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Relief for Rodgers: League Cup run might just save manager's skin

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers before the Capital One Cup Quarter Final match at Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers before the Capital One Cup Quarter Final match at Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers before the Capital One Cup Quarter Final match at Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth

AT last, Brendan Rodgers has found a result and a sniff of a trophy. The much-maligned League Cup could save his skin.

Better still for the beleaguered Anfield boss they beat Bournemouth, a team touted as something more significant than a banana skin, comfortably enough though not with a scare or two along the way.

Liverpool left every game feeling they could have scored more even if they had won 5-0. It was this momentum which carried them to within two wins of the Premier League title.

A year ago, Rodgers was celebrating a 5-0 win over Spurs on the back of 4-1 against West Ham and 5-1 against Norwich.

Only three times so far this term has Rodgers seen his players hit three - early on with Daniel Sturridge in the team against Spurs, a lucky enough 3-2 against QPR and 3-1 away win to Leicester.

So it will come as a great relief to Rodgers that Liverpool found a way to score goals again and that Raheem Sterling supplied two of them.

There's a fog of transfer speculation around him but he helped his boss last night when he needed him most and that should give Rodgers something to grab onto.

There was more to make him happy. He asked for something from his bench warmers and he got it.

A decent performance from Adam Lallana and a goal from Lazar Markovic but most of all, Rodgers found some luck and a team willing to give him players some space.

For most of the season, Liverpool have been unable to hold onto possession and against ball-playing Bournemouth, Rodgers men were given room to breathe.

The old failings haven't gone away though. Calum Wilson and Yann Kermorgant both missed sitters and Wilson's chance came with the game less than four minutes old.

Had that gone in or any one of a number of chances and half chances which followed, who knows how well Liverpool's brittle confidence would have held up?

Rodgers luck held though and that was the theme of the night. Sterling gave Liverpool the lead and when a phantom whistler unnerved the Bournemouth defence completely, Markovic took full advantage to bury one from 22 yards with less than a half hour on the clock, .

Sterling's third should have allowed Rodgers to take out his deckchair but there was a moment around the hour mark when Ryan Gosling snatched one back and Liverpool's defence looked vulnerable.

But it wasn't a night for giant-killing or for a sacking. Rodgers is not beaten yet. He fights on.


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