Liverpool got a much needed victory last night as they ran out 3-1 winners on the South Coast against Bournemouth. Brendan Rodgers again started the game without a recognised striker but Raheem Sterling managed to find the net twice, with summer signing Lazar Markovic grabbing his first goal for the club.
The Reds came into this game on the back of being dumped out of the Champions League, and after being on the receiving end of a humbling 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, where they spurned chance after chance.
Liverpool will be hoping to kick on after this game with a huge clash against Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday, which the Reds simply must win to keep themselves in contention for the top four this term, ahead of the busy festive period.
Here are a few things we may have learned about Liverpool last night:
1) They have found a system to get the best out of their attacking players:
It seems as though Liverpool have struggled to accommodate the more flamboyant players in their squad, and get the best out of the more creative players in the squad. The 3-4-1-2 system seemed to do just that as Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling all shone and were a threat going forward. It may be against Championship opposition, but these four in particular looked comfortable in their roles.
2) The goalkeeping situation may be more problematic than Rodgers thought:
Brendan Rodgers has taken Simon Mignolet out of the firing line 'indefinitely' and replaced him with Brad Jones, and for the two games so far, you can say Jones has to do better. Last night's strike Dan Gosling should have been gobbled up by Jones, but instead he squandered the opportunity of keeping a confidence boosting clean sheet. Whilst Rodgers has evidently not been happy with the form of Mignolet, it does raise the question of whether or not he should return sooner rather than later.
3) Some new players are starting to find their feet:
Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic shone in particular last night and seem to be finding their feet in Liverpool shirts. There has been a lot of calls for Lallana to start more regularly, whilst Markovic took his opportunity to prove he should have a run in the side. He will certainly be used over the festive period but whether he gets a run in the side remains to be seen.
4) The League Cup is something Brendan Rodgers has taken seriously:
Rodgers said at the start of the season, before all of Liverpool's poor form struck, that he wanted to win a trophy in his third season at the helm. There have been strong line-ups being sent out in every stage of the competition, but as the rounds have gone on, the side appears to have more recognised players. Just how seriously he's taking it from here on in was how long Steven Gerrard played for. Given Rodgers is supposedly trying to manage the Liverpool skipper's game time, to play just short of 90 minutes shows that last night, at least, was a big deal for the Liverpool boss.
5) A change of approach, but still a place for Lucas Leiva:
Lucas was brought into the side a few weeks ago as the Reds sought to get 'back to basics.' Now they are trying to return to a more flamboyant approach that dominates games like last season, and the midfield seems to function a lot better with the Brazilian at the heart of proceedings than it did on Sunday against Manchester United. One would think that Lucas will retain his place for the visit of Arsenal on Sunday.