Dalglish delighted with rampant Reds

Kenny Dalglish tonight declared he would be immensely proud of the way his Liverpool side have responded since he took charge, even if they failed to make Europe this season.

Kenny Dalglish tonight declared he would be immensely proud of the way his Liverpool side have responded since he took charge, even if they failed to make Europe this season.

The Reds stayed on course for a remarkable top-five finish in the Barclays Premier League after beating Fulham 5-2, even sparking suggestions they could challenge for fourth spot.

Despite scoring 13 goals in their last three games, there does not appear to be enough matches left for Liverpool to secure a Champions League place and Dalglish refused to speculate on where they might finish the season.

"I don't know. We'll just wait and see," he said. "I know it's boring and repetitive and we keep saying it, but it's not served us too badly over the years.

"The next one's the most important one, we'll play every game to win it and, at the end of it, we'll add up the points and see where we finish.

"Who would've predicted coming here and winning 5-2? I certainly wouldn't."

Dalglish, who took charge with Liverpool languishing in the bottom half of the table, added: "Nobody would ever have anticipated the run that the boys have been on since January, would they? It's been unbelievable.

"Even if we don't get fifth, they've been absolutely fantastic. For us, the position hasn't been as important as the response of the players."

For Liverpool to stand any chance of a Champions League spot, they would need Manchester City to suffer a late collapse, starting tomorrow against Tottenham.

Dalglish added: "You can only get benefit from other results if you do the business yourself.

"And as long as we continue to do our business then we can dictate what happens to us. If we get a bonus from someone else, so be it. But we can't do anything about it.

"It's bad enough trying to get ourselves in order."

Dalglish, who revealed Andy Carroll missed tonight's game with "a bruise" but should be back for Spurs on Sunday, hailed Liverpool's performance as "fantastic".

The Scot singled out the outstanding Luis Suarez for special praise, as well as paying tribute to Jamie Carragher for moving up to second in the club's all-time appearance list on 666 games.

He also congratulated Manchester United on all but securing their 19th league title, which would see them finally overhaul Liverpool's record of 18.

Refusing to be drawn on whether the Reds could mount a title challenge of their own next season, Dalglish said: "Anybody that wins the title is normally the best team in the league and I don't think Manchester United are any different from that.

"Although they might be your rivals and your competitors, it doesn't mean to say that you're disrespectful.

"They set the standards that we've got to get to and we'll do our best to get there."

Liverpool's win owed much to a 16-minute horror show from Fulham, who fell behind to the Premier League's fastest goal this season inside 32 seconds, and were 3-0 down before they got going.

Moussa Dembele pulled a goal back but Maxi Rodriguez completed his second hat-trick in three games and Suarez made it 5-1 - Dirk Kuyt having scored earlier - before Steve Sidwell netted a consolation.

Fulham boss Mark Hughes, whose side had been in great form until tonight, said: "The game had obviously gone from us within the first 15 minutes.

"Three-nil down at home, it certainly wasn't something that we were expecting, not given the way we've played in recent months.

"It sapped the confidence out of what we were trying to do. We were desperate to get them in at half-time and make it clear to the players that performance wasn't acceptable.

"It could've been very easy just to get people behind the ball and do a damage-limitation exercise but that's not what we're about, that's not what I'm about, and it was a case of getting a response."

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