A win against a second-division side in the fourth most important competition of the season might not be much to crow about, but with Liverpool having a difficult three months, they'll take what they can get. What they got on the night was standout performances from Lazar Markovic in a wingback role, Adam Lallana in a playmaker role along with Philippe Coutinho, and Raheem Sterling as the lone striker despite the fact that Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini were in the squad.
Brendan Rodgers also brought Kolo Toure back in for a starting berth as he stuck with three central defenders, a move that might end up as the way forward as Rodgers seeks to find an answer for his stuttering squad. Kolo's not one for pessimism, however, and speaking after Wednesday night's win, he found time to praise the key men on the night, noting the improvements made by the Markovic, the excellent form of Lallana to date, and the quick recovery shown by Sterling after a tough showing in front of goal against Manchester United:
"I am very proud of Markovic. Since he came here, he hasn't had a lot of chances to play but he's shown great character and worked hard in training. He is a great boy, works hard, is very quick and technically is very, very good. We are very happy. But, for me, Adam (Lallana) has been the best player in this Liverpool team this year. Definitely. (Raheem Sterling) is a fantastic boy and a fantastic player. He is playing in a different position, which is not easy to adapt to in two games, but he scored twice. We will see a lot to come from him because he is a great player and a great boy as well, very intelligent.
"We will work hard, we will fight and we hope we can get the results - but we only think about the next game, which is Arsenal. It'll be a really tough game because at the moment, I think after the loss we had against United, we need the three points. We'll play at home and will take advantage of that."
These types of comments and the sentiment they carry with them are a large part of why Kolo Toure is at Liverpool--he is, by all accounts, an excellent teammate, and while his best playing days might be behind him, he's an experienced, likable professional, and one who's proven to be a good clubhouse guy since arriving prior to last season.
On current form Sunday's match is one that should see the Ivorian defender earn another start, as he's been the best of a shaky lot to this point in the season. Martin Skrtel has been ever-present but less than sturdy at times, while Dejan Lovren's struggles have largely continued despite relative improvements over the past few weeks. The return of Mamadou Sakho hopefully sees things shaken up even further, as the former PSG man worked through the rust on Wednesday night to put in a largely solid display on the left side of a three-man back line.
Whoever ends up featuring, hopefully the squad makes good on Kolo's optimism. A win against his former side would be a significant boost, and the type of win that could see them kick on into the new year with renewed optimism.