Liverpool: Raheem Resurgent & Win Shows We're Fine Without Gerrard
The question, a week from the event, is how has the disgrace at Hull impacted on Liverpool's season? Do we view that loss as a slap in the face to remind us that we're not as good as we may have started to believe or as a wake up call to the squad, a reminder that there is no place for complacency in their game and a kick start to an improvement in the squad's overall form?
Let's go for the latter shall we? And let's focus on the fact that one man has made it his mission to ensure that there is never a repeat of such an embarrassment.
Luis Suarez is in an incredible place at the moment; five games missed at the beginning of the season but still the Premiership's leading scorer with, at last count, eight teams having scored less than he has individually this season. Wednesday night's one man demolition of Norwich proved that he was capable of anything, Saturday afternoon showed that he is now willing to try absolutely anything and make something happen.
Last season's home game against West Ham was a story of defence (they're a Big Sam team, it's never going to be a story of grace and beauty, is it?) with James Collins providing an exemplary performance at centre back to deny Suarez a sniff for 90 minutes. This season concerned defence in an entirely different manner; a 4-1 win where it could be argued that only one goal was actually scored by the the team credited.
Liverpool's first half possession was only rewarded in the 43rd minute with a Suarez cross tipped from the keeper into the path of the unfortunate Demel who converted for us. A second resulted from yet another of the pinpoint deliveries that Steven Gerrard has provided this season; a lovely floated free kick to the far post, the returned Mamdou Sakho's shin, a possible Skrtel touch, a definite James Collins hook into the top of the net. Skrtel tried to claim the goal, Collins is probably the true scorer but Sakho says it's his and he's a big lad, are you going to argue with him?
The Hammers threatened briefly via Martin Skrtel's third own goal in a week before Suarez decided that it was time to take matters into his own hands again; a bulleted header to restore superiority the only 'real' goal of the game before a weaving, mazy dribble gave the Uruguayan the space to shoot again, a wicked deflection looping into the net for the fourth. Can we credit Luis with another hat trick purely for creating goals through his sheer presence?
Elsewhere the game was about rebirth and resurgence; Raheem Sterling, possibly buoyed by his midweek goal, is beginning to show the form that he seemed capable of at the start of his Anfield career (let's remember, he only turns 19 today and he's already made 51 first team appearances, he still has time to prove his potential but needs focus to do so), Joe Allen had his best game in a red shirt while Philippe Coutinho continued to be Philippe Coutinho. A week ago the loss of our captain with a tweaked hamstring would have seemed a disaster, our performance without him indicated that he could conceivably have a rest until Boxing Day's visit to the Etihad.
Results elsewhere were wonderfully pro Liverpool; City dropped points at Southampton, Chelski stumbled again under the 'not so special anymore' one and special agent Moyes continued his impressive work in dismantling United's f***ing perch. Simple fact: United have scored eight home goals this season, Liverpool have scored nine since eight o'clock on Wednesday.
Second in the league again, the doom and gloom of a week ago a distant memory, bring on Spurs.