By Mark Finlay
Following Liverpool’s 2-2 draw at home to Arsenal, it could only be a Gunners fan who did not think that the Reds deserved at least a point from a game in which they dominated, having 27 chances of scoring with a possession rate of 63.5%.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers obviously relieved after defender Martin Skrtel managed to put the Reds level seven minutes into injury time said that he saw a quality about the Reds play that could see them push for a top-four finish.
This of course goes against the record books that show no team has ever ended the season higher than sixth while on the same points as Liverpool after 17-games.
Rodgers however believes that when he has striker Daniel Sturridge back fit the team has the quality to make up the difference in points.
Meanwhile striker Sturridge will miss Christmas with his family in the U.K. as he is in Boston having treatment for a thigh injury that has seen him only play three games for Liverpool so far this season.
When speaking after the match Rodgers said: “I think we can make an impression on the top four in the second half of the season. Absolutely.”
“It is always going to be a big challenge, of course. We have to make up points – but we have shown this is a club that can go on a run of games.
“In the second half of last season we went on a run of 11 wins. The most important thing is the confidence – we have shown real confidence, our performance was outstanding in the passion and intensity. Bring Sturridge back in January and we can get back to being that team.
“I really felt we played better and dominated more than when we beat Arsenal here 5-1 last season. I thought we were brilliant, and when we play our game, we are a difficult team to play against. Hopefully it will bring us in to what we have had in my time here, being stronger in the second half of the season.”
Rodgers went on to admit the team still has problems defending saying: “A lot of our goals we give away are poor goals. I thought Sanchez dived to win the free-kick before the first goal, but when it came in we lost three one-vs-one headers,” he explained.
“That is not about organisation that is about winning the duel. We have to improve that – the first goal was one where we have to defend it better. We lost three headers which can’t happen. The second one we can stop it before it breaks away. There are all areas we can improve.”
When asked about Sturridge Rodgers said: “He will be back in the UK just after the Christmas period. His rehab in LA, going back to Boston and he will move on to a specialist facility there and hopefully in the early part of the New Year he will be back. At some point in January we will get him back.”