Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Swans End Reds Unbeaten Run

Sports - Football - Premier League - SWA 1:0 LIV

Here are my match notes of a very frustrating display and rare defeat for Liverpool, suffering against stubborn Swansea, losing 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night, ending the Reds' unbeaten run after 18 games.

The first half an hour just saw one shot, way off target high over the bar by Mohamed Salah. That's it.

Swansea kept Liverpool quiet staying in their own half after creating one or two threats themselves with Jordan Ayew the main producer and danger, but nothing close.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produced the first shot on target after 33 minutes, straight to the Swans keeper Lukasz Fabiański.

Defender Kyle Naughton volleyed way over after the home side's free kick on the right was headed away by Virgil van Dijk.

There were some shaky moments for Joe Gomez. The home side ended the first half on top, corner after corner... AND GOAL! Their first shot on target and it's in, five minutes before the break!

A corner was not cleared, van Dijk headed the ball down straight to Federico Fernandez who provided Alfie Mawson with an easy finish from close range, 1-0! The defenders did it all for the Welsh side!

Again, Liverpool showed how weak they are at the back! Yes, van Dijk didn't help the Reds there either! Jürgen Klopp must have been fuming!!!

Andy Robertson and Ayew clashed, the Red got booked for it despite his protest, not happy, a minute left in this dreadful half.

Joel Matip was the next one in the book for a nasty challenge against midfielder Sam Clucas, frustrations showed on the visitors at the end of the first half...

One minute was added on, Salah on the left, to Sadio Mané, who put it wide! Right-footed, falling, wasted chance.

HT 1-0, as always, Liverpool didn't make it easy for themselves, Swansea holding and then taking advantage well thanks to Mawson. Klopp will have been fuming and wanting to wake the Reds up!!!

The home side could be and probably were very happy at the break. No changes were made by either side.

And the second half mirrored the first, Liverpool nowhere, Salah with another miss well wide, frustrated, Swansea in control, the fans loud and happy.

Robertson was there but not really, in and around the box, but kept missing and messing up chances, passes and crosses. Argh.

Just under an hour gone, Fabianski tapped over Salah's free-kick for a corner, Swansea cleared the threat.

Liverpool were still surrounded and denied by the Swans, every move ending nowhere. Complete opposite to the last match!

The first substitution was made by the home side, 64', Tom Carroll replacing Nathan Dyer.

Liverpool brought on Adam Lallana for the Ox, 68', Klopp looking like he's pulling himself together...

Danny Ings came on for Georginio Wijnaldum who looked disappointed, 73', Klopp giving out instructions... Hands, arms, shouts, all waving and echoing around... There was not much else happening of note.

Ings got a shot off Salah eventually, but Fabianski held on, Liverpool getting closer but still looking shaky, the home side holding firm.

The Swans made their second change, 79', slowly but surely Ayew walked off, Wilfried Bony on, applause all round, deserved.

Gomez put a shot wide, summarising his useless/helpless/poor game.

Salah created another chance after a short corner to van Dijk who directed a soft header to Fabiański, who collected it easily.

Pf. I think all the Reds put in against City looked lost and lacking on Monday night. Who was I being optimistic and thinking we would thrash the Welsh side?! Apologies and applause to Swansea!

Four minutes were added on, the Swans still fighting, Liverpool still missing. Salah put another one wide, nowhere near.

Last minute, the Liberty Stadium was echoing louder than loud. Liverpool on the attack again, Fabianski collected again.

Roberto Firmino headed against the post late on, Lallana unable to make much of the rebound. Fabianski punched the following corner clear... And that was full time.

There was some late drama but the Reds just couldn't give enough, Swansea took it, easy, and topped it, three crucial points in their battle for safety. Deserved.

Swans manager Carlos Carvalhal was understandably over the moon with Swansea's first home win under him and the Portuguese boss summarised the game brilliantly with the quote of the season:

"They (Liverpool) are like a Formula 1 car. But at 4pm in London it will be difficult to speed, they would be a car like any other.

"We (Swansea) needed to make sure there was traffic, we could not let them have open roads to drive in."

Swansea have earned seven points in their four Premier League games under Carvalhal (W2 D1 L1), two more than they'd picked up in their 12 before his arrival (W1 D2 L9).

On the other side, Klopp admitted defeat, feeling like it was pretty much a giveaway:

"I am more frustrated about the performance than the result. We didn't play how we wanted to play.

"We gave them the opportunity to score and then we did exactly what Swansea wanted. Swansea knew that to win they needed