After a very promising start to the season, Liverpool would have been hoping for nothing short of nine points from a possible nine in the month of October. After only dropping points against Swansea and Southampton, Liverpool fans had reason to be optimistic coming into the month. Suarez was back and having impressed against Sunderland by bagging two goals he and Sturridge looked set to wreak havoc amongst Premier League defences. The stage was set and there was plenty of optimism around Anfield.
Liverpool 3-1 Crystal Palace
First up was Crystal Palace which was a game no Liverpool fan expected to lose. There was no surprise with the final result and Liverpool ran out as comfortable winners beating them 3-1. Despite a poor second half performance, Liverpool had done enough to see off Palace and the result never looked in doubt. Suarez and Sturridge again reiterated their position as arguably the best strike force in the league. The fluidity and movement of the two players was nothing short of sensuous for Liverpool fans. To make things even tastier, the thoughts of Coutinho re-joining the squad from injury soon after made future prospects seem even greater.
Suarez opened the scoring on 13 minutes and Sturridge doubled the advantage in the 17th. It was all but over after Sterling was brought down in the box which gave Steven Gerrard an opportunity to score his 99th Premier league goal which he promptly put away. Liverpool then took the foot off the gas and Palace came into their own in the second half. Nevertheless the result was never in doubt and Dwight Gayle’s goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Performance rating: Grade B; A good win, sat back a lot though, disappointing to concede against what looked a poor Palace side.
Newcastle United 2-2 Liverpool
The second game of the month saw Liverpool visiting St. James’ Park to face a struggling Newcastle team. The game resulted in a 2-2 draw which suited Newcastle far more than Liverpool. Liverpool was the dominant side and they enjoyed 62.3 per cent of possession, had 23 shots at goal and won 13 corners. From a supporter’s perspective, this result was quite frustrating considering that Liverpool was playing against 10 men for the whole second half.
Yohan Cabaye opened the scoring on 23 minutes completely against the run of play. 17 minutes later, Liverpool was awarded a penalty when Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa brought down Suarez. Steven Gerrard slotted it home to bring the sides level and in doing so got his 100th Premier League goal. On 57 minutes, substitute Paul Dummett scored to put Newcastle in front, though this was cancelled out on 71 minutes when Sturridge scored after a beautiful cross from Suarez.
Performance rating: Grade C; A decent performance, disappointing not to beat 10 men, SAS looked dangerous as usual.
Liverpool 4-1 West Brom
The final game of the month brought West Brom to Anfield. The game ended 4-1 and this was undoubtedly Liverpool’s best performance so far this season. The team made 514 passes with an incredible 88.1% accuracy. SAS were on song again and looked like they would be singing for quite some time!
A Luis Suarez hat-trick and a single goal from Sturridge reiterated the notion that these two were only getting better. James Morrison scored a penalty which proved to be just a consolation and was the only dampener on a wonderful Liverpool performance. This kept Liverpool in the top four, where ultimately the team want to end up come end the May.
Performace rating: B+; A great team performance, conceded another soft goal, SAS were frighteningly good.
Overall Rating: Grade B; The month of October was relatively successful one for the Reds. Two wins and a draw kept Liverpool in the top three and further instilled a belief that Liverpool is a genuine contender for a top four spot.