Saturday brought along another much-aniticipated local derby, as Liverpool took on Everton at Goodison Park. Kenny Dalglish's club may have beaten their Merseyside rivals by a score of 2-0, but they looked nowhere near as impressive as they should against a middling club like the Toffees.
To reach the top, Liverpool need to be at their best every game. They weren't against Everton. There is significant room for improvement. The Reds take on Manchester United at Anfield in two weeks time, and to secure victory over their age-long rivals they will need to be better.
Here are five ways they can improve.
One of Liverpool's major problems early on this season has been the lack of creativity from the midfield. Charlie Adam and Lucas are similar players, both being primarily defensive-minded, while Jordan Henderson has not been the attacking force he has the potential to be in the future. If Liverpool could solve that problem it would add significant offensive threat and make players like Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez better.
The man to do that needs to be Steven Gerrard. He is their captain, and at times best player, and not having him in the team is a massive blow to their chance of victory heading into every game. He appears to be fully fit, but has yet to return to the starting lineup. With two weeks to go until the Manchester United game, there is a good chance we see him leading the troops out to battle at Anfield.
To be truly successful at the top level, you need to take your chances. For a club with aspirations like those of Liverpool, there is simply no excuse for missing a penalty.
Dirk Kuyt is usually the most reliable player for the Reds, but he never looked convincing when he saw his penalty saved by Tim Howard. It was struck without any real venom, and it was made easy for the Everton goalie. Going forward, every penalty must be converted. No exceptions.
As Jose Enrique has grown more comfortable in his role as Liverpool's permanent left-back, his performances have improved. Against Everton, he was arguably the best player on the field.
That said, Dalglish needs to give Enrique more responsibilities on the field. He has clearly shown an ability to play at the level the Reds demand, and he has at times driven the team's attack. Liverpool need to give him the opportunity to be more aggressive from his left-back position. The team's opening goal against Everton was created largely because of Enrique being active in the opponents' box. We need to see more of that.
Once again, Andy Carroll failed to show any real menace in the Reds attack. Simply put, he did not look threatening. That said, once you get the ball to him in the penalty area he can be deadly. He showed that against Everton.
Carroll can be a prolific goalscorer; he just needs to be supplied. Liverpool's attacking players need to realise that, and do more to provide Carroll with quality chances in front of goal. He didn't get many against Everton, but when he did get one, he buried it. He won't miss.
New signing Craig Bellamy changed the dynamic of the game when he came on. Stewart Downing did not look impressive during his time on the field and failed to get too much going offensively, but when Bellamy came on for him the whole team seemed to get an extra spark. Just four minutes after he came on, Liverpool took the lead, with the Welsh forward instrumental in the setup.
Craig Bellamy needs to be used more in the games. He brings a great change of pace and a boost of energy to the attack line. Dirk Kuyt and Stewart Downing should start, but Dalglish needs to be less hesitant about making a change earlier on. Bellamy played 23 minutes and altered the game. Imagine what he could do with 45.
Follow Jake Ware on Twitter at @JacobWare95