The Reds have recovered from a dreadful start to the season ahead of their League Cup semi-final first leg clash against rivals Chelsea at Anfield on Tuesday
By Greg Stobart
When Liverpool crashed out of the Champions League and lost 3-0 to arch rivals Manchester United in the same week in early December, even Brendan Rodgers had to admit that he was under pressure and facing questions over his future.
After all, we were 16 games into the season and the Reds had made their worst start to a league campaign since 1964-65 despite spending £117 million on new signings following their title challenge last term.
- dreadful – mengerikan
- crash out – tersisih
- after all – bagaimanapun juga
Rodgers admitted he was under fire and in a rare moment of vulnerability the Liverpool manager dropped his previously bullish insistence that he would turn results around at Anfield.
But circumstances can change so quickly in football and a mini-revival on Merseyside now leaves Rodgers’ side back in contention for a top-four finish and preparing for the first leg of their League Cup semi-final tie against Chelsea on Tuesday.
- vulnerability – kerentanan
- bullish – confident or optimistic about something.
- insistence – desakan
- contention – pertikaian
The Reds go into the game at Anfield on the back of an eight-match unbeaten run since the United defeat. That includes six victories, the latest a comfortable 2-0 victory at Aston Villa on Saturday.
Rodgers believes Liverpool have “regained their identity” and although they are far from the unstoppable attacking force of last season, the Northern Irishman has promised Chelsea they will face a “different” Reds team to the side they beat 2-1 in November.
“We don’t like to lose – it doesn’t matter who it is against – but in particular we haven’t played well against Chelsea,” Rodgers said.
“But at this moment in time there is a different feeling, a different aggression, a different mood within the squad.
“Chelsea are the best team in the country at the moment. They have experience and great quality but these are two games we’re really relishing.
“The last time we played them we weren’t in a good moment but we’ve improved and confidence is very high.”