21 Jan 2015

'Great Game!' Carra, Sturridge, Aldo et al hail LFC's 'brilliant' Chelsea performance, but there's no point getting carried away

It's official: Liverpool are back from the dead, and tonight's superb performance against Chelsea is another massive step towards recapturing last season's scintillating form.

At times, the Reds battered Chelsea, and few will disagree that Liverpool ultimately deserved to win the game.

Post match-reaction:

Rodgers on the performance

"Our performance level is improving all the time. We can now go into the second leg knowing that the movement and speed could cause them a problem"

Rodgers on Sterling

"The rest has done him the world of good. I thought he was outstanding. He's got that great ability to run in behind, but he can also exploit that space at the front of the defender".

Luis Garcia

"Great game Liverpool were excellent second half, Courtois, Sterling & Coutinho top drawer!"

John Aldridge

"Really good performance tonight deserved much more than we got. still all to play for .Need a stronger ref next week - he was minging tonight".

Jamie Carragher

"Great game Liverpool were excellent second half, Courtois, Sterling & Coutinho top drawer!"

Michael Owen

"Loved that game tonight. Liverpool were brilliant and it took one of the best GK's in the world to prevent them from winning".

Daniel Sturridge

"Team looked class tonight!!"

Gary Lineker

"That was the Liverpool of last season! Terrific performance".

Ray Clemence

"Great game LFC. Chelsea strong but enough in Liverpool's game to make next weeks match on a knife edge"

A few points:

* Skrtel and Sakho were imperious all night, and it just goes to show that a settled defensive unit/partnership can yield impressive results. The way things are going, Dejan Lovren is going to find it extremely hard to break back into the team.

* Unlike many fans, I'm still convinced by Emre Can. He's had shaky moments in every game in which he's played as a central defender, and tonight was no exception. The German gave away a poor penalty, and got caught out on several occasions. If Lovren is to return to the defence, it will probably be at the expense of Can.

* Re the penalty incident: it's an absolute stonewall penalty. Can clatters into Hazard, and the force of the incident is such that the German also ends up on the floor.

* The contact is obvious, and significant, and in my view, the only LFC fans arguing that Hazard 'dived' are those afflicted by terminal pro-LFC bias. If John Terry did the same thing to Raheem Sterling, Reds would be foaming at the mouth if the ref failed to award a penalty.

* It's no coincidence that Liverpool's improved performances have coincided with Coutinho's resurgence. The Brazilian is seemingly full of confidence at the moment, and it's showing on the field. When Coutinho plays well, the Reds play well, and long may it continue.

* Another impressive performance from Lucas, who was arguably man-of-the-match. Whether he is the long-term solution remains to be seen, but as I've argued several times, Liverpool's defensive performance might've been significantly better had the Brazilian started every Premier League game this season.

* I still maintain that Rodgers erred in dropping Borini. When a striker is scoring, the best thing to do (IMO) is to promote momentum by keeping him in the team. Yes, Sterling scored, but despite countless chances, Liverpool scored only one goal overall, and with his burgeoning self-belief (and the confidence that undoubtedly would've come with being selected against Chelsea), it's possible Borini could've made a difference.

* Markovic is a decent player, but he gives the ball away far too much. I lost count of the times he lost possession, misplaced a pass, or played a hospital pass to one of his team-mates.

* Add a fully-fit Daniel Sturridge to this team and things look pretty exciting. On the flip side, the team is proving that it can performance *without* Sturridge, and given his injury proneness, that's possibly one of the most important things to come out of the club's current resurgence.

Things are looking good at the moment, but there's absolutely no point getting carried away. Rodgers is making his usual hubristic remarks about the club's improved performance (Fawning as if Liverpool won the game; asserting that LFC can win at Stamford Bridge etc), but it's a mistake (IMO) to be anything but quiet and humble.

Nothing has been achieved yet, and all the backslapping should be put on the backburner until the club is back in the Champions League and/or there's a new trophy glistening in the Anfield trophy cabinet.



  1. I always felt if Rodgers could get through the post Suarez transition. His team could to even better heights Gerrard's decision to call time on his LFC career has really lifted the burden off himself and the club too. Just the way he was substituted involving no fuss or drama showed me that the team are playing for each other and that is reflected in the performance tonight. Liverpool are very capable of getting a high scoring draw or more from the bridge.
    Tonight we also saw Sterling evolve to another level in that wonderful goal which had echos of Barnes/Henry and when you start to mention these type of players in the conversation their is going to be some exciting times ahead for him and the club.

