Robbie Fowler rediscovered Liverpool's scoring touch by notching five super goals to defeat plucky Fulham at a sparsely populated Anfield. Each time he got the ball Liverpool's new goal machine hit the back of the net - three times with his left foot, once with his head and once with his right-foot.
And while the Premiership team's performance was never classy enough to repeat their 10-0 drubbing of Fulham back in 1986, the stylish passing movements of old returned in their full glory.
After seeing off a spirited spell from the Londoners, the home side took control with young Fowler outshining Ian Rush in attack. The England youth man's first strike came after an opening 13 minutes in which Fulham had matched their more illustrious rivals. A 25-yard shot from England full-back Rob Jones was parried by keeper Jim Stannard and the youngster pounced like a flash to open the scoring. And then from a disputed free-kick Fowler fired home from inside the six-yard box.
A superb double save from Grobbelaar denied Fulham's Eckhardt and Onwere before Fowler completed his hat-trick two minutes into the second half - again benefiting from good work by Jones.
As Fulham paid for their first-half exertions, Liverpool found their rhythm and tore the visitors to shreds. The amazing Fowler headed home from a Julian Dicks cross to put the home side 4-0 up on 55 minutes. And within 15 minutes Fowler had done it again - this time slotting past Stannard with ease following a clever through ball from Jamie Redknapp. It was a shame that only 12,541 turned out to see a dazzling display from a young man who looks to have the ability to become the best England striker since Gary Lineker.
Fowler's five-star performance
Robbie Fowler turned on a five-star show as Liverpool beat Fulham 5-0 in their Coca-Cola Cup second round second leg tie at Anfield. The 18-year-old striker grabbed all five goals to end Liverpool's recent goal drought.
Fowler scored twice in the first half and rapped in three more after the break as Graeme Souness' side ran out 8-1 winners on aggregate. Souness said: "He's played four games now and everyone is going to know his name. We will do our best to make sure his life does not change one bit, I do not want to go overboard about him, but I think he's going to be very special."
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