Liverpool continued their perfect start to the new campaign with a hard-fought win over rivals Manchester United on Sunday.
Liverpool beat Manchester United 1-0 on Sunday at Anfield to take their place at the top of the Premier League and send their fans into rapture.
Daniel Sturridge got an early goal that the Reds managed to hang onto, with the Merseysiders showing their intent of breaking into the top four.
Here are five things that became apparent about Liverpool in their win.
Too many times in the recent past Liverpool have conceded soft goals and failed to mark up properly from corners and free-kicks. This no longer seems to be an issue, as the Reds’ backline looks secure and organised.
With two excellent attacking full-backs and the solidarity of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger, Liverpool limited United to fleeting sights of their goal. With Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori set to be signed on transfer deadline day, Brendan Rodgers has quality options at the back.
Coutinho more suited to central role
Rodgers has spoken recently of his desire to play Philippe Coutinho in a more central role instead of on the left wing. The Brazilian started on the flank before moving in-field following the substitution of Iago Aspas, and this move made a lot of sense.
Coutinho failed to help Enrique on many occasions when Antonio Valencia broke forward from right-back for United, and playing the former Inter man in the number ten role will allow him to focus on his attacking duties solely. Victor Moses’ impending arrival at Anfield will give Rodgers an added option on the wing, allowing for Coutinho to play a more prominent role centrally.
Henderson starting to live up to billing
Much has been made of Liverpool’s transfer policy under Kenny Dalglish, with big-money signings such as Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing now being sold on. Jordan Henderson was another that cost the Merseysiders a pretty penny, but the ex-Sunderland midfielder is starting to prove himself at the club.
Henderson put in a solid performance again against United and now looks to be settled in the Reds’ starting XI. He is clearly learning from Steven Gerrard and could well be the natural successor to the Liverpool legend in the future.
Rodgers the man to lead Liverpool forward
The former Swansea man has tried to instill his brand of possession football on the club and it appears that Rodgers has the respect and control of the first team.
Liverpool look like a more-rounded team under the Northern Irish manager, who has proven that he can potentially live up to great managers of the club from yesteryear.
Liverpool have belief in their abilities
The Reds went 1-0 against Manchester United in the corresponding fixture last term, only to be beaten 2-1. This time round the side never looked under considerable danger and had the positive mindset to see out the game.
It looks like Liverpool are finally starting to believe in their own abilities and as such they seem ready to finally challenge for a place back in the top four.
image: © ekilby