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Five key observations from Liverpool's performance against Arsenal

Raheem Sterling And Rodgers

There were plenty of talking points for Liverpool fans to focus on following defeat at Arsenal yesterday.

Liverpool were a little unlucky not have earned at least a replay against Arsenal yesterday as they were edged out 2-1 in the FA Cup.

Brendan Rodgers was left fuming after the final whistle following referee Howard Webb’s decision not to award the Anfield side a second penalty following a clear foul on Luis Suarez from Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Liverpool will now move on and focus on a Premier League title shot, with a top four finish the minimum the side will be looking to achieve over the rest of the season.

Here are five key observations from Liverpool’s performance yesterday.

Raheem Sterling

What a player and what a talent, he looked like the best, and quickest, wide player on the field.

He gave Liverpool’s counter attacks an extra dimension because his pace allowed him to exploit any pocket of space and the Arsenal defence didn’t seem to know how to contain him.

Jordan Henderson

The side misses him and it was no surprise to see him brought on in the second half.

They miss him because he’s a very responsible and versatile player who can adapt and play different roles based on the game situation.

He can sit and hold, he can be a creative player in the heart of the team and he can get forward when Liverpool are on top. He was key as Rodgers’ side built some pressure over the final half an hour of the game.

Daniel Sturridge

It will be good for Liverpool fans to know that he cares so much about what he’s trying to do at the club, as he broke down in tears after the game.

He wasn’t at his normal lethal best, missing some good chances which could have propelled Liverpool to a win but that raw emotion which came flowing out of him at the end of the game should be an encouraging sign for the club.

Luis Suarez

The fact Liverpool got him tied down to a new contract recently was a masterstroke by the powers that be at Anfield.

He was one of the only Liverpool players who looked like he was going to make something happen yesterday, which was remarkable considering Arsenal’s adjustment in terms of how they played against him was superb.

Suarez is a world class striker and set an example over how to reinvent himself when a side initially found a way to keep him quiet. Could easily have had at least a brace.

Leadership

There were some encouraging signs in terms of leadership from both captain Steven Gerrard and manager Brendan Rodgers.

Gerrard was superb in making sure heads didn’t drop went Liverpool went 2-0 down yesterday, showing great composure from the penalty spot to get his team back into the game.

Rodgers deserves praise for deflecting attention away from his team after the game. He’s one of the best in the business when it comes to taking the pressure away from the individuals who represent him and the football club.

image: © bernard-chan

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