Rodgers hails ‘outstanding’ Reds

Liverpool scored three goals in 18 minutes in the second half and ended a turbulent and rollercoaster year in eighth place in the Premier League, five points off the top four.

Rodgers believes Liverpool’s performances December has shown his side are going in the right direction with a style that suits them.

He said: ???It was an outstanding performance against a very good side in the top eight. For us to perform like that was very pleasing.

???A few weeks back we put a lot of work in to find a way to get that creativity back. We???ve seen in the last few weeks our intensity and pressing which leads to the creation of chances.???

Rodgers said the front three of Lallana, Sterling and Coutinho is making up for the lack of an out-and-out striker in the starting XI, and said Lallana in particular got his reward for abiding to the pressing philosophy.

???It???s something we???ve been searching for all season. We went with a similar system at the beginning of the season as we did last season, going diamond at the beginning.

???But we lost some players. We search for that tactical idea to go with. You look at the effort my players put in tonight; pressure, intensity, squeezing, hunting the ball after only having a game a few days ago.

???[Lallana] got his reward for a great performance and work rate. We asked the players to do that.???

The Northern Irishman said he felt the referee made the right decision not to take action on Raheem Sterling for lifting his hand to Federico Fernandez???s face, and also believes Jonjo Shelvey did not intentionally catch Emre Can in the face in the first half.

???I???ve seen both. The referee has probably seen them for what they are. Young Jonjo has swung his arm and probably caught him but not intentionally.

???[Fernandez] and Raheem were probably at it all night. Raheem clipped him round the head but I think the referee has dealt with it. It was the end of the game and I thought the referee dealt with it well.???