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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 21:54 GMT
Liverpool 5-1 Fulham
Robbie Fowler (left) celebrates his opener in Liverpool's 3-1 win against Fulham with captain Steven Gerrard
Fowler scored his first goal in nine games since returning to Anfield
Robbie Fowler scored his first goal since returning to Liverpool as the Reds consolidated their third place in the Premiership with a win over Fulham.

Fowler headed in at the far post after 16 minutes when Luis Garcia flicked on a Harry Kewell corner before Collins John equalised with an angled shot.

Michael Brown's own goal restored the Reds lead and Fernando Morientes lashed in to put the home side 3-1 up.

Peter Crouch and Stephen Warnock then struck late on to complete a Reds win.

Liverpool had stated their attacking intentions from the start when they had a goal disallowed for offside in the third minute.

Morientes also had an early chance when he was put through by Fowler, but he lacked confidence and conviction, shooting tamely at Tony Warner.

Luis Garcia (left) and Peter Crouch (centre) celebrate with defender Stephen Warnock, who scored his first goal for the club in the 5-1 win over Fulham
Warnock (right) celebrates his first goal for Liverpool

But just when it looked like the home side's problems in front of goal would continue, Fowler nodded in for his first goal in nine outings since returning to the club in January.

Morientes angled a shot into the side-netting after again latching on to a Fowler pass before Fulham shocked the home side with an equaliser.

John produced a diagonal run from the visitors right into the Reds box and, after being found by a precise Mark Pembridge pass, drove a shot through the legs of keeper Jose Reina.

Fulham did not stay on level terms for long, though.

Zat Knight missed an attempted clearance and a Reds break ended with a low Kewell cross being put into his own net by Brown.

John went close with a header while Steed Malbranque fizzed a shot just wide as Fulham tried to hit back.

Fulham are the only team without an away win in the Premiership and they almost went further behind when Garcia hit the crossbar with a curling shot.

Knight headed against the post at the other end, but Liverpool gave themselves a two-goal cushion when Morientes lashed home.

The Spanish striker fired into the roof of the net following a goalmouth scramble for his first goal since 10 December last year.

Crouch then flicked in a shot before Warnock drove home after a crumbling Fulham failed to clear their lines.


  • Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez:

    "It was a fantastic game for the strikers.

    "They were all waiting to score and it was important for their confidence that they did.

    "Everybody will want to talk about Robbie's first goal since he returned here, but I was equally pleased with the goals from the other strikers too."

  • Fulham manager Chris Coleman:
    "It looked as if we had been battered after those last few minutes, but I cannot criticise the players after that.

    "I was not happy with the way we played at Everton on Saturday and told them that. But we played some very good stuff.

    "It is never easy when you come to Anfield. We have been smashed by Arsenal, beaten at Everton, but did not think we deserved to lose by five after the way we played."


    Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Traore, Luis Garcia, Gerrard, Hamann, Kewell (Warnock 88), Fowler (Cisse 68), Morientes (Crouch 81).
    Subs Not Used: Dudek, Hyypia.

    Goals: Fowler 16, Brown 34 og, Morientes 71, Crouch 89, Warnock 90.

    Fulham: Warner, Rosenior, Knight (Christanval 69), Pearce, Bridge, Radzinski (McBride 78), Malbranque, Brown, Pembridge, Boa Morte, John.
    Subs Not Used: Crossley, Helguson, Niclas Jensen.

    Booked: Brown, Bridge.

    Goals: John 25.

    Att: 42,293

    Ref: A Wiley (Staffordshire).




  • WATCH AND LISTEN
    Interview: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez


    Interview: Liverpool's Robbie Fowler



    SEE ALSO
    Wednesday's football photos
    15 Mar 06 |  Photo Galleries


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