s Everton rode its luck and a Karl Darlow spillage to a 1-0 win. Wayne Rooney poked home the rebound, and the Toffees’ relegation worries are officially a thing of the past. Newcastle? Not so much, but money’s a-coming to Rafa Benitez at St. James’ Park.

West Ham United 0-0 Arsenal — RECAP

The chances were there for dominant Arsenal, but the winning goal did not materialize at the London Stadium. Marko Arnautovic did everything but score when West Ham did manage the ball, and Javier Hernandez rattled the cage late, but David Moyes men had to settle for a well-earned point.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion — RECAP

Spurs are back in the Top Four thanks to a long Serge Aurier cross that fooled Mat Ryan and a Heung-Min Son deflection of a Christian Eriksen offering. Brighton’s just three points away from the drop zone with the loss.

Southampton 1-4 Leicester City — RECAP

Claude Puel‘s Foxes are flying, scoring goals for fun and encroaching on the Top Four after a horrible start to the Premier League season. Shinji Okazaki bagged his first Premier League brace, while Andy King and Riyad Mahrez also scored for Leicester, who is within five points of fourth and next faces Crystal Palace. Southampton’s goal came from Maya Yoshida.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Manchester City 17 16 1 0 52 11 41 7-1-0 9-0-0 49
 Manchester United 17 12 2 3 37 11 26 8-0-1 4-2-2 38
 Chelsea 17 11 2 4 31 14 17 5-1-2 6-1-2 35
 Tottenham Hotspur 17 9 4 4 30 14 16 5-3-1 4-1-3 31
 Liverpool 17 8 7 2 34 20 14 4-5-0 4-2-2 31
 Burnley 17 9 4 4 16 12 4 5-2-2 4-2-2 31
 Arsenal 17 9 3 5 30 20 10 7-0-1 2-3-4 30
 Leicester City 17 7 5 5 27 23 4 4-1-3 3-4-2 26
 Watford 17 6 4 7 26 29 -3 2-3-3 4-1-4 22
 Everton 17 6 4 7 21 29 -8 5-0-3 1-4-4 22
 Southampton 17 4 6 7 17 23 -6 3-3-4 1-3-3 18
 Huddersfield Town 17 5 3 9 12 29 -17 4-2-3 1-1-6 18
 Brighton & Hove Albion 17 4 5 8 14 23 -9 2-4-2 2-1-6 17
 Bournemouth 17 4 4 9 15 20 -5 2-2-4 2-2-5 16
 Stoke City 17 4 4 9 19 36 -17 3-2-3 1-2-6 16
 Newcastle United 17 4 3 10 16 26 -10 3-1-5 1-2-5 15
 West Bromwich Albion 17 2 8 7 12 22 -10 1-5-2 1-3-5 14

 Crystal Palace 17 3 5 9 12 28 -16 3-3-3 0-2-6 14
 West Ham United 17 3 5 9 14 32 -18 3-2-3 0-3-6 14
 Swansea City 17 3 3 11 9 22 -13 2-1-6 1-2-5 12