Liverpool produced a brilliant performance to beat Manchester City 2-1 at Anfield on Sunday. We round-up the best newspaper reaction this morning.
This was surely both the Reds’ finest result and display of the 2014/15 campaign so far, as Brendan Rodgers’ side dispatched of the champions on Merseyside.
Given the fact they had played 120 minutes against Besiktas on Thursday, and not made it to bed until 6am on Friday morning, it was a gargantuan effort by every Liverpool player on the day.
Unsurprisingly, it was two of those who didn’t feature in Turkey who shone brightest and scored the goals.
Jordan Henderson was a man on a mission all afternoon, and curled home a stunning effort, while Philippe Coutinho produced one of the best individual performances Anfield has seen in several years, and scored a magical winner.
Joe Allen was fantastic in midfield, Adam Lallana had one of his best games for the Reds and Martin Skrtel continued his huge improvement at the back.
That’s nine points from a supposedly tricky of run of Tottenham at home, Southampton away and City at home- a wonderful effort- as Liverpool continue their march towards a top-four finish.
Andy Kelly of the Liverpool Echo gushed over Coutinho’s wonderful performance:
There was only one name the Kop wanted to sing at the end of an absorbing, pulsating 90 minutes of Premier League football…Coutinho.o.o.
His ability to find space amid the fury of a top-class Premier League game puts him into a very small group of players. From first to last he pulled the strings. A provider for Adam Lallana early in the game while his outrageous backheel almost let Daniel Sturridge ease everyone’s nerves in injury time.
He’s a joy and playing at a club that adores him said his manager. What a wordsmith. What a player.
The Daily Telegraph‘s Mark Ogden was another who heaped praise on the brilliant Brazilian, feeling he is now truly becoming Liverpool’s main man:
Philippe Coutinho has slipped under the radar at Liverpool since arriving from Inter Milan in an £8m deal two years ago, largely due to the performances of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard.
But the Brazilian midfielder has come to the fore this season, with Brendan Rodgers now instructing his team to play through their tireless number ten, and he was the difference in helping Liverpool win this game.
Ogden also spoke about how Steven Gerrard’s return from injury could act as a problem to Rodgers, with the current midfield performing so well without him:
Steven Gerrard will return to the Liverpool team when fit following his hamstring injury, but with the Anfield captain leaving the club at the end of the season, Brendan Rodgers might just benefit from keeping him on the sidelines
The midfield trio of Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are Liverpool’s future and, against City, showed signs of being able to grow into a top class unit.
Gerrard is too good a player to leave out of the team, but Rodgers is a manager who looks at the bigger picture and the reality is that the 34-year-old does not figure in it.
Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail lauded Liverpool’s all-round performance, citing it as one of Rodgers’ best since taking charge in the summer of 2012:
No doubt feeling Thursday night’s Europa League exit in their minds and legs, Brendan Rodgers’ team faced a fresher City side hungry to close the gap on Chelsea at the top.
Still, though, Liverpool won, still they managed to take another step towards hauling in Manchester United and Arsenal in the places above them. This really was a remarkable effort, perhaps one of the most significant of Rodgers’ reign.
The Independent‘s Tim Rich echoed that sentiment, and touched upon Henderson and Coutinho’s freshness having no faced Besiktas:
Dawn would have been starting to break over the Mersey when Brendan Rodgers and his team reached their beds on Friday morning.
They would have one day to prepare for the champions of England. There seemed no logical reason to imagine they might win. It may not have been coincidence, but neither Philippe Coutinho nor Jordan Henderson, the two principal reasons why Liverpool won this match, travelled to Turkey.
Each scored a staggeringly good goal and, far from fading, as most at Anfield would have expected, Liverpool finished the stronger. On the final whistle, Rodgers turned to the Main Stand, punched the air twice and grinned hugely. This was one of the biggest victories of his time as Liverpool manager.
Seeing as the morning papers have all seemingly avoided focussing on the superb display of Allen, read Jack Lusby’s assessment of the Welshman for This Is Anfield here.
Next up for Liverpool is Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Burnley at Anfield, before hosting Blackburn in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.