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End-of-season report: Liverpool

Sports Mole takes a look back at Liverpool's 2012-13 campaign, where the Reds started off with hopes of a top-four finish under new manager Brendan Rodgers.

A new manager may have taken the reins at Anfield in the form of Brendan Rodgers, but the ambitions were the same for Liverpool as they aimed for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Despite Rodgers implementing a new style and philosophy at the Merseyside outfit, as well as bringing in new faces in the summer and winter windows, the club failed to get close to a Champions League spot.

Last season saw the Reds celebrate winning the League Cup under former manager Kenny Dalglish, but silverware wasn't on the cards this time around as the club tried to tackle a number of off-field incidents.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look back at what has arguably been a transitional period for the Merseyside outfit.

August

While most clubs waited for the Premier League season to start, Liverpool's campaign got underway with a Europa League tie against Gomel, who they beat with a single goal before securing a 3-0 victory in the return leg.

Despite a positive start in Europe, a dismal beginning awaited the Reds in domestic matters as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion on the opening day of the season.

They saved their blushes by securing a 2-2 draw with Manchester City in their first league fixture at Anfield, and wrapped up the month with two victories over Hearts in the Europa League group phase.

Brendan Rodgers© PA Photos

September

Damaging defeats to Arsenal and arch rivals Manchester United at Anfield dominated the start of the month for Liverpool, who were still looking for their first victory under Rodgers in the league.

Despite the negativity on the field, relief surrounded the club off it when it was revealed by the Hillsborough Independent Panel that the South Yorkshire Police in 1989 tried to shift blame onto Liverpool supporters for the death of 96 of their own fans during a crush at the Hillsborough Stadium.

Back to matters on the pitch, Rodgers finally got his first league win of the season with a 5-2 hammering of Norwich City at Carrow Road. They also continued to progress in the Europa League by securing a 5-3 victory over Young Boys.

Despite losing to West Brom in the league, the Reds got their revenge by booting them out of the League Cup courtesy of a 2-1 victory.

Hillsborough Flag© PA Photos

October

Liverpool suffered their first defeat in Europe courtesy of a 3-2 loss to Udinese at Anfield, while their efforts in the league plodded along with a goalless draw with Stoke City and a slender victory over Reading.

The Merseyside secured a win over Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League before being forced to share a point in the derby against Everton at Goodison Park due to a disallowed goal by Luis Suarez.

The Reds were also unable to successfully defend their League Cup as they were knocked out of the competition by Rodgers's former club Swansea City.

November

Liverpool's lack of goals continued to mar their league season as they secured three draws against Chelsea, Newcastle United and Swansea City, making their depleted strike-force that much more prevalent.

The Reds drifted towards the bottom half of the table when they were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur, while they also threw their Europa League qualification hopes into doubt by losing to Anzhi and snatching a point from Young Boys.

To round off the month, Liverpool managed to hit three goals past Wigan Athletic, with Suarez, who at that point became the league's top scorer, finding the net twice.

December

On the field, the Reds climbed up the table with victories over Southampton and West Ham United, while concerns off the pitch with regards to the Hillsborough revelations resulted in the 'accidental death' verdicts quashed by the court and fresh inquests ordered.

Despite an uncertain Europa League position, the Reds were able to progress into the knockout rounds as group winners with a 1-0 victory over Udinese, while they brought down to Earth in the league with a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa at Anfield.

It's safe to say that inconsistency was the theme for December as the Reds hit four goals past Fulham but later lost 3-1 to Stoke on Boxing Day.

January

Following four months with Suarez as the only recognised striker, Rodgers was able to dip into the January transfer window by signing Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea for a reported £12m and Inter Milan playmaker Philippe Coutinho for a fee in the region of £8m.

On the field, the Reds started off strongly with a 3-0 win over Sunderland in the league followed by a 2-1 triumph over Mansfield Town in the FA Cup third round. However, they were unable to seek revenge on United when they were hit with a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

It was another inconsistent month for the Merseyside outfit as they secured a 5-0 rout over Norwich City at Carrow Road, but they were dumped out of the FA Cup in the fourth round by Oldham, and failed to snatch all three points from Arsenal in a 2-2 draw.

Daniel Sturridge celebrates after scoring his team's fifth goal against Swansea on February 17, 2013© PA Photos

February

February was a dismal month in terms of the club's European campaign as they failed to progress past the round-of-32 stage due to a defeat to Zenit St Petersburg over two legs. It was a cruel blow to Liverpool, who managed to score 3-1 at Anfield, but lost on away goals to the Russian side.

In the league, the Reds secured another 2-2 draw with Man City, while West Brom clinched the double over Liverpool with a 2-0 victory at Anfield.

Following a disappointing run, the Reds were able to knock five goals past Swansea City, who fielded a weaker team due to their impending League Cup final against Bradford City at Wembley.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez scores the equaliser against Zenit St Petersburg on February 21, 2013© PA Photos

March

With Liverpool out of all domestic and European competitions, all focus switched to the Premier League as Suarez began to emerge as a possible contender for PFA Player of the Year, along with Man United's Robin van Persie and Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale.

The Reds kicked off the month with consecutive victories over Wigan and Spurs, but their winning run was halted with a trip to Southampton, who clinched a 3-1 victory at St Mary's. The Reds rounded off the month with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

April

Matters away from the pitch dominated April as the club honoured the 96 lives lost at Hillsborough for the 24th anniversary at Anfield, as well as justice campaigner Anne Williams, who lost her battle with cancer. The court also declared that new inquests will begin next year.

Two goalless draws against West Ham United and Reading marked the start of Liverpool's month on the field, while a dramatic late 2-2 draw with Chelsea was marred by Suarez, who bit the arm of defender Branislav Ivanovic during the second half.

The Uruguay international swiftly apologised for his behaviour and was dealt with a 10-match ban by the Football Association, which he accepted. The striker's stunt ended his hopes of being named PFA Player of the Year, as Bale swooped the award, but he was named in the PFA Team of the Year.

Following the controversy surrounding Suarez, Liverpool quickly responded in their first game without him, by netting six goals against Newcastle at St James' Park.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez watches the game against Everton from the stands on May 5, 2013© PA Photos

May

Liverpool were unable to snatch all three points from their Merseyside rivals at the start of the month at Anfield as neither side could find the back of the net. Sturridge became the star of the show for the Reds against Fulham a week later when his wrapped up a 3-1 win with a hat-trick at Craven Cottage.

It proved to be an emotional final day of the season as Jamie Carragher brought an end to his career as a professional footballer. He played in a 1-0 win over QPR at Anfield and even struck the post with a powerful effort from 30 yards out.

The 35-year-old bows out having made 737 appearances for the Reds.

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