Liverpool ended their poor run of form at home to Villa on Saturday afternoon to ease the pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers for the short term. Daniel Sturridge scored twice with James Milner also on the scoresheet. Rudy Gestede twice reduced the Liverpool lead to one goal but a 3-2 final score was just desserts with Liverpool dominating possession and making more chances on the whole.
The Fans Are Still Down
Liverpool might have won the game but Reds supporters weren’t exactly buoyant. The win was one thing but the football was still rigid and forced barring the moments in-which Sturridge could involve himself.
These three points might see Liverpool kick on with the Anfield side finally breaching the double figures mark for points on the board but the football will have to improve if the Reds are to consistently create chances and win games – especially when sides use a low block like Tim Sherwood’s side did in the first half.
A Replacement for Mignolet is a Must
Simon Mignolet can be a top notch Premier League goalkeeper when everything clicks but his form is almost completely seen in patches with big swings in performance and decision making. The Belgian international made no glaring mistakes here but he almost gifted the Villans a 1-1 equaliser just before half-time when a cross from Alan Hutton was weakly punched to the edge of the area. Needless panic ensued after Lucas Leiva failed to clear but the blame lands with Mignolet.
This followed up from his clanger at home to Norwich City the previous week and another mistake was expected by some and feared by everyone. A ‘keeper of more consistent confidence would do Liverpool a world of good but the defence will need work too with Mamadou Sakho poor aerially in this game.
Coutinho Needs a Change
If anyone in the Liverpool squad would benefit most from the removal of Brendan Rodgers it might be Phillipe Coutinho. The Brazilian grabbed one slightly lucky assist for James Milner’s opening goal and a much finer one for Daniel Sturridge’s second but it’s his overall performance that worries.
The little Brazilian started the season well with a screamer vs Stoke City and a worldie performance away to Arsenal in Gameweek three. However, since then Coutinho has failed to score and even missed his penalty in the shoot-out victory over Carlisle United. Add this to the red card vs West Ham United and the form book looks bleak when you strip away the eye-catching statistics.
A refresh is needed and a more attacking philosophy wanted to help him out with the burden of carrying Liverpool. He needs help with the creation of space and chance creating if we are to see the best of him in a red shirt. Keeping Sturridge fit might suffice, time will tell.
Daniel Sturridge Is Liverpool’s Number One
The price tags might be separated by £20m but there can be no doubt that Daniel Sturridge is Liverpool’s number one striker and not Christian Benteke. Benteke has his strengths but the pairing of Sturridge and Danny Ings will bear much more fruit over the course of a whole season as both create space for each other and their teammates.
Keeping Sturridge fit and firing and rested might be the best way to helping Liverpool’s results in the short term. Fixing the defensive personnel would be the long term and better way to go about it but we know that won’t happen with Brendan Rodgers at the helm.
Lucas was almost shown the door during the summer transfer window but his performances since coming into the side during the draw at Arsenal have been solid.
Against Villa, he was one of Liverpool’s standout performers alongside James Milner and Daniel Sturridge. His interceptions and numerous tackles were key in the victory over Villa and he certainly justifies his place in the team with form like this. With Jordan Henderson missing for up to two months, Lucas will remain key for the time being.