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Pressure...what pressure?

15 April 2014, 11:54

Liverpool have elbowed their way back into the English Premier League elite for the first time since the 2008-09 season, when they lost the league by a miserly four points to Manchester United. Regardless of what may happen in their coming four matches, The Reds can consider this to be a landmark season.

Where the Liverpool of old would simply hope to defend a 1-0 lead until the final whistle, this term Brendan Rodgers has made attack the best form of defense. Agreed, Liverpool were by some way the second best team in the 2nd half of Sunday’s win against Manchester City, but their season over all has illustrated the aforementioned state of mind.

In respect to that match, having secured a 2-0 lead over City at half time, it seemed to have dawned on Liverpool that the Premier League title may well be within reach and nerves appeared to have gotten the better of them for the second 45 minutes. Passes were erratic, and City capitalized by closing the ball down quickly, pressuring Liverpool’s defense and pinning them back to within their own half, and even in their own penalty area for much of that second stanza.

Though City leveled matters at 2-2 by the hour mark, few would have banked on a third Liverpool goal, but Philippe Coutinho had the presence of mind to stay forward and was thus able to pounce on Vincent Komapny’s mishit clearance late on. This highlights what Brendan Rodgers has instilled in his team in training. Personally, I would have bet the farm on Kompany hoofing the ball well into opposition territory, but The Reds always, ALWAYS, seem to have a man up front waiting for some kind of defensive lapse.

I mentioned in my previous article what Rodgers has brought (back) to Liverpool since his arrival and how he’s developed and molded the team into something to be proud of, but one simply cannot heap enough praise on the manager. To have raised Liverpool from 7th place mediocrity, to challenging for the Premier League within twelve months is simply unprecedented – especially considering the finances both Chelsea and Man City have at their disposal. I would even go so far as to say that, on paper at least, Manchester City should never lose a game.

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