Liverpool managed to pick up a pulsating 3-2 victory over West Ham United at Upton Park amidst a ton of crises. Reds manager Brendan Rodgers was forced to deploy Jonjo Shelvey in the attack due to the ban on his sole and star striker Luis Suarez.
Brendan Rodgers admitted he was impressed by Jonjo Shelvey’s spectacular performance up front. The former Swansea City manager was forced to authorize an unorthodox formation, which included Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling and Stewart Downing in the attack.
The former West Ham United full back Glen Johnson drew first blood with a screamer, but Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard headed an own goal to provide West Ham United with an equalizer. An unfortunate penalty kick on Joe Allen gave Mark Noble the opportunity to put West Ham United in the lead, however, 76th and 79th minute goals from Joe Cole and Jonjo Shelvey allowed Liverpool victory.
“(Jonjo Shelvey was) outstanding. But you see there are two different ways in which you can play the number nine role,” Brendan Rodgers said in his post-match interview.
“In this country it is always a very traditional target man, a clear number nine. Give credit to Carlton Cole today, I know him form my time at Chelsea, he is a real handful and was outstanding today.
“But you see young Jonjo Shelvey at 20 years of age playing the number nine role in a different way - dropping into midfield and combining with the midfield players to make the fourth man, being a threat when he is in around the box, showing great feet and I thought he was outstanding today the kid.
“It was great credit to him because there was a lot of pressure on him because people have been trying to compare him to Luis Suarez but he has been terrific in my time here, he is only 20 and has a big future ahead of him.”
Brendan Rodgers praised Liverpool’s fighting spirit and the calmness his side showed in the absence of Luis Suarez. The young manager also praised the composure his men showed after an own goal and a controversial penalty kick.
“For us there was no drama,” Brendan Rodgers said. “My focus when I came in was about the collective. We must share the ball, we must share the goals and we must share the workload - we are not asking anyone to do anything more than anyone else.
“I had great belief in the players that we could score goals and create goals because we have done it all season but we just haven't been clinical enough and had the good fortune at times to wrack up more goals. But I think you have seen today, even without Luis, the quality in the team but equally the fight in the team and that was pleasing.”