Liverpool’s chances of pushing for a European place will be enhanced if they maintain the sort of performance they showed at Arsenal last night.
Few would have given Liverpool a chance of competing away at Arsenal considering the magnitude of the Emirates Stadium and the fact that the odds were against them but they went two goals up to eventually seal a point in a difficult fixture.
There are plenty of positives for Liverpool to take from their performance which are going to aid their push towards European football and possibly a late assault on fourth place.
Despite the fact Arsenal scored two second half goals to come back into the game, Liverpool’s defensive organisation looked solid and was helped by the presence of Jamie Carragher.
There were spells throughout the match where Liverpool had to drop very deep, dig in and hold out under heavy Arsenal pressure.
Brendan Rodgers can be pleased by the performance of one or two players who have been criticised this season and who may have doubted their place in the side.
“There is an initial disappointment when you are 2-0 up (and drew 2-2) but we knew Arsenal were going to have a spell. We could have had a few more goals but my overriding emotion is one of pride. These players have been brilliant,” Rodgers told BBC Sport after the match.
Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson in particular both produced efficient displays that were as impressive off the ball as they were on the ball. Both added to the defensive side of Liverpool’s game and both got forward and were involved in attacks well throughout the game.
Liverpool’s counter attacking play was some of the best that they have produced all season including one superb pass from Luis Suarez to Daniel Sturridge in the first half which could have led to a goal with a better finish.
Sturridge looked disappointed when he was taken off for Jose Enrique in the second half but that wasn’t a mark of a bad performance, it was a basic tactical switch made by Rodgers to nullify the threat of Theo Walcott down the right.
If Liverpool can maintain this sort of away performance then they aren’t going to accumulate too many more defeats to go with the four they already have on the road.
They will back themselves to pick up the majority of their points at home and if this is backed by solid away displays then Europa League football next season is the minimum and they have a tiny chance at getting into fourth place.
What did you make of Liverpool’s performance?
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