He scored the winning goal, set up the second, and could have had a few more assists had the finishing of his teammates been better. He was important to Liverpool’s strong play at both ends of the pitch and, for many, was man of the match. In short, it was a captain’s performance from Liverpool’s stand-in captain and the man most assume will take the mantle from Steven Gerrard next season.
"The most important thing is the three points," was Jordan Henderson’s response to questions about his performance against Burnley on Wednesday evening. "It was an outstanding performance, all the way from Simon all the way up, and hopefully we can just keep building and keep the momentum going. I always want to score—and get assists as well—but the main thing is we’re really solid as a team right now."
Finishing remains a slight concern for this Liverpool side, but beyond that it’s hard to argue the point, and perhaps most impressive has been the way this resurgent group has overcome injuries and individual bad performances. Injuries to the likes of Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho might have seemed worrisome, but rather than denting their form, the squad’s belief has only seemed to have grown.
"It’s confidence," added Henderson. "We’re really solid as a team, and with the players we’ve got—like Philippe, Raheem, Studge, Adam—going forward, we believe we can hurt anyone. If we’re solid from the back, we’ll always create chances and score a few goals. That’s been key for us, and the formation has been brilliant for it as well. We’ve been playing with pressure and intensity and just need to keep it going."
Once again in the thick of the top four hunt, Liverpool get a break from league action on the weekend when they face Blackburn in the sixth round of the FA Cup. Then it’s a week off—their first since the second week of January—before a trip to Liberty Stadium and a league match against Swansea on the 16th.