  2. Jamie, who would you have dropped to have Borini play? He's a pair of willing legs to run around, not a goalscorer.

  3. Just saw the goal on YouTube. RS shot was a result of the last match. No sinks and probably watched Lambert' s goal 50 times. 10" of clear airspace and let it rip. Great goal!

  4. Only because he's not a consistent enough goalscorer, the kind we need. If you had his application/heart and Balotelli's natural talent that would be some player. Alas we have 2 starkly different, and as yet inadequate, individuals.

    If Borini is a willing runner perhaps at wingback? I should mention I also advocated turning Heskey into a Centre back a long time ago, for similar reasons.

  5. the best performance in a long long long time and if we can achieve this level consistently then come the end of the season the sky is the limit cheers

  6. Don't you just love that time of year when Coutinho suddenly realises that he's a genius

  7. wow Jamie carrager and luis garcia posted the exact same comment, what are the chances? Jaimie there might be a type there :)

  8. Brini would have made a difference.......a negative one

  9. I always thought we should've played Kuyt at wingback

  10. I am starting a campaign Mig for wing back. With him on the left and Gerrard/Borini on the right what could possibly go wrong?

  11. Wonder where all the "Rodgers out" brigade are after a performance like that. I read someone on here the other day calling him "clueless and an embarrassment to our club." Who was embarrassed last night? I certainly wasn't.
    Can looks to be some player. Some of his passing is out of this world. He's been caught in defence a couple of times I would agree, but that's to be expected from a 20 year old make-shift centre half. Definite penalty tho.
    I was really impressed with the defensive side of Markovic's game last night, he got up and down that wing all night.
    Sturridge slotting in to what we saw last night is a mouth watering prospect

  12. Anyone read what Carra has said about Lucas? I don't always agree with him, but this time I wholeheartedly do. Basically he's saying Lucas should not only stay at this club but stay in the team, as he's been a key factor in Liverpool's resurgence. It's in the Liverpool Echo if anyone's interested.

  13. Just realised that Chelsea didn't have a shot on target besides the penalty. That's mightily impressive.

  14. I've mentioned previously of Mourinho grooming referees, so I'm impressed at the dignity of L F Cs manager in not even mentioning refereeing decisions in his post match interview. Unlike the majority of prem managers who seem to slate the officials constantly.

  15. I love forwards converted into defenders. It's one of my favourite things in football, partly because of how those players behave when they get into the penalty box for set pieces or whatever, as though they're *still* the kings.

    Moreno has a bit of that about him -- I understand he was a converted striker. Yeah Borini to wingback!

  16. Tale of good goalkeepers keeping LFC at bay this season:(
    Chelsea played only solid 1st gear, next week they might zoom it up a notch! Want desperately for LFC to win though.

  17. Who's your hero? Dion Dublin or Paul Warhurst?

  18. I don't get carragher always going over the top whenever he criticises liverpool. Looking at his analysis you would think emre can was the worst player to ever to play for liverpool. He gave away a pen and had a couple of shaky moments at the start of the game, but chelsea whole back line was shaky for the whole second half he didn't have a heart attack over that. I think carragher has forgot the amount of own goals he's scored throughout his career, it's easy watching from the side sitting on his high horse like he was beckenbuer

  19. The only way to silence the Rodgers doubters was for him to stop talking the talk and start 'wallking the walk this he is finally
    doing !.. Great team performance last night and we were all over the league leaders . If it wasn't for saves from arguably the best keeper in the world we would have had a resounding win ...
    Confidence is everything and you can see it now and in the way we are playing and the noise our supporters are making ! Another performance like this and we have nothing to fear at the Bridge next week . Shame about the Chelski supporters Gerrard chanting -
    no class and no respect for their manager .....

  20. Dion! Haha! I actually mentioned him in my post initially, but then I remembered that he was a Man Utd player and it probably wouldn't go down too well :) I used to watch him at Cambridge United back in the early 90s and followed his career. Lovely man too.

  21. I've always said Sakho could turn in to a top CB for Liverpool, he's had a lot of negativity since joining. But I think he is starting to look really solid.

  22. No respect for their manager? You really think ol' Mindgames Mourinho was trying to put an end to the Gerrard goading? By mentioning it, he was ensuring it would happen.

  23. How can someone not see that..

  24. I admit that I was on that brigade, mainly because he simply looked out of his depth and as though he didn't know how to use the players at his disposal.

    I still say sticking Mario up top as a lone striker for over 2 months is one of the more head scratching strategies I've ever seen since it never even remotely worked.

    He's adjusted to the team he has and put players in positions with a strategy they can utilize.

    Let's just wait and see if we can play well against top 6 teams in the league. That will ultimately determine whether we can make it to 3rd or 4th.

    Yesterday was a good start.