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Liverpool up to season-high 8th with Fulham win

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) Stewart Downing scored his first Premier League goal for Liverpool in a comfortable 4-0 victory over a lackluster Fulham on Saturday that lifted the Anfield club to a season-high eighth.

The England winger, who has been confined mostly to the Europa League, conceded last week he might have to leave the club in the January transfer window after struggling to make an impression since arriving at Liverpool in July 2011.

Downing put himself in the shop window, with his first league assist setting up Steven Gerrard after Martin Skrtel's opener, and then getting on the score sheet himself at the start of the second half.

"I'm just trying to work hard and take the opportunity when I'm given it," Downing said. "I'm here to play and as long as I get the opportunity I'll try my best."

Luis Suarez wrapped up the win in stoppage time as Liverpool went five points behind the top four Champions League places.

"I think we've been a bit nervy at home at times but I think it's time to get a ruthlessness at home," Downing said. "The goals you've seen tonight are four quality goals and it's a case of doing it consistently and not now and again. We need to kick on in the new year and climb the table."

Fulham is five points above the drop zone.

Updated December 22, 2012

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