After the midweek fixtures, one thing became abundantly clear; Liverpool are title contenders. If Saturday’s 5-1 drubbing of Arsenal wasn’t proof enough, the Reds dug deep to sink Fulham courtesy of a last gasp Steven Gerrard penalty. This week’s victory means Liverpool have now won 5 out of their last 7 seven matches, drawing the other two. The Reds sit in fourth, with 53 points, just four behind first placed Chelsea and three behind Arsenal. They are one behind third placed City, who still have a game in hand.
Much of Liverpool’s resurgence is down to the famed SAS striking duo; Suarez and Sturridge. The two have combined for 39 of Liverpool’s 66 goals in the league and make Liverpool a real attacking threat. Despite missing the first six games of the season through suspension, Suarez has set the league on fire, hitting the mark 23 times with Daniel Sturridge right alongside him with 16 of his own. Liverpool are second in the division for scoring, only two behind City’s 68, and with Sergio Aguero’s injury, Liverpool may be on course to usurp the Citizens.
Behind SAS, Liverpool are buoyed by “captain fantastic” Steven Gerrard, whose passion is contagious. His young and talented supporting cast of Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, and Jordan Henderson provide a full complement of both attacking flair and defensive stability in the absence of Lucas Leiva. Under Brendan Rodgers, the Reds attack in numbers, with blistering speed and precision, finding success by pressing high up the pitch and counter attacking. Rodgers initially struggled to adapt to life at Liverpool, but now has the Reds firing on all cylinders.
Liverpool’s rearguard has also improved significantly, having been boosted by the acquisitions of Mamadou Sakho, Aly Cissokho and the veteran Kolo Toure, who has been solid despite his recent high-profile blunders. Mainstay Martin Skrtel has retained his place while youngster John Flanagan has come on in leaps and bounds. The young Englishman is certainly one for the future, with his impressive performances at right back this year earning him the nickname “scouse Cafu” from his teammates. After Glen Johnson suffered from a dip in form as well as injuries, Flanagan’s emergence came in due timing. Daniel Agger and Jose Enrique have also struggled with form in the past and Liverpool are benefiting from new found stability.
Indifferent form at the beginning of the season meant Liverpool would aim to claim a top four spot, but a purple patch has seemed them cut the gap and they now find themselves firmly in the title race. Dark horses to some, Liverpool will look to continue this form in the hopes of capturing their first Premier League title in 20 years.