The introduction of Steven Gerrard during Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Swansea City proved to be crucial in gaining 3 points.
After a shocking first half display from Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side, stern words were required at half time. Simply far too much respect was given to those in the white kits.
As the second half progressed we saw an improvement from Liverpool with the pressing and the slick movement gradually increasing. Although it wasn’t at the level we all hoped for, Swansea began to look slightly more vulnerable.
An hour went by at the Liberty Stadium which allowed Steven Gerrard to return to the side after a hamstring injury which has kept him sidelined since the beginning of February. Alberto Moreno who struggled to have a major impact on the match, was the man to make way for our long serving captain.
I feel Steven Gerrard has been a bit of a forgotten man over the recent weeks with the side doing so brilliantly against the likes of Southampton and Manchester City.
As the game progressed Liverpool seemed to look more composed and calm in possession which allowed a nice bit of movement to set up Jordan Henderson for the winner. As seen, Gerrard played a slightly deeper role than what most people thought he would when he was substituted on. This allowed Henderson to push on further up the pitch and find the goal that could be so crucial in the race for the top 4.
For me the introduction of Steven Gerrard was the difference in Liverpool gaining 3 points in the race for the top 4. Liverpool were improving as second half went on, but with the goal coming so early during his time on the pitch, it allowed him to stop Swansea wanting to play the way they wanted to. I never really felt Swansea were going to score once you could see the Liverpool players passing the ball with authority and maintaining possession.
“We were able to penetrate when Steven came on and he offered that calmness and control,” said the manager, reports Daily Star
“We switched to a diamond with Steven at the bottom and he was very important to that.”
There has been several debates to whether Gerrard can play in a deeper role. We all know it isn’t his best position although its clear he can control the tempo from that deeper position. Without that calm and controlled player on the pitch, it can he hard to watch at times. His introduction at the end of the day provided Liverpool a platform to control the game and maintain possession after the goal.
Overall Simon Mignolet and Joe Allen were the best players on the pitch for Liverpool on the night, but I felt the introduction of Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool the opportunity to run the clock down by maintaining possession and slowing the tempo. With 3 points heading back to Merseyside it allows Liverpool the chance to move into the top 4 next Sunday if they can overcome Manchester United.