Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Sunday February 9 2014
Kop boss Brendan Rodgers has unsurprisingly sung the praises of his team, both collectively and individually, after their thrashing of Arsenal...
Liverpool produced a truly phenomenal performance on Saturday lunchtime to defeat championship chasers Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield.
Two goals apiece from Martin Skrtel and Raheem Sterling, plus a strike from Daniel Sturridge which made it 4-0 inside 20 minutes, helped to blow the Premier League title race apart.
A consolation from the penalty spot by Mikel Arteta couldn't cover up the fact that the Gunners were given a footballing lesson which could have a decisive bearing on the aspirations of both sides.
"We were brilliant today, a wonderful performance in such a prestigious game between the two teams," commented Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers at his post-match press conference.
"We do a lot of work on our pressing. I always feel if we press well, we can pass well.
"To play like that, not just the result, but the performance level was absolutely out of this world. I'm very pleased and it's another marker for us that we're getting better and improving all the time."
Despite the resounding victory, the Reds remain in fourth while, after Manchester City also dropped points at Norwich City, Chelsea are now the new leaders.
Liverpool trail the Blues by six points but have a superior goal difference and Jose Mourinho's men still have to visit Anfield.
Perhaps more importantly, with fifth placed Everton facing sixth placed Tottenham Hotspur this afternoon, the Merseysiders now have a five point buffer in the pursuit of the final Champions League qualifying spot.
Accessing the situation, Rodgers added: "There's no doubt we've been outstanding for a big part of the season. We've had one or two off days, but in the main the quality of our game has been incredible.
"The objective has always been to finish as high as we possibly can, but you have to also look at the other teams around you. We'll just keep focused and keep our concentration.
"I want to be in a position where we can really challenge for the title. The players have been incredible; we just hope to continue with that development and see where it takes us."
The victory over Arsenal joins a lengthy list of standout results this season and Rodgers believes the desire of the younger players to improve has been a crucial factor.
"We've had a number of great wins and a number of outstanding performances," continued the 41-year-old.
"Tottenham away was outstanding; Everton at home we were outstanding in a pressure game; we got the result against Manchester United and played reasonably well.
"This year was going to hopefully be another big step for our development. Look around the team - we've got 19-year-old players, Sterling was incredible.
"We had an 18-year-old coming on, Philippe Coutinho is 21, young Jon Flanagan is 20 years of age. It's a very young side, but with a wonderful appetite for the game and a wonderful ability to learn.
"They want to learn and progress. You can see as time goes on, the idea to press well and pass well. That was the key for us today."
Liverpool return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to relegation threatened Fulham.
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Date:Sunday February 9 2014
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