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Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho: Liverpool's underrated 2013/14 midfield

In 2013/14, Liverpool came ever so close to lifting the Premier League crown. Their midfield three of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho were key reasons for this charge.

The majority of memories of that season revolve around Luis Suarez and, to a lesser extent, Daniel Sturridge.

The duo scored a combined 52 Premier League goals to help the Reds mount their first title challenge since 2008/09.

Unfortunately, the defence let the team down. This fact is also often mentioned in conversations about that side.

What is not often spoken about is the midfield.

Brendan Rodgers lined up with a midfield diamond that at times transitioned into a 4-3-3.

While Raheem Sterling played at the tip of the diamond, it was the aforementioned trio behind him that never got the credit that they deserved.

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Each of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho had major moments in the back end of the season.

For Coutinho, it was the winner in the 3-2 victory against Manchester City that made fans believe that Liverpool were going to win the title.

Unfortunately for the English duo, their key moments were negative ones.

Henderson received a red card late on in the same game. His suspension saw him miss three of the last four games of the season.

In fact, Brendan Rodgers even told the Telegraph that Henderson’s absence had as big a role as any in losing out on the title.

There is no need to go into detail about Steven Gerrard’s slip against Chelsea.

Gerrard, Henderson and Coutinho provided the perfect midfield blend

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Aside from these moments, Gerrard, Henderson and Coutinho formed the foundations on which the SAS frontline flourished.

Gerrard was 33 in 2013/14. He no longer had the energy that made him a world-class attacking midfielder.

Instead, he played as a deep-lying playmaker, in a role made famous by Andrea Pirlo.

Gerrard acted as Liverpool’s quarter-back. He remained arguably the best long passer in the world, which helped him pick up a huge 14 assists.

The captain also scored 13 goals, the majority of which were penalties.

He did earn a PFA Player of the Year nomination, but his contributions in what was basically a brand-new position for him have flown under the radar in the aftermath.

As mentioned, Gerrard was not able to cover as much ground as before. This is why Jordan Henderson was so crucial.

2013/14 represented a huge change for Henderson’s Liverpool fortunes.

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He basically did the running for two men, while his ability on the ball improved an awful lot that year.

He scored four goals and got seven assists as a then-23-year-old, while he was also the team’s biggest defensive presence in midfield with 3.4 tackles and interceptions per game.

Finally, Coutinho was a silky 21-year-old Brazilian that was playing his first full season in England.

While he didn’t have the same consistency of his later Anfield career, Coutinho produced some genius moments cutting in from the left side.

He also got seven assists, while he found the net five times.

While Coutinho played as a No 10 and on the left-wing during his time at Liverpool, he showed excellent maturity to play as a left-sided No 8 in a title-challenging side at such a young age.

Between Gerrard’s play-dictation, Henderson’s athleticism and Coutinho’s genius, Brendan Rodgers had the makings of a phenomenal midfield.

It is just a pity that we didn’t get to see it gracing the pitch for a few more years.

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