After a demoralising exit in the FA Cup against Aston Villa, Brendan Rodgers` Liverpool were subdued and held 0-0 by an inspired Tony Pulis led West Bromwich side, which all but ended their hopes of finishing in the top 4 this season.
Rodgers under huge pressure
For the first time in his reign as Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers has looked to run out of ideas. Having spent more than a 100 million pounds in player purchases after Luis Suarez`s departure, it is safe to say that none of his signings have made a substantial impact this season. Maybe the transfer committee looked at it in the wrong perspective, expecting young prospects to flourish in their first season at the club. Gerrard`s waning influence and his departure at the end of the season has not helped matters, and the uncertain future of their young star Raheem Sterling has clearly unsettled Rodgers and his team. Time will tell if he is still at Liverpool at the end of the season, but things are not looking too bright for the Northern Irishman at the moment, especially after his team drew a blank against West Bromwich Albion.
Remarkable turnaround for Simon Mignolet
For a man whose confidence was so low, that he could not even clear the ball down the pitch, Simon Mignolet has
Simon Mignolet is in contention for this season`s Golden Glove award and leads the way with 14 clean sheets
come a long way in emphatically silencing his critics. The Belgian was at it again, against West Brom, making some fine saves and bagging his 14th clean sheet of the season. He has bounced back in such a way that his team mates need to look up to him if they lack the belief or inspiration to play for the Liverbird on their crest. Apart from giving Steven Gerrard a good send off, Mignolet`s team mates should also try their maximum best to get their goal keeper the Golden glove for this season. Pepe Reina was the last Liverpool player to win it, way back in the 2007-08 season, and if Mignolet replicates his current form, he may well see his name alongside Reina in the golden glove honors list.
Mario Balotelli has run out of excuses
a Super Marioa has contributed more for Liverpool on social media than in the football field. Balotelli, who was handed his first start in the Premiership since November last year, was lacklustre once again and his only real contribution was an impressive flick, which led to Jordan Ibe`s run and impressive shot on goal, which smashed the crossbar. Balotelli played through the middle with Ibe, Coutinho and Sterling supporting him.
The Italian cut a frustrated figure, and didna t really provide the movement nor hold up the ball for his fellow attackers. He was not in position at the 18 yard box when the likes of Ibe and Sterling found favourable positions to cross. All in all, the Italian`s performance summed up Liverpool`s dull day, and Liverpool looked quite threatening after he got substituted in the latter part of the second half. The future at Liverpool for Mario looks very grim, and it wona t be a surprise if he is shipped off in the summer.
Find of the season- Jordan Ibe
The young Englishman has been the find of the season for Liverpool. Ibe`s meteoric rise has been so huge that, Rodgers wants to tie him down to a new contract as soon as possible. The spell at Derby County has done him a world of good and Ibe is beginning to flourish with his direct, fearless approach to the game. He immediately bolstered Liverpool`s attack on the right hand side and Chris Brunt actually played a very good game at right back to stop him. Despite that, Ibe set off on a brilliant run and almost scored a stunner with his left foot, if it was not for the cross bar. It brought a sense of d j vu to Liverpool fans, since the last time Ibe hit a rasping drive onto the wood work, the game ended 0-0. It is heartening to see another graduate from the Liverpool academy make it into the first team, and Ibe will develop from strength to strength playing alonsgside the likes of Coutinho, and of course, with more game time.