Liverpool put in arguably their best performance of the season last night at Anfield as they ran out 4-1 winners against Brendan Rodgers' old side Swansea City. Alberto Moreno opened the scoring in the first half before a more chaotic start to the second period which saw and Adam Lallana brace sandwich by a Gylfi Sigurdsson strike. The scoring was rounded off by Jonjo Shelvey heading a Jordan Henderson corner into his own net, capping off a miserable return to Anfield for the midfielder.
It was a night full of positives for Liverpool, but what did we learn? Here are five things:
The new system is here to stay
Operating with wing-backs proved to be effective for Liverpool last night with both Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo proving to be effective on the flanks. They were also helped with the presence of Mamadou Sakho and Emre Can operating inside to cover them, whilst Jordan Henderson worked well in the middle. Both Moreno and Manquillo took their chance having not been involved so much in recent weeks, proving this system suits more of the Liverpool squad.
More question marks over whether Liverpool's best team includes Steven Gerrard
Brendan Rodgers has repeatedly the stated the importance of the Liverpool skipper this season even if he is being rested, and in the autumn of his career. But the energy and drive the midfield carried without him was excellent to watch. This is not to say Gerrard doesn't have a role in the side, he has shown he does, but the combination of Henderson and Lucas in the middle allowed the midfield to flow, with the full-backs bombing on.
Reds still need lessons in composure
A lot of people have said it was reminiscent of Liverpool from last season, including the obligatory five minutes of chaos after the Reds' scored their second. Brendan Rodgers was critical of how the side played in that faze, as they were bullied for a small spell and got a bit sloppy on the ball, causing Anfield to get a bit more anxious than it should have been.
Goals can come from all areas of the team
Last night was the fourth consecutive game when Liverpool managed to find the net without starting with a recognised striker. Midfielders more than anyone else are chipping in with the goals, but it's good for the side to see Adam Lallana finding his scoring touch, and that Alberto Moreno is showing his eye for goal.
Liverpool are still a side based on hard work in the final third
This is where we have to thank Mario Balotelli for this part of the analysis as he came on for the final 10 minutes for what seemed like a sulk. Liverpool had Raheem Sterling running the channels for most of the evening but it was non-existent when the Italian was introduced to the action. Plenty of movement into the channels from the central striker and the central midfielders getting beyond the line of the striker is where the Reds look at their most threatening going forward.