BOURNEMOUTH, England: Liverpool are showing signs of reproducing their scintillating form of last season after a 3-1 win at Bournemouth in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday, manager Brendan Rodgers said.
Having struggled to recapture the form that propelled them to second place in the Premier League last season, Rodgers’ side set up a semi-final against league leaders Chelsea with an impressive performance.
Two goals from Raheem Sterling either side of a Lazar Markovic strike gave Liverpool victory against in-form Championship (second-tier) leaders Bournemouth.
It was an encouraging display for the Anfield boss, whose team have endured an early Champions League exit and are 11th in the league having accrued their lowest ever points tally in the Premier League after 16 games.
“We’re starting to see signs of getting back to where we were,” Rodgers told a news conference.
“We know there is a way to go but this was a tough game coming here so for us to come and dominate like we did, and score the goals that we did, was very pleasing.”
Bournemouth came into the game on a 12-match unbeaten run and have exceeded all expectations this season, topping their league to become contenders for promotion to the Premier League.
The south-coast club knocked out West Bromwich Albion in the previous round and some had predicted a shock against a Liverpool side who were beaten 3-0 at bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday.
“It was an outstanding performance. Even though the result wasn’t ideal at Old Trafford I’d seen moments in our game that was good and we created a lot of chances,” Rodgers said.
“I think slowly we’re getting there. There are a lot of new players adapting. I’m looking to find solutions to make us more creative, because we haven’t been that. I thought tonight was more like what we produced (last season).” Liverpool, who last won the League Cup in 2012, are aiming to win the trophy for the ninth time and Rodgers is relishing the prospect of facing Chelsea, who have only been beaten once in all competitions this season.
“If you’re going to win the tournament, and that is our objective, you have to beat the best teams,” he said.
“It’s over two legs and we’ll really relish that opportunity.”