Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Monday November 12 2012
During his assessment of Sunday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers hailed his side's character for battling back to snatch a point...
Liverpool overcome a sluggish first half performance, in which they were lucky not to concede more than just John Terry's 20th minute header, to clinch a hard-fought draw via a Luis Suarez goal with just over 15 minutes to go.
A tactical change from 5-3-2 to 4-2-3-1 at the break from Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was crucial in giving the Reds a foothold in proceedings and as the game went on they could have conceivably won all three points.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Rodgers analysed: "We were a wee bit tentative in the first half, and that was my fault.
"We normally play with three front players to press the ball much higher up the field. We played 3-5-2 in the first half just to see if we could get Luis a bit of support up front and still have the superiority in midfield with three midfield players.
"With the two front players we just couldn't get our distances right.
"We just couldn't quite press it and that's a big part of our game, because it allows us to be on the front foot.
"Once we changed it and went back to 4-2-3-1 we got more onto the front foot again. Great character traits by the players once again in the second half. I know as well as anyone how difficult it is here, so it's a terrific point and we could have won it in the end."
The result sees Liverpool remain in 13th; 8 points behind fourth placed neighbours Everton.
With the league campaign now over a quarter of the way through, Rodgers was asked about what his team needed to improve and where he felt they could finish.
"If we can hopefully get one or two in January who can help us at the top end of the field we'll turn draws into wins," replied the 39-year-old former Swansea boss.
"Luis just needs that support of instinctive goalscorers.
"Last year the club finished eighth. If we can improve on that, that would be fantastic in terms of where we're at. That's the reality of where Liverpool are at, I'm afraid.
"Hopefully over the next couple of years we can improve and our young players will only get better and better."
Illness in the buildup to the game robbed the visitors of key defender Martin Skrtel, allowing cub stalwart Jamie Carragher to make his first Premier League start of the season.
The 34-year-old, who was one of the few players who had also completed the full 90 minutes in Russia on Thursday, produced a customarily assured and committed display.
Talking after the game to Sky Sports, Carragher discussed his personal situation saying: "Like every player you want to play, but it's down to the manager - he's the boss.
"I understand this stage of my career now. There are always going to be new players coming in. We're a top club that lots of players want to play for. We've got lots of internationals here and I understand what stage of my career I'm at.
"I'd never cause a problem here, I'm just delighted to be involved. If the manager needs me, I'll be ready."
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Date:Monday November 12 2012
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