Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: Liverpool star Lucas now showing his worth

I held back on the thought that those victories against Blackburn and Bolton signalled a turning of the corner for Liverpool. Perhaps now though...

After labouring against Napoli for an hour, Steven Gerrard’s inspirational hat-trick saw his team take command of their Europa League group. Then Liverpool, as a whole, were inspired against Chelsea.

This time last week I was saying that I excused only Lucas from criticism in the display at the Reebok but there was reason to praise every Liverpool player after Sunday. Naturally, the quality of Fernando Torres’ two goals and his all-round performance attracted yesterday’s headlines.

But, to me, Lucas was the star act. Since the Brazilian arrived he’s taken an awful lot of criticism, not least from this quarter. However, he has clearly emerged from the shadow of Mascherano. He was brilliant against the champions.

And a word of praise for the young full-back Martin Kelly: I thought he might struggle against the left-wing threat posed by Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda. Instead, he emphasised how much better a defender he is than Glen Johnson!

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