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Brendan Rodgers' hard work is finally paying off

Sourav Saha
Editor's Pick
978   //    19 Nov 2012, 15:41 IST

Liverpool v Wigan Athletic - Premier League

As the referee sounded the final whistle, the score line read 3-0 to Liverpool: a fine result and a considerable weight lifted off Brendan Rogers’ shoulders. After a slew of results in the season where the football has been only easy-on-the-eye  football, Anfield saw a result which was welcome to the supporters and the owners and most importantly, the players themselves. Rodgers has been relentless in terms of the style and the discipline he is looking to impose, but given the way Liverpool dominated once the first goal was scored, his methods and plans are surely starting to take shape.

Suarez once again was the lethal finisher that we know him to be, and for a change he wasn’t guilty of missing any chances; instead, the first goal, where he adjusted his body to finish in the top left corner of the goal-keeper, was one of the better finishes. The Uruguayan becoming more clinical only bodes well for Liverpool with the transfer window coming up.  Maybe it’s too early to expect a lot from Liverpool, but over the past few weeks Liverpool have been moving towards the right direction.

Early on in the game, Liverpool made the substitution of bringing on Henderson for Suso, who was not the most effective in a midfield in which he was being bullied, and Liverpool were seeing less off the ball. Rodgers, a manger who treasures ball possession, realized that and made the call and although Wigan dominated the first half, it was Liverpool who finished on an even keel, who until then were still finding their feet in the game.

Liverpool v Wigan Athletic - Premier League

Still, come the second half, Wigan, who were looking to build from their first half performance, made the fatal error which allowed Sterling to get behind their defense and thus provide the cross from which Suarez opened the scoring; a goal which was as clinical as you can get. The second goal though was totally due to the bullishness and commitment of Enrique, who after stubbornly resisting the Wigan players’ challenges, provided the through ball for Suarez to double the tally. Much has been said about the Spaniard this season and he has been in the news for the wrong reasons and reports of rifts with the manager. But given his performance in the past few games, where he has put all the talk behind him, the results are there for everyone to see, as his fine evening was capped off by a goal which was richly deserved.

Although Wigan by then were in shambles and to be fair to them, the referee’s and linesman’s puzzling decision to award a throw-in when there was a clear Liverpool deflection, contributed to an already disturbed concentration which led to Enrique sneaking in at the far post for a simple finish.

Industrious players are always rewarded and respected by fans and managers alike and sometimes they can make up for the flair and brilliance, but at most times it’s hard work which gets a person out of a hole. This was one of those times and all plaudits must be reserved and bestowed on Enrique. If Suarez is starting to set alight the Premier League with audacity, it’s the other players in the squad who are starting to put in more than 100 percent that will help Liverpool in their quest for Champions League place.

Results among the top contenders must bode well for Liverpool, but they still have a long way to go before they can catch up with the rest of the contenders and be considered as challengers. A third win this season and all three points and a clean sheet is most welcome. Also, the return of Reina to the top, impressive performances from all round the park from the players and clinical finishing yielded maximum points.

If the owner’s choice for the managerial job earlier this summer was in doubt, then Rodgers has answered this emphatically in his favour. Further tests lie later in this week with Europa League matches coming up, but for now in the Premier League, Rodgers has made his point, even though it may be against Wigan.

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