Seems like we're always analyzing what Liverpool do in the absence of a player or two. First it was how would they cope without Lucas. Now it's what do they do without Lucas, his seemingly most natural replacement in Jay Spearing, while Steven Gerrard continues to collect dust in whatever oxygen tank he's locked in. So how did Adam and Henderson do?
As you can see here, it was Adam who was the deepest lying of the midfielders. He rarely ventured past Henderson, and when he did it was usually to take a corner. But it was Adam who did most of the shielding, and he did it in pretty disciplined fashion. There was little venturing away from his post, which we saw the one time he was paired with Gerrard and asked to do the same thing as he was last Saturday, leaving the defense pretty exposed.
Henderson's box to box routine is illustrated perfectly as well, as he was all long the area between the lines that made Rafa Benitez so weak in the knees. Henderson has been at his best when allowed to get into these areas and provide support for whoever is up top. The one thing I think we'd like to see Henderson add to his game is the late run into the box to meet a cross or pass. Yes, we saw him blow a pretty easy header against United, but that doesn't mean he should stop trying. When Carroll is out of the lineup and Liverpool go with the more cerebral Suarez combo with some buffet of Maxi, Kuyt, Downing, or Bellamy, there's not a lot of people pouring into the box after the passes are worked. Secondly, the front three, however comprised, seem to open up a lot out wide to put in a cross, so there's plenty of opportunity. With Henderson now getting his looks in the central part of the field, he can add that late run that defenses find so hard to pick up. Maybe against QPR he was wary of his covering duty first, as no one trusts the shield without Lucas yet.
Other numbers? Adam attempted 12 tackles, which seems like a minor miracle after some of the performances early in the year, and won eight of them. His passing was below his usual norm at a 69% success rate. tough around eight of the misfires were from corners (but he did produce the cross that resulted in the goal).
And once again, Suarez needed seven shots to score. We love the amount of chances, but a hat trick soon has got to be on the cards because he really does need to bury more of these.