1.Moreno has all the tools to make it in England

It was – an optimistic, aborted slide tackle on Zabaleta and a mistake for the goal aside – an impressive début for the young Spaniard. His comfort on the ball allied to a huge amount of pace and decent tactical awareness indicates a bright future in English football. Some of his interplay with Markovic in the second half was excellent, and he could have had an assist had he chosen to play the ball to Sturridge rather than Henderson when bursting into the box. Awareness of his team-mates will come with time and familiarity, however; Rodgers will be hoping for a speedy recovery from his twisted ankle 5 minutes from time.

2. Coutinho benefits from a central berth

The little magician’s superb form towards the end of last season came when Rodgers played him in a slightly deeper position, alongside Henderson in the middle of the pitch. Whilst capable of playing in a slightly more advanced role, Coutinho appears to be less effective when tasked with playing the role of a wing-forward. He is ill-suited to the demands of tracking his full-back (shown by the number of times City managed to overload on the left-hand side) and seems to lack the stamina required for a wider role. Lallana’s return from injury gives Rodgers options in this area, as does the impressive showing of Markovic, but it may take a return to the centre for Coutinho to find his form again.

3. Defensive errors may prove crucial again

The sight of opposition strikers wheeling away in delight after a defensive lapse by the Reds is an all too familiar sight for Liverpool fans after last season. It appears there is still work to be done as mistakes by Moreno, Skrtel (and Johnson) and Mignolet cost the team dear against City. A lack of concentration for the 1st and 3rd goals is something that needs to be worked on, but is not systemic; of more concern is the tendency to drop deep shown by Skrtel and Johnson which played City’s attackers onside for the 2nd goal. With both players a doubt for the next game, it may be a chance for the manager to try an aggressive back line of Manquillo, Lovren, Sakho and Moreno – a group of players which could be the Liverpool back line for many years to come.

4. Sturridge shines alongside another striker

As with Southampton the previous week, the introduction of Rickie Lambert galvanised the Reds’ attack, with the England striker forcing the own goal and having a great chance to narrow the gap further a few minutes later. His physical presence drew defenders to him which allowed Sturridge more time and space, in addition to providing a target in the area – the goal being a perfect example of this. With the arrival of Balotelli it is unlikely that Lambert will be near the starting line-up any time soon, but the effect he has shown on Sturridge means a return to a diamond formation is likely to be the preferred formation for the manager this year.

5. New signings showing promise

Good displays from Moreno and Lovren coupled with interesting cameos from Markovic and Lambert have shown that the players signed by the club over the summer seem to be settling in well. With Lallana and Balotelli yet to feature and Manquillo also looking solid, the recruitment campaign appears to have provided the squad depth that was so evidently lacking last year.

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About The Author

Toby Podmore

is a Liverpool-supporting cuckoo from a rugby-mad South African nest in north London, Toby Podmore was brought to Liverpool football club through a soft spot for Michael Owen. With that well and truly gone, his love for the club has remained with him from France to the UK and back again. He now spends his time reading, writing and watching the club from Belfast.

2 Responses

  1. Pnair

    The thing to appreciate about moreno is even after hurting his ankle he stayed in the game and put on with the pain whereas Glenn Johnson just walked down the tunnel, he lacks commitment and doesn’t belong in the team. Hopefully he doesnt feature in anymore liverpool games

    Reply

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