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Liverpool's strike force continue to save defenders

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It was a far too familiar tale for Liverpool fans in the club's latest Premier League fixture against Swansea. While one of the most potent strike partnerships in world football - in Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge - was again at their lethal best, the defence crumbled once more. This made what should have been a routine victory, a real challenge.

Sturridge continued his extraordinary recent goal scoring form with another brace and midfielder Jordan Henderson scored twice himself to ensure the Reds did eventually pick up the points.

However, the win was anything but straightforward for the Merseyside Club, who seemed intent on making life difficult for themselves.

Liverpool raced into a two-goal lead after just 20 minutes, as both Henderson and Sturridge opened their account in the match.

But, captain Steven Gerrard still looks uncomfortable playing in the holding midfield role.

The fact the 33-year-old Skipper was outsmarted by Jonjo Shelvey, 21, who marked his return to Anfield after his transfer last summer with a superb strike, shows just how badly Gerrard has struggled to adapt to the position. Plus, how well Lucas Leiva had played there in previous seasons with little recognition.

Soon after, the Swans were level when a Wilfried Bony header bounced past Simon Mignolet in Liverpool’s goal after a deflection off Martin Škrtel from a Jonathan de Guzmán free-kick.

There is no doubt the goal was an unfortunate one to concede. Though replays showed, Referee Mr Mike Jones was correct to award the free-kick, as Škrtel needlessly swiped out at Bony to concede the set-piece and received a caution for his troubles.

The lethal duo could now smell danger and kicked into life on 36 minutes to give Liverpool the lead again. Sturridge steered home a Suárez cross.

Škrtel hadn't of had the best of halves and things got worse for the Slovakian defender at the start of the second period. Bony won a soft penalty after a tussle with the centre-back, which he promptly converted to put the Welsh Club back on level terms.

The Reds have struggled to find a regular partnership at the heart of defence this campaign. With Kolo Toure, making a habit to produce horrifying mistakes, it appears Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will have to stick with the current centre-back pair until Mamadou Sakho returns from injury.

But, not for the first time this season, all of the Merseyside club's woes were forgotten.

The team have enjoyed one of their best seasons in recent years, in spite of their defensive problems. It was one of the key men, who has continued to improve along with the side, that was to score the winner. Henderson's first shot was weak and easily saved by Swans keeper Michel Vorm. But the rebound fell perfectly to the England midfielder, who slotted in.

This hard-fought victory means Liverpool are still only four points away from Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, although ultimately the club looks unlikely to maintain their title push, unless they fix the gaps in their defence.

Therefore, as boss Rodgers has already stated, finishing in the top four and playing in the Champions League next campaign should be the aim.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Premier League
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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