Fulham 1 Liverpool 3 match report: Daniel Sturridge flies the Liverpool flag for jolly Rodgers with hat-trick

Hat-trick from striker Sturridge saw Liverpool overturn a one goal deficit and secure three points for Brendan Rodgers' side

Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool have a swagger, increasingly brought to life under the Northern Irishman and put on show yesterday by Daniel Sturridge. The latter’s hat-trick will have fans convinced they can break into the top four of the Premier League next year.

But be warned. As with in the latter stages of Kenny Dalglish’s first half-season, Liverpool are showing glimpses of class when the wheels are in motion. An eye-opening 5-2 win at Craven Cottage in May 2011 promised much from Dalglish, but the following year brought little.

Rodgers’ collective are finishing this season in similarly blistering fashion, but he will want consistency from August. “I think that we can have an exciting season next year, we are all building towards that, but we need some depth in the summer,” said Rodgers. “We’ve got goals in the team, our creativity also alongside the goalscorers was very good. We are trying to build a team of winners that are technically brilliant.”

They failed to break Fulham early on despite their possession, falling behind in the 33rd minute after Sascha Riether crossed for an unmarked Dimitar Berbatov to head home. Riether looked offside, but Rodgers should reserve any complaints for his defence.

Three minutes later Sturridge gained a yard on Aaron Hughes before lashing past Mark Schwarzer for 1-1. Berbatov went close from another Riether cross, with Jamie Carragher at first struggling to deal with the Bulgarian in his last away game as a Liverpool player. Rodgers switched to 4-4-2 after the break, employing Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson to quash Fulham’s wide threat.

After the home side appealed for a Lucas Leiva handball inside the area, Liverpool took the lead. Philippe Coutinho’s wayward effort fell to Sturridge, who slotted into the corner from 10 yards. He was twice denied a hat-trick by Schwarzer, whose opposite number, Pepe Reina, then superbly kept out Hughes’ header.

But Sturridge finally claimed his hat-trick five minutes from time, lofting the ball over Schwarzer after a glorious pass by Coutinho.

Fulham hit 40 points early and seemed to relax. A dreadful April turned them away from the top half, leaving a sour taste to what seemed a palatable campaign. “I don’t think there’s something wrong with the  application or the mentality, the only thing is, if we have to chase the game, we look vulnerable,” said manager Martin Jol. “I think if you lose seven or eight players of course you need  to bring in more quality to strengthen the squad.”

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn