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Brendan Rodgers on an 'outstanding' win and a 'fantastic' Lazar Markovic


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says his team was outstanding against Sunderland.

The Reds stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to five matches with three hard-fought points against a stubborn Sunderland side as they keep chasing a top-four finish.

"I thought we were outstanding," Rodgers said.

"In the first half, we had real control of the game, good tempo and pressed the ball very well.

"We scored a very good goal and should have had a penalty, hit the crossbar and had one or two other chances. In the second half we again started well.

"Their sending-off probably threw us a little bit more than them for about 10 minutes. But once we regained the ball, started to move and get good positions on the field to pass it, we started to create chances again.

"When it's only 1-0, you're always tentative a little bit, but defensively I thought the players were excellent in their pressure and how strong they were. It's a difficult place to come but it was a very good result and performance.

"I always felt it would come, it was just going to be a matter of time. In the first part of the season it was difficult for us, but it was about getting the players into the team and also what we have been missing - we had Sturridge out and what we lost in the summer.

"It was always a case of trying to find the solutions in order to get us playing how we have been playing for the last 18 months to two years."

Lazar Markovic is finally starting to show some form for the Reds and Rodgers says all the youngster needed was time to settle down.

"He has been very, very good for the last six or seven weeks or so; it has just taken time," the 41-year-old explained.

"Look at Emre Can today, young Lazar, Alberto Moreno and the other players. It has just taken them time - they have come to a new country and there's a big spotlight on them because of what we did last year.

"It has been difficult for the team, but they are starting to settle into the philosophy of how we work and how we play.

"[Markovic] was fantastic - not just with the ball in his goal and the one that hit the crossbar, but his ability to press people and defend, which is important for us. He is only 20 years of age, so there's a big future for him."

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Brendan Rodgers, Lazar Markovic