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The iconic former defender hopes the Reds' new style of play under the Northern Irish manager will help them climb back towards the Champions League qualification places

Liverpool legend Sami Hyypia believes the new style that manager Brendan Rodgers has implemented at Anfield has made his former side much tougher to play against.

Hyypia, who is now in charge of Bayer Leverkusen, endured a 3-1 defeat at his old hunting ground on Sunday, with goals from youngster Raheem Sterling, the returning Lucas Leiva and Andy Carroll sealing victory for the home side.

The 38-year-old was impressed with Liverpool's performance and hopes to see the Reds return to contention for a place in the Champions League.

"Liverpool played very well today and [Brendan Rodgers] has changed the face a little bit," Hyypia told reporters. "He has created a new system which is difficult to play against.

"Time will tell [whether they can challenge for a Champions League place] but I hope so. Since I left I have hoped that Liverpool do well and hopefully this season is the time."

When asked about Rodgers' style of football, Hyypia joked: "It's not bad as long as it's working!

"At the end of the day it's all about success so whatever style you play if you lose every game then that's not good."

The retired defender received a rousing reception from the Anfield faithful, with the Kop rising to sing his name throughout the match.

"I've always had a good relationship with the fans and they were great today, as always, so I'm grateful that I had the chance to come back here.

"It's good to be back but I came here to win the game. Of course it was a friendly game so I think the most important thing was to prepare the team for the season which starts in a week's time.

"From a defeat you can't take that much self-confidence for the season but there was a lot of good things in the game today."

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