Since Liverpool exited the Champions League with a whimper, their performances have had more of a bang to them. Prior to the Manchester United game which was the beginning of the upstart, the Reds season had been characterised by lethargy - 3-0 win against Tottenham withstanding.
The new 3-4-3 formation Brendan Rodgers has introduced recently is the main reason behind this upward trajectory in performance. Plagued by the inefficiency of Mario Balotelli as a loan man and the unsuitability of Rickie Lambert, Rodgers ditched the 4-2-3-1 formation for a more dynamic 3-4-3. Spearheading the attacking is Liverpool's fastest player, Raheem Sterling. At either side of him lies Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool's two most technical players. Finally, Liverpool's second and third quickest players, Lazar Markovic and Alberto Moreno, have been deployed at left wing back at differing times.
In essence, Liverpool have crammed the starting line up with their fastest and most technical players in the most offence positions - something they could not do in the 4-2-3-1 formation, or last season's favoured diamond 4-4-2 in lieu of Sturridge's injury woes.
Nonetheless, it appears Rodgers' shuffling has worked a treat. As per WhoScored, Liverpool have averaged 12.8 shots per game away from home; however, against Manchester United they averaged 19 shots and against Bournemouth 16 shots. At Anfield, Liverpool have averaged 17.8 shots per game, against Arsenal this figure stood at 27.
Quite simply, in the 3-4-3 formation Liverpool have found their attacking mojo again. With Balotelli frequently taking snapshots from 35 yards or with a motionless Lambert, teams were confident of pushing up and suffocating Liverpool's attacking. Now, armed with an abundance of pace and technical ability, Liverpool now give teams something to worry about and thus the opposition camp around their box to limit the damage from the siege.
Results haven't quite gone Liverpool's way following defensive lapses and wasteful shooting. The first has been all too common and remains Brendan Rodgers' biggest challenge; the second is simply unavoidable should Liverpool continue to play without a recognised striker. Hope however, is around the corner in Daniel Sturridge's long delayed comeback and the January transfer window.
*Statistics courtesy of WhoScored