Liverpool returned swiftly to winning ways on Sunday with a comprehensive 0-3 win away to Tottenham Hotspur following their defeat to Champions Manchester City last Monday.
With another three points in the bag and the Premiership 2014/15 season still in it’s infancy, what did we learn about the boys in Red from L4? Check out below for the LFC File summary.
1) Liverpool are not going to repeat the failings of their Spurs – After bringing in nine new faces over the summer, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that he does have an eye for a player. The back line is still not quite firing in all cylinders but considering three of the four defenders on duty on Sunday, one has to be optimistic. Dejan Lovren, Javi Manquillo and Alberto Moreno all had good games for the Reds and the mistakes that led to the heavy defeat to Man City have been noted and addressed. The clean sheet was a real plus in the circumstances.
2) Moreno can finish – There is no way any sane human could fail to mention Liverpool’s third goal on Sunday. His constant pressing to win the ball followed by his assault on the Tottenham goal. Allied with the confidence to go for it when he had a sniff of goal showed us first hand why Brendan Rodgers had the faith to splash out the reported £12m fee for the 22 year-old. What a gem Moreno is? After his howler that led to one of the Manchester City goals last week, the 22 year-old Spaniard was clearly determined to put that behind him and put in improved performance over what was already a good debut barring the mistake.
3) Mario Balotelli can’t finish – For now at least. The last addition to Rodgers’ revamped squad showed glimpses of what we’ve come to expect, although his finishing was dreadful to say the least, especially shooting wide with the goal to his mercy. The manager was seen laughing it off, but I’m not so sure he’d have seen the funny side had the score been reversed at the time. What was pleasing to see was that Balotelli could be found defending corners and tracking back in keeping with the side’s high tempo pressing approach. Personally, I get the impression that despite the assertion that the Italian is in the Last Chance Saloon with Liverpool, he really does want to do well at Liverpool and this is a plus for him, the club and us fans.
4) Steven Gerrard can’t boss a game anymore – I was surprised how poorly the Liverpool Captain played against Spurs. Move after move broke down when he was called on to participate, and many of his once trademark trans-field passes found opposition players instead of his own. It saddens me to say that the 34 year-old from Whiston is far closer to the end of his days than the beginning. Dare I say it, but Gerrard is now a squad player at best and that’s being generous. Given his current position, he makes for a weak link in front of the back four where the team can least afford any errors and this has to be a worry for Rodgers. However, to his credit he did put the penalty away and for this he deserves credit.
5) Raheem Sterling has come of age – Even with his 19 tender years, the England international is now beginning to show his immense promise both tactically and technically. His first goal, then followed by one of the greatest goals that never was demonstrate the boy – barring some work on his left footed finishing – has arrived and he has already become a vital piece of Rodgers’ puzzle. The maturity shown by him, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen is most welcome by the team and supporters alike and this is shaking up to be a formidable side.
Those were the standout players for me on Sunday. Positively and negatively. Liverpool will host Aston Villa this weekend and with The Villans unbeaten thus far this campaign, Rodgers’ charges will be required to put in another good shift in order to (potentially) cement a place in the top three or four. The Anfield squad is looking more complete now and with Adam Lallana also back in contention for a place, things are looking up. With the exception of Philippe Coutinho all of the players have stepped up to the mark and are standing up to be counted. Currently the team is in good shape and going forward. The future is looking bright, the future is Liverpool FC.
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