The Northern Irishman, who is quite often criticized for not making any substitutions, let alone the right ones at the right time, made an astute tactical shift with the score tied up. Although Sterling was doing his best to track back, Rodgers recognized that Swansea City was having the run of the midfield, with the duo of Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson failing to adequately cope with the amount of bodies the visitors were committing forward. The introduction of the Welshman, who put in an almost perfect cameo appearance, was the perfect adjustment to stem the tide.
To be fair, we’re not used to being pressed quite that hard at Anfield; in a glimpse of what could be on the way when the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City visit Merseyside, Swansea City gave us the kind of test that Arsenal and Everton never looked like providing.
Although the Reds came away with the points, Garry Monk’s sides ability to draw level was a bit disconcerting, with Liverpool’s offense once again proving to be their saving grace.”It was an excellent three points for us,” Brendan Rodgers said in his post-match press conference. “Yet again the offensive side of our game was very good to get four goals.” And, it has to be said, very poor to concede three.
The Reds have tasted defeat only once at home this season when Southampton shocked them back to reality in the early days of the campaign. Since then, it’s been one win after another with only Aston Villa able to hold Brendan Rodgers side to a draw. Everton and Arsenal were both humiliated at the hands of Liverpool, and with quite a large gap separating hosts from visitors, Gary Monk’s side could be in for more of the same.
“He has just turned 19 and I don’t think there is a better winger in England at this moment in time” said the Reds boss. “Oxlade-Chamberlain is a brilliant player but you look at Raheem and he was absolutely phenomenal.” That particular tag may be a bit premature, but when you consider his age and his blindingly quick upward trajectory, the Northern Irishman isn’t far off the mark right now — and it’s easy to imagine it’ll be the undisputed truth in a few years.
The reverse fixture saw the Gunners win 2-0 and open a five point gap at the top of the Premier League, but things are a bit tighter these days with a mere two points separating the London side from their closest chasers. Liverpool, on the other hand, will be looking to keep Everton and Tottenham at bay to hang onto fourth place as they go looking to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2009. Although the visitors hold a slight edge going into this one, when you have a look at the numbers and some of the key match-ups, it looks like this is going to be a tight one.
Switch to our mobile site