Liverpool currently sit second in the table, having taken sixteen points from seven games, with only Arsenal ahead of them only on goal difference.

Their performances have been consistent, fluid and attractive - a vast improvement on the 2012-2013 season where at the same stage they had only six points.

But their league position could be even better had their second-half performances been of the same quality as those of the first.

If points were allocated by a team's showing in the first-half only, Liverpool would currently be unbeaten on 18 points, the only dropped points coming from drawing at half-time with Southampton.

Although this is only an improvement of two points, one could argue that at the end of the season, the difference between Liverpool's aspiration of fourth place and that of the dreaded fifth place could be a mere three points or less. This was highlighted in the 2012-2013 season when Tottenham missed out on fourth by a single point.

On the other hand, if points were allocated by a team's second half showing alone, Liverpool's prospects would be much bleaker - they would be yet to win a game and sit in the relegation zone in eighteenth place with only four points.

Many of the most successful clubs of all time have saved games and rescued valuable points in the second-half. Perhaps this is most notable with Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United side who frequently left it late to win games or rescue them, so much so that winning a game in 'Fergie Time' became a famous phrase.

It is this ability to reproduce the quality of the first-half in the second, to maintain pressure, that separates the champions from the rest.

Arguably Liverpool's style of play hinders them slightly in this respect. Their notion of high pressure football and quick passing and movement cannot be sustained throughout a full ninety minutes. 

What Liverpool don't want to do is to look back at the end of the season full of regret, having just missed out on their ambition of Champions League football, which seems a must, having gone so long without it.

And what may prove the difference is playing the full ninety minutes rather than just the first forty five.

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Topics:
#Premier League
#Liverpool
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