So Fulham are really bad. Like, really, really bad. After Martin Skrtel volleyed Liverpool ahead in the 8th minute, it was pretty obvious who was going to win the match. But what was not obvious was just how strange this one would get. The hosts eventually won 4-0, but the real story of the day was Stewart Downing.
Yes, that Stewart Downing. He of the 'last Premier League assist on April 2nd, 2011', 'last Premier League goal on May 22nd, 2011' and '20 million transfer to Liverpool two summers ago'.
That Liverpool are completely capable of beating the stuffing out of Fulham at Anfield comes as no surprise. They went up early and should have scored more than they actually did, with Daniel Agger in particular the perpetrator of an absolutely awful miss when he skied over from eight yards with the goal at his mercy. But after that, things got really, really weird.
When Steven Gerrard picked up a sublime reverse pass and finished from a tight angle past Mark Schwarzer, it was pretty easy to assume that said pass had been sent in by Luis Suarez. It was perfectly weighted, inventive, threaded through the eye of the needle. And it was played by Stewart Downing.
Barely had the shock from Downing notching his first league assist for Liverpool worn off (it lasted about half an hour in my case) than he did one better, cutting in from the left flank and sending in a blistering effort that Schwarzer had no hope at all of keeping out. A goal and an assist for Downing? The rest of the match, which saw Suarez score in injury time to pad the scoreline to something like what the Reds' display deserved, seemed to pass by as if in some dream.
Stewart [funning] Downing, y'all.