Liverpool Team: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Maxi, Mascherano, Gerrard, Babel, Kuyt, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Benayoun, Kyrgiakos, Lucas, Ngog, El Zhar.
Whats this? An attacking line up at home to a mid-table team who, up until recently, were in the thick of a relegation battle with no form to speak off.
Such was the exuberance of Rafa today, had he two strikers he might have even picked them both. It looked like Rafa had took the shackles off at last and allowed his team to express themselves.
The result. A 3-0 win and an example of free-flowing attacking football that had the players playing with a smile on their faces, looking happy for a change, and as a result the fans kept happy as well.
In truth Sunderland were poor and didn’t put up much of a fight, but Liverpool looked a different team today, totally refreshed and revitalized.
A start for Babel, Lucas only on the bench! About time too, it was no coincidence Gerrard looked a different player.
Does he really need to be sharing a midfield with Lucas and Mascherano at home to Sunderland? No he dosen’t, and that is surely part of the source of frustration felt by Steven Gerrard of late.
Those are the exact negative tactics that cost Liverpool the title last season.
Sadly these days, the kind of performance seen today is the exception and not the norm at Anfield.
Hopefully Rafa won’t pull the reins in and go back to the defensive stuff for the rest of the season, he might let them continue in this vein and give the crowd something to cheer about after a disappointing campaign.