Brendan Rodgers paid tribute to fans after Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Sunderland on Wednesday night, said his side aren’t always going to be involved in high scoring games.
Thousands of Liverpool fans greeted the team bus on Anfield Road as it arrived before the match, and then there was an excitement and buzz inside the ground for the Reds’ first home game in over a month.
Steven Gerrard’s wonderful free-kick shortly before half time gave Liverpool their lead, before a deflected Daniel Sturridge goal made it two just after the break.
Ki Sung-Yueng headed in a consolation goal for the visitors with 14 minutes left to play, but the Reds showed resilience in holding on for the three points.
It was a far cry from recent performances that have produced score lines such as Saturday’s 6-3 victory at Cardiff, the 3-0 win at Manchester United, or 4-3 win over Swansea in Liverpool’s previous home game.
But nevertheless, Rodgers was delighted with the response from both his players and fans as Liverpool leapfrogged Man City back into second place in the Premier League, and just one point off leaders Chelsea with seven games to go.
Rodgers is quoted on the official Liverpool website as saying, “I think the whole perception of Liverpool is that we’re going to get three, four, five or six goals every game, which is wonderful, but we knew this was a game we were going to have to be patient in and show calmness.
“To get the win, and seven wins on the spin now at this level in the Barclays Premier League, is a huge credit to the players and also to the supporters tonight.
“The message to the supporters is just to keep believing in what we’re doing, which they have done. They’ve seen the methods develop over the last 18 months, and our idea is to stay calm under pressure.”
“I thought we showed great character and we certainly deserved to win the game,” he added.
“It was always going to be difficult because Sunderland came with a 3-5-2 and sat in with a block of three centre-halves, two wing-backs tucked in, two defensive midfielders and the goalkeeper, so we found it difficult to penetrate that eight in the opening period.
“Once we got the goal, the fluency of the game was good for us and at 2-0 we looked like we were going to go on and score more goals. But poor defending at a corner when we switched off at the back post and, all of a sudden, Sunderland have some oxygen.
“Credit to them, they kept fighting because they’re in a difficult position, but it showed the character of our team to stay with it, showed a winning mentality and finished with another great victory.”