Lucas Leiva makes Liverpool comeback in 1-0 victory over Southampton at Anfield
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva made his first team comeback on Saturday's 1-0 victory over Southampton at Anfield, and his manager Brendan Rodgers was delighted with the Brazilian's performance.
Leiva, 24, who sustained a thigh injury on 26 August and has not played since, lasted 88 minutes in the game, longer than Rodgers intended, before being replaced by Jamie Carragher.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Rodgers said: "I thought he was excellent. He's come so far in training, I felt I needed to get him into the games.
"He's another piece to what we're trying to do here and you seen the difference he makes when he's in the team.
"He offers the team great stability and he can deal with the ball, which is important.
"My plan was to give him 60-65 minutes, but he was comfortable and it was probably only in the last 10 minutes that he started to tire, which is when I took him off.
"It was a very, very good performance for him and it's great to see him back playing."
The only goal of the game came in the first half via Daniel Agger's header, although Rodgers felt the margin of victory should have been greater.
"The game should have been put to bed well before it was.
"I thought we were outstanding the first half. The tempo, we shared the ball, everyone was passing and moving, the creativity [was good] in the team throughout the game and it was just getting that little bit of luck with the final ball.
"No matter how much you dominate the game, if it's still only 1-0 going into the final 10 minutes it can always offer you a bit of challenge where you have to defend.
The victory for Liverpool moves them into 11th position in the Premier League table.