Liverpool managed to keep only their fifth clean sheet of the season as they romped to victory against Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool fans will have woken up feeling very happy this morning. Having put five past Spurs at White Hart Lane, they are the second highest scorers in the Premier League behind Manchester City and are sitting in second place.
But in amongst all the raving about the performances of Jordan Henderson, Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling amongst others – one encouraging sign that may have gone unnoticed was Liverpool picking up a clean sheet, the factor talked about least in Brendan Rodgers’ ‘most complete’ performance during his managerial reign.
The back four of Jon Flanagan, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson managed only Liverpool’s fifth shut-out of the season, and second away from home. It was a performance from Liverpool's back line that hasn't really been since the start of the season when the Reds kept three consecutive clean sheets on the bounce.
You can take into account the Tottenham lacked any end product in the final third against the Reds – the fact that Simon Mignolet didn’t have to make a save alone speaks volumes – but Liverpool will have been happy with their defensive work.
Sakho may have given Brendan Rodgers a few thoughts over his hesitancy on the ball on a couple of occasions as vice-captain Daniel Agger was sat on the bench.
Crosses were dealt with – predominantly from Sakho and birthday boy Martin Skrtel – as Liverpool’s positioning seemed to be worked on quite a bit in the past week or so – though there was one moment when a free header from Nacer Chadli from a corner which went over the bar.
For much of the game Liverpool isolated Soldado effectively by getting tighter to their man, any presence Spurs had was nullified whilst Jon Flanagan had a pretty impressive display – and that doesn’t even take into account his goal.
Having changed his back four on a few occasions so far this season, if Rodgers sticks with this same quartet for the foreseeable future, Liverpool could get stronger at the back, and as a result stronger overall.
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