Johnson: We must push on from Chelsea win
Defender Glen Johnson believes Liverpool have to use their comprehensive demolition of Chelsea as a benchmark for next season. The Reds signed off a disappointing campaign, particularly at Anfield, by putting the under-strength visitors to the sword in devastating fashion.
It produced a result which Kenny Dalglish's side have threatened all season but, due to bad luck and profligacy, have never really achieved, and lessened some of the pain of Saturday's FA Cup final defeat to their Stamford Bridge opponents.
Liverpool can overtake near-neighbours Everton on the final day of the season to finish seventh but Johnson knows a repeat next campaign will be unacceptable. "At times it's been a frustrating season," said the England international.
"Sometimes we haven't had the rub of the green. We've played well and not won at times. You have to ride through the bad times and wait for the good times. We've got a good win and now we want to keep it going into the start of next season."
Johnson added: "After a disappointing result and performance in the final that was exactly what was needed. We wanted to start where we left off in the final and we did that. Everyone would have preferred this result to come in the final but that's football. The important thing is we bounced back and now we need to push on.
"We all wanted to give the fans a performance in the last home game. It wouldn't have been nice to lose the last one. Now we have to try to get another three points at Swansea and try to finish as high as possible. We want to finish seventh and if we beat Swansea we've got a chance of doing that."
Everyone would have preferred this result to come in the final but that's football. The important thing is we bounced back and now we need to push on.
The result was secured by three first-half goals in eight minutes from Michael Essien, who turned Luis Suarez's shot into his own net, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Agger and then followed by Jonjo Shelvey's 30-yard strike - his first in the league for the club - after Ramires had pulled one back.
It was only Liverpool's sixth victory at home, where they have dropped an incredible 30 points out of a possible 57. They achieved it without captain Steven Gerrard, who was rested because of a minor back problem, but in his absence Henderson and Shelvey stepped up in central midfield.
Besides scoring, the pair dovetailed well and comfortably out-played Chelsea's central midfield duo Ramires and Oriol Romeu. "Both Jonjo and Jordan did really well in the middle of the park," said Johnson. "Jonjo has been waiting for his chance and it was good to see him get a goal."
Shelvey was on loan at npower Championship side Blackpool earlier in the season but was recalled because of a season-ending injury to Lucas Leiva, and with Charlie Adam also sidelined in recent weeks he has got closer to the starting line-up.
"I think it was one of my best games for Liverpool," the 20-year-old told liverpoolfc.tv. "It's nice to play, and the more and more you do, the more used you get to the match fitness and sharpness. I felt I proved I am worthy of getting another game. Hopefully I can get another one on Sunday.
"Personally, I think I've done okay (this season). I went on loan and enjoyed my time at Blackpool. I came back here and have challenged for a place. Hopefully I can cement one next season."
Henderson is also looking to the future, one in which he finds the net on a more regular basis. "Hopefully I can do that on a more regular basis next season," said the 21-year-old after his first goal since August. "Everyone wants to score goals but it's not as easy as that and you've got to keep working at it - and hopefully I can do that."