Rodgers targets top two finish after Liverpool win

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Henderson scored the vital Liverpool goal
Henderson scored the vital Liverpool goal


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers set his sights on a two two finish in the Premier League after his side secured a 1-0 win at Swansea.

Stand-in captain Jordan Henderson gave his side a vital away win at Swansea as they kept up their push for a top four finish on a night when Reds club captain Steven Gerrard was left on the bench.

Gerrard is fit again after a month on the sidelines, but boss Brendan Rodgers opted to keep faith with the team that have won all six games when their regular leader has been absent this season.

It proved to be a shrewd decision, with a huge stroke of fortune playing a role in allowing Liverpool to snatch the decisive goal in the game.

The ball flew in off Henderson's shin as Jordi Amat slid in to tackle him on the edge of the penalty area after 68 minutes, with Henderson admitting he was "a bit lucky" to score another vital goal.

Rodgers shrugged off the fortunate nature of his side's winner and as he looked forward to Sunday's showdown with fourth placed Manchester United at Anfield, he offered this view of his side's position in the top four race.

“Our aim is to finish as high as we can, not just to finish fourth,” Rodgers told Sky Sports.

“We go three points behind Arsenal and with Manchester City losing at the weekend, it gives an opportunity opportunity to finish second.

"We've got to use the mentality, run and confidence we've got, take that into every game and see where it takes us.

“For us, it was important to get a victory in this game and we know that we can win at Anfield in a fantastic game that we can all look forward to at the weekend. We will be pushing hard in that game as well."

Rodgers heaped praise on his players as they kept a sixth successive away day clean sheet in the Premier League to edge themselves to within two points of Manchester United.

“The players deserve monumental praise," added Rodgers. 

"We haven’t done anything yet, but from where we were at the start of the season, the intent that they have shown and the work they have had to put in to claw that back and to give ourselves a fighting chance is great.

“It is a complex system we are playing the 3-4-3 and in the first half it didn’t work for us in the first half of this game.

"Give credit to Swansea because they played well, but we were just not pressing them high enough and when we had the ball, we gave it away too cheaply.

“We changed the structure of the midfield for the second half. We became a diamond and pushed the two sides further up so we had a 3-4-3 in a different format and I thought we dominated the second half. We had much better possession and looked like we could score more goals.

“It doesn’t matter what system you play, the attitude and energy in the game is important for how we work.

"We were not on it in the first half for whatever reason, but we worked better without the ball in the second half and started to cause them problems."

Liverpool will now move ahead of United if they beat them at Anfield on Sunday, with Manchester City's faltering form meaning they are vulnerable to being caught by the in-form teams behind them in the Premier League.