While there were some positives to take out of today's game the problem of Steven Gerrard is one that will not go away.
In a reasonably well contested game a draw was a fair enough result with the Reds having arguably the more clear-cut chances, particularly in the first half. In fact, compared to the utter drivel which followed in the Chelsea v Man City match this was a joy to watch.
For the home side Pablo Hernandez stood out as their main danger man forcing some corners in the first 10 minutes. Raheem Sterling scuffed his shot when very well positioned in the 9th minute in what was a bright opening from both sides.
Glen Johnson, back on the right side, seemed to be at the heart of everything for the Reds in the first half hour. First he headed over from a corner, then crossed for Enrique who oddly decided to chest his effort wide, before finally having a shot on goal himself which was well saved by Tremmel on 24 minutes.
It's vital for the balance of the team that Johnson stays on the right but our current problems on the left mean that's unlikely to be the case. Stewart Downing was absolute cowshite today at left-back and for all the (reasonably justified) plaudits Jose Enrique has been getting in recent weeks, there's a reason Rodgers is reluctant to play him in his favoured position. He can't defend and he doesn't follow any defensive instruction that he's given.
The impressive Hernandez curled a shot just wide in the 28th minute but it was just 60 seconds later when Swansea had a great chance to open the scoring. Steven Gerrard criminally tried to back-heel a pass just 30 yards from his own goal which was easily intercepted. De Guzman shot wide from the resulting break but in truth he had far better options available.
Raheem Sterling rattled the bar with a sweetly struck volley as the ball broke from a corner kick and just a minute later the Reds had a goal disallowed as Enrique was flagged offside from Suarez's clever pass. Even after a couple of replays it still looked a very tight call, but you'd think we'd have earned a positive decision from one of these situations by now.
The second half was a slightly disappointing affair as the quality of the first 45 wasn't quite matched by either side. The Reds actually began the half rather sluggishly allowing the home side to settle into the passing rhythm relatively unopposed.
Things picked up in the 58th minute when Suarez had his shot saved from an acute angle, but in truth it never really looked like being the Uruguayan's day. He was his usual energetic, positive self but he obviously can't be relied on to deliver the goods in every single game for us.
Steven Gerrard hit a fantastic through ball for Johnson in the 72nd minute but the right-back failed to pick out a colleague. The reason I've mentioned this is because that was literally the only thing of note our captain did today. Allen and Henderson were both average in the middle but it occurred to me that they were both trying to do Gerrard's work as well as their own.
Based on his first half performance alone, Gerrard should have been withdrawn but of course the man is unsubbable. This is something that we're witnessing week-in week-out this season and the fact of the matter is that this season Gerrard has been almost as much of a passenger as the likes of Downing is. This must be a massive headache for Rodgers at the moment but I'm not sure what he can do about it.
There were only two real points of note in the last 20 minutes. Firstly Nathan Dyer was allowed in by a hopeless Downing back-pass but fortunately only collided with Reina. It wasn't so fortunate for Pepe though as he got a boot to the face for his troubles.
Secondly a break by Sterling and Suarez in the 83rd minute ultimately came to nothing thanks to a slightly misplaced pass from the young winger. Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Cole were introduced in the final stages with Shelvey offering more in 10 minutes than his captain did in 90. Shelvey's rasping drive from the edge of the box was beaten away by Tremmel with one of the final kicks of the game.
The striker shortage at Liverpool FC has been highlighted a million times and will be at least partially addressed in the January transfer window. What worries me at this stage is the far more complex issue of Steven Gerrard's continued demise.
Can he be picked on the strength of his past glories or does his continued selection mean that he's bigger than the club? I am hard pressed to remember a telling contribution from our captain this season and I can only imagine how much better the team might look without him.
As far as I'm concerned this is as big a problem for Rodgers as the striker shortage is. It's relatively easy to buy a new striker or left-back but how do you phase out someone like Steven Gerrard from your plans?
As for a verdict on the game itself, I was relatively happy overall. Particularly in the first half there was some very good football played and on another day the Reds may have sneaked a victory. Without having the option to bring on another striker we have to accept that if Suarez doesn't score, then we're likely to fall short. The addition of almost anyone in January will improve things hugely.
Subs: Shelvey for Henderson (77), Cole for Downing (77)
Unused Subs: Jones, Coates, Carragher, Sahin, Suso.