LUCAS LEIVA hailed Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Swansea City as the perfect preparation for Thursday night’s crunch Europa League clash with Zenit St Petersburg.
The Reds ended a run of five games in all competitions without a win as they comprehensively outclassed a weakened Swans side.
Victory lifted Brendan Rodgers’ men up to seventh place in the Premier League after the disappointment of back to back defeats to West Brom and Zenit.
Liverpool’s focus will now turn to trying to overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit against the Russian champions and the Reds midfielder says yesterday’s performance proves they are capable of advancing to the last 16.
“We know we still have to improve a lot, but this victory will give us the confidence going into Thursday to try to get through against Zenit,” Lucas said.
“We started this week thinking it could be a really good week for us but then we had the defeat to West Brom and then the loss in the Europa League.
“It was difficult but the important thing is that we have finished the week off in a positive way by scoring five goals and keeping a clean sheet.
“If we play like that against Zenit we’ll have a good chance. We are creating a lot of chances in matches, even in Russia we created a lot.
“If we do that again at Anfield and take them this time then we’ll be able to get through to the next stage.
“We will go into the Zenit game with a positive and offensive mentality but knowing that if we concede it’s going to be very hard. We have to defend well on Thursday because if we concede an away goal it will be very difficult for us.”
Liverpool dominated throughout against Swansea but had to wait until 10 minutes before the break for the opening goal to arrive when Steven Gerrard converted from the penalty spot.
In the second half the floodgates opened with new boy Philippe Coutinho scoring on his full debut before Jose Enrique swept home the third.
Luis Suarez made it 4-0 with a classy finish and Daniel Sturridge’s spot-kick completed the scoring as the Reds equalled their biggest ever league victory over the Welsh outfit.
Prior to yesterday’s game, Swansea had the best away defensive record in the top flight having conceded just 10 goals in 13 games.
“It was a good performance from us all the way through,” Lucas added. “Unfortunately we couldn’t score early but we kept going. We created so much and then at the end of the first half we got the penalty.
“In the second half we started really brightly and getting the second goal so quickly was very important.
“After that we just needed to make sure we controlled the game. We created a lot of chances and scored three more goals.”
Fans have been infuriated by the inconsistency of the Reds this season and Lucas admits those sentiments are shared in the dressing room.
“It’s so difficult to explain and as players you get frustrated a lot as well,” he said.
“When you think we are starting to get some good momentum going we have a defeat and a setback.
“But there is still time for us to get that consistency. Our league position is not great but we must keep fighting and see what happens. If we can get that consistency then we can finish this season on a high.”