Monday, 2 September 2013

How far can Liverpool go this season?

Liverpool currently sit top of the English Premier League after winning their opening three games of the season, the most recent of which,  a 1-0 victory over the Champions Manchester United.

Rodgers is mobbed by Sturridge and his teammates 
Prior to Sunday’s match, Brendan Rodgers’ side had seen off Stoke at Anfield and Aston Villa away from home, both by the scoreline of 1-0. Their 1-0 victory against United, means they become the first Premier League side to win their first three games 1-0, and with the same player (Daniel Sturridge) scoring all three times.

Liverpool now sit top of the league with nine points from three matches and are the only side to currently have a 100% record.

An impressive start to the season from the reds, who desperately want to get into the top four and earn that elusive Champions League spot.

Sunday was an emotional day for the club, with the fans and management of both sides celebrating, what would have been the 100th birthday of the legendary figure Bill Shankly. The KOP had an impressive mosaic display to pay tribute to their former manager.

One of Liverpool's fans' tribute yesterday
It took Liverpool just four minutes to break the deadlock, as the inform Englishmen, Daniel Sturridge cleverly lost his marker at the far post and flicked the ball past David De de Gea in the United goal.

It was the kind of start Moyes must have dreaded, raising the decibel level of an already pretty raucous occasion.

Daniel Sturridge, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Sunday, has had a fantastic start to the season, having already netted the winners against Stoke and Aston Villa and scoring during the week in the cup.

The former Chelsea and Bolton striker seems to be thriving in his preferred role as a centre forward, and making the most of being the main man, as Luis Suarez still sits in the stand, following his ban at the end of last season.

Liverpool’s manager Brendan Rodgers will have a headache to deal with once Suarez is eligible to feature again. Will he push Sturridge back out wide, or keep him playing as the main striker? Sunday’s win made even more impressive, considering they never had their Uruguayan star in the squad.

Robin Van Persie was one of four United players cautioned in a typically fierce affair, and the half ended with an angry exchange of words between Steven Gerrard and the Dutch striker, whose focus appeared to have slipped somewhat after an earlier tangle with Agger.

Liverpool weren’t at their best by any stretch of the imagination, but still managed to hold out and earn an invaluable three points against their great rivals.

Gerrard and RvP go head-to-head
David Moyes has still never won a game at Anfield, after failing to win on Sunday and during his entire time as manager of Everton.

So, how far can this Liverpool side go this season?

It seems Daniel Sturridge is going to be pivotal to their success, giving how much of an impressive start he has made to the season. Liverpool still have Suarez to come back to the side, if they can keep him from leaving in the remaining few hours of this transfer window.

Liverpool fans aren’t na├»ve and will not want to get carried away, despite making their best start to a season in recent years.

Their hopes of a top four finish, however, were boosted somewhat today with the signings of Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori for a combined £25m. With what has been a busy day for the club, they have also brought in the Chelsea winger Victor Moses, while Borini has went to Sunderland on loan.

Sakho, a 23-year-old France international centre-back, has put pen to paper on a long-term contract with Liverpool having agreed a fee with Paris Saint-Germain believed to be in the region of £18m.

The 20-year-old Ilori, who has represented Portugal at under-20 level, has arrived from Sporting Lisbon for £7m having been tracked by Rodgers for much of the summer.

Sakho said: “I’m delighted to be here. I’d like to thank everyone for the welcome. “I came here because the project that is in place at Liverpool interests me. I’m really looking forward to playing my first game.”

Sakho, who can also play left-back, has made 14 appearances for France and played 201 games for PSG since making his breakthrough in 2007.

He won the French title, French Cup and French League Cup and was also named the country’s young player of the year in 2011. “I’m really looking forward to cracking on with work and I can’t wait to get on the pitch,” continued Sakho.

Despite it being early days, Liverpool fans must be confident of the season ahead. With today’s signings, they should be aiming for a top four finish and aim to get back into the Champions League, where they quite rightly belong.

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