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Raheem Sterling has been Liverpool's best player this season

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We're at the half-way point of Liverpool's roller-coaster of a season. 

After 19 Premier League games the Reds sit just eighth in the table, five points behind the top four and have already crashed out of the Champions League in the group stages. 

There is one positive to take from this campaign - Brendan Rodgers' men have strolled into the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup however face two tough clashes against Chelsea in the turn of the year.

As we go into 2015, we look back on the highs and lows of the Merseyside outfits season so far.

Player Of The Season - Raheem Sterling

Recently, Liverpool have started to look like their old selves of last term, especially during their 4-1 thrashing of Swansea City.

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However, prior to the last few weeks there have been some miserable performances that have questioned Rodgers' place at the helm of Anfield.

Philippe Coutinho failed to take a grip of games like he did so last campaign, problems remained at the back and goals were drying up.

The man who shined, however, was Raheem Sterling.

Starting the season at 19-years-old, he put in a number of excellent performances that were well beyond his age. There was a period when both fans and the players were relying on the youngster to carry the Reds and drag results out of the bag.

During the 3-2 away win against QPR, the England international was directly involved in all three of his teams goals and grabbed one himself and quite literally carried his ten team-mates on his shoulders.

As Liverpool have lacked with option upfront, the youngster has stepped up to the plate of recent and although he is not a natural number nine, his pace has allowed Rodgers to play a different system which creates movement and pace in the team.

His team-mates, his manager and the fans have a lot to thank him for and Liverpool could very much be a lot lower down the table if it wasn't for him. 

Goal Of The Season - Steven Gerrard vs FC Basel

Ten years and one day after Liverpool grabbed a famous victory against Olympiakos in the European Cup to go through to the next phase of the competition, Basel travelled to Merseyside and the situation was similar.

It was between the Reds and the Swiss champions to scoop the runners up spot in Group B as Real Madrid has already cantered home at the top. 

Against the Greek side, Liverpool went 1-0 down at half-time but came back to take the clash 3-1. Against Basel, they also went into the break trailing by a single goal.

Steven Gerrard netted the winning goal that took his side through a decade ago and almost did so again.

His free-kick in the 82nd minute was expertly smashed into the top left-hand corner and it genuinely made fans believe they may repeat the fairytale. Unfortunately it was not to be, but the strike was a touch of genius from the club captain.

Game Of The Season - 2-2 vs Arsenal

The draw against Arsene Wenger's side had everything that Kopites wanted to see.

The performance was by far Liverpool's best effort to date this campaign, as Rodgers' tactics saw Coutinho thriving once again and the ball being passed quickly and effectively.

The Brazilian gave his side the lead just before the break with an excellent solo goal and when looking down and out, Martin Skrtel - who had previously been stamped on in the match causing a long delay - headed a 97th minute winner home.

The performance saw the Reds dominate the game and brought memories of last season when Anfield was a fortress.

Headline Of The Season - Mario Balotelli signs

Mario Balotelli is known across world football as the most controversial player in the game.

From sending off's to off-field antics, the Italian divides opinion - to some he has all of the talent in the world and to others he's a complete no.

With Luis Suarez leaving for Barcelona, Rodgers faced pressure to bring in another striker. The market was seemingly short stocked this summer - Alexis Sanchez chose to move to Arsenal and Loic Remy failed a medical.

That left the Northern Irishman to bring in Balotelli in for £16 million from AC Milan.

The signing brought so much talk in the media and amongst Reds and as usual, split opinions as people weighed up the pros and cons of him signing.

Most Improved Player - Lazar Markovic

The young Serb arrived on Merseyside with a massive reputation as one of the Europe's highly touted players. 

Lazar Markovic had helped Benfica to the Europa League title the previous season and it cost the Reds a hefty £20 million to acquire his services.

At the start of the season, most couldn't believe how much was paid for him. The 20-year-old was plain awful and showing no signs that he would succeed at Anfield.

He was supposed to be gifted with bundles of pace that frightened defenders and be an assist machine. Instead, Markovic either gave the ball away when attempting to take on defenders or give the ball simple, usually backwards.

Prior the the 1-1 draw with Basel, the youngster barely had, had a sniff in the Liverpool team for a while.

However, he came on at half-time and showed all of his class menacing the Swiss outfits back-four before stupidly getting sent-off.

Since then, he's put in decent performances against Manchester United, Bournemouth and Arsenal and looks a player who can succeed.

Biggest Flop - Mario Balotelli

I was tempted to give this award to Dejan Lovren, but Balotelli just gets the nod.

The Italian has very much had it his way since moving to Merseyside. 

Daniel Sturridge has been side-lined with injury leaving Balotelli to lead the Liverpool forward-line for a large chunk of the season.

Since making his debut against Tottenham Hotspur in August, the 24-year-old is still yet to score his first goal in the top flight and has netted just two goals in all competitions.

It's not just the lack of goals, but his attitude on the pitch has not been good enough. When his side need him to work hard to win the ball back or put pressure on the opposition, he's chose to stroll about and not put in any effort. Further, he has also refused to adopt to Rodgers' style of quick, free-flowing football and slowed the play down, having a negative effect on the lies of Sterling and Coutinho.

It's been frustrating for Kopites to watch as you do see glimpses of his talent from time to time but you want it on a consistent basis.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Premier League
Football

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