Brendan Rodgers staying grounded
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers refused to be drawn on the suggestion that his side are ready to challenge for the Premier League title, after they maintained their perfect start to the season with a 1-0 win against Aston Villa.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger have suggested Liverpool could emerge as dark horses for a title push this season, but Rodgers sidestepped those questions after his Villa Park triumph.
“The important thing for us is not to get carried away,” Rodgers told Sky Sports. “It took us until the end of September to get our first win last season, so it’s great to get off to a quick start this time, but we take it one game at a time.
“This was a terrific win for us. We scored a fantastic goal and we had to make sure that we were careful again Villa as they can hurt you on the counter attack. We had to deny them chances and we did that well.
“I felt we were calm on the ball in the first half. Our positioning was good, our mentality was good and we kept a good shape. It was all about getting the job done today, getting the three points.
“Since the turn of the year, we have been getting better and better and we are showing a lot of good signs. Now we have to keep it going.”
Liverpool match-winner Daniel Sturridge said he has his sights set on next summer’s World Cup finals, after he scored a fine goal for a second successive weekend.
“I want to make the England team for the World Cup and that is something I'd like to do,” Sturridge said. “Hopefully if I keep playing well and Liverpool keep winning that will happen.
“I think we deserved this win. We played some good football in the first half and we worked very hard together to get that win.
“It was good to score. I enjoyed helping the team win games and I feel as if I have matured a bit in terms of confidence. I have not played as often as a centre-forward in the past and now that I am getting my chance, I'm showing what I can do.”
Villa boss Paul Lambert suggested his side were suffering physically after playing three games in the opening week of the season, but he still found comfort in defeat.
“We have played three teams (Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool) who are probably in the mix to challenge for the title in the last week and I knew that would catch up with us,” Lambert said. “It did in the first half, but we were excellent once we got a second wind after the break.
“We have nothing to be ashamed with in the way we performed in these first three games. If we keep playing like that, we will be fine this season.
“I'd have taken three points from the three games we had this week, so I'd say this is a decent start.”