Grinding out Results Keeps Liverpool on Track for High Premier League Finish

Max Munton@thisisanfieldLiverpool CorrespondentDecember 7, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates with his team-mates after Guy Demel of West Ham United scored an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on December 7, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool’s 4-1 victory at home to West Ham on Saturday wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but it was three points all the same to keep the Reds in the mix for the top four places.

The match unravelled for the visitors after the Reds’ third, which was quickly followed by Kevin Nolan’s red card, ultimately killing the game off. 

 

Weaknesses Exist

Philippe Coutinho again showed today he is capable of some dazzling attacking plays, moving the ball forward from defence to the final third at ease, but his final shot is consistently weak.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 4:  Raheem Sterling of Liverpool shoots at goal under pressure from Ryan Bennett of Norwich City during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Norwich City at Anfield on December 4, 2013 in Liverpool, England
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Raheem Sterling showed glimpses of composure in the first half, out-muscling the visitors, but he again failed to get involved thoroughly in the game and was ultimately substituted in the later stages.

It was a similar game to that of Wednesday night, when Liverpool swept aside Norwich City on the surface but also endured long periods of the game looking second-best.

In total, Liverpool had an impressive 32 shots against West Ham, but only eight made it on target, according to the BBC.

West Ham had chances in both halves to score, and Liverpool have the heroic goalkeeping of Simon Mignolet to thank once again. 

 

Winning Mentality

Liverpool aren’t perfect. However, they continue to grind out results despite their inadequacies

There’s an old adage in football folklore that “the sign of a Championship-winning team is one that wins when it's not playing well.” 

That is exactly what Liverpool are doing, and it’s refreshing for fans to see.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers returns the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on December 7, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Ima
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

That’s not to say, though, that Liverpool aren’t playing well right now. 

Against the Hammers, they enjoyed a lot of pressure, which resulted in defensive errors contributing to all four goals.

For the periods between West Ham’s worrying flurry of attacks, Liverpool had control of the game, with 64 percent of possession, according to the BBC.

Luis Suarez continued his masterclass from midweek, and Joe Allen looked more comfortable, settling into his midfield role beside Steven Gerrard.

Liverpool face a nervous wait on the extent of Gerrard’s second-half injury, but the rest from any games on the sidelines could do the Liverpool skipper good.

Many seasons have gone by where Liverpool would have struggled with home games against the likes of "potential banana-skin opponents."

With a difficult run of games coming up to end 2013, Liverpool are taking full advantage of the games they are expected to win.

Now Brendan Rodgers’ side is making Anfield its fortress again, with just one defeat at home this season. 

Apart from a bad day at the office against Hull City last week, Liverpool are churning out the wins that will keep them, as Brendan Rodgers said in October per David Maddock of the Mirror, “in the conversation.”