Three goals scored in each game, could’ve been more, and clean sheets. The test begins now though of that tenacity that Liverpool have desperately needed throughout the season.
This needs to be the start of a run, whether of wins or goals, or even just keeping clean sheets.
Next up of course Mansfield Town in the FA Cup, but then the massive one – Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Honestly speaking, it’d be surprising to see United not win this game but Liverpool have always shown they are capable of turning up to big games, even if it’s in the middle of a below par season.
Against Sunderland, Jordan Henderson surprisingly showed some prowess which previously had only been promised potential but unseen nevertheless.
Sterling was good, Gerrard looked like he was returning to his old self, Suarez looked his usual slippery best and even Downing was a handful.
By the time it comes down to facing United, Daniel Sturridge will be in the reckoning to play.
He has been described in the past as a selfish striker, which may be true, but there have been times when Liverpool have chosen to pass when they should have taken a shot on goal. From that perspective, Sturridge’s selfish streak may help.
The two players who absolutely have to perform at their very peak though, are Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel. As it stands, those two are the defensive linchpins in the side and if the team is to have success, they must be the next Hyypia & Henchoz for the Reds.
The prime difference between Liverpool in the last two matches and in that loss to Stoke, was the players’ movement in the final third of the pitch.
The last game saw them making overlapping runs and criss-crossing around to confuse defenders a bit which worked. Sometimes the Black Cats defence didn’t mark a man because they couldn’t figure out where he was going.
That kind of movement and fluidity is very important and it’s something that needs to be done every single game.
We have to beware the threat of Van Persie and Javier Hernandez of course, but usually in the past the Liverpool defence has managed to keep the main guy quiet but not paid enough attention to the others who’ve always managed to pop up with a goal out of nowhere.
We can’t afford to switch off. Even mid-table teams punish you when you do that so the league leaders will only have to blink once and it’d already be done.
On top of tactics, it’s the concentration which Rodgers may want to keep working on as well. May sound cheesy but it’s quite true that it never is over until that final whistle.
Let’s keep those lights switched on until the final whistle shall we?
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