Liverpool’s narrative has over the weeks begun taking a different turn; once considered destined to finish out of the European spots, they have gathered momentum over the weeks to slowly but surely stake their claim for a top four finish.
Daniel Sturridge’s return from injury may have provided a much-needed psychological boost after a lengthy layoff, after the news of Steven Gerrard’s imminent departure to America caused some invisible damage. But he is not the sole reason for Liverpool’s upturn in fortune – far from it.
The revival of Sterling after a string of fatigued performance, Mario Balloteli recently featuring amongst the goals and the Jordan Henderson’s impressive and often domineering presence in midfield have no doubt been pivotal for their revitalization… all that and Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian has found fitness hard to conquer, but the 22 year old still has time to overcome these niggling injuries before he truly fulfils his potential. Until then, he has not only provided the spark Liverpool needed all too urgently but also provides the league glimpses of the player he could turn into.
The Brazilian has been instrumental in making Liverpool tick, as he dropped between lines, picked out passes with precision and innovation as he brings in his teammates into the game. That and his thunderbolt of a strike has seen Liverpool claw back into the top four race. His ferocious strikes against fellow top-four aspirants, Southampton and reigning champions, Manchester City, are testament to a venomous shot he possess. Those goals also aided his side to six points they would otherwise have surrendered in his absence. And with his scintillating form, the Brazilian is beginning to shoulder more responsibility as he assumes the responsibility to create and score goals, consequently catapulting the Kop side into the cusps of a top four finish.
But can they keep it up? Will manager, Brendan Rodgers, make him an ever-present fixture in the remaining games as they hunt a second consecutive UEFA Champions League qualification? Will the Brazilian keep fit enough? These are but a few questions that may determine their top-four aspirations. However, for now, they can revel in the victory against the mean boys, Manchester City, as they cause yet another scalp to the champions in their hunt to retain their title.