Liverpool‘s derby victory over Everton, coupled with Manchester City‘s demolition of Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, has left Brendan Rodgers‘s team firmly in control of the final Champions League spot ahead of a relatively easy fixture list next month.
While the visit of Arsene Wenger‘s Arsenal team to Anfield poses the toughest test for them, fixtures against West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Swansea might not be walks in the park and need to be dealt with in clinical fashion in order for the team to avoid losing their foothold in the Premier League table.
The return of the fruitful “SAS” partnership was the biggest takeaway from a fantastic evening of football in Merseyside as Rodgers must now look forward to cementing his team’s position inside the top-four.
After a spectacular display against Tottenham last month, the team stuttered against City and Chelsea in consecutive matches. However, the recent stalemate against Aston Villa at home has cost them two valuable points which might have otherwise taken them closer to Jose Mourinho‘s third-placed Chelsea.
Liverpool’s failure to attract Mohamed Salah, who was poached by Chelsea, might not be regretted if the team continues performing to their strengths. Games against bigger opponents were marked by a failure to consistently feed Luis Suarez, and this is an area of concern that could be addressed in the transfer window — one that has so far seen no significant activity from the Reds except for a couple of outgoing moves.
Ironically, the team cannot expect to bring in big-name talents until the summer due to the lack of Champions League action this season, and they need to play their hearts out to be able to compete on par with clubs like City and Chelsea in the forthcoming seasons.
Suarez’s long-term commitment should not be the best thing to have happened to the club come season’s end. Rodgers’ team is equipped with enough firepower to see them over the line, and a failure to do that might only set the club back in its plans for the future.