Luis Suarez has maintained his remarkable goal-scoring form since his return from suspension with two goals in a 4-0 Liverpool victory over Fulham that poses major questions about the future of Cottagers manager Martin Jol.
Suarez, who flew to Istanbul on a private jet for Uruguay’s World Cup play-off game against Jordan immediately after the win at Anfield on Saturday, has now scored eight times in six Premier League games since serving his ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
Brendan Rodgers’ team are now two points behind leaders Arsenal, who travel to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Liverpool had the game effectively wrapped up by the time they claimed their opening goal after 23 minutes and, just for good measure, proceeded to add two more over the ensuing 13 minutes as Fulham capitulated in alarming fashion.
All had the stamp of midfielder Steven Gerrard on them, the first two coming directly from his set-pieces, although Suarez, as has so often been the case throughout his controversial Anfield career, provided the end product in devastating fashion.
On 23 minutes, Liverpool capitalised on their strong start when their captain’s free-kick from the right was met at the near-post by Suarez whose header flew in via the shoulder of defender Fernando Amorebieta who was credited with the own goal.
Fulham might have been expected to learn from that painful lesson but just three minutes later, Liverpool produced an almost identical goal, this from a right-wing corner from Gerrard.
With Fulham’s defence embarrassingly absent, defender Martin Skrtel was allowed to surge deep into the area from where he planted a stooping header into the back of the visitors’ goal.
Worse was to come from Fulham’s back four when Suarez claimed a third goal on 36 minutes.
Gerrard was again the architect, his sweeping pass to Jordan Henderson stretching a defence that was already looking ragged and desperate for their torture to end.
But Henderson had other ideas, slipping through a pass which Suarez took in his stride before beating the keeper with a low shot into the bottom corner, the sort of finish that has become his trademark.
Given that Fulham had conceded three goals in the opening 22 minutes at home to Manchester United seven days earlier, this was not the sort of display likely to do the job security of Jol much good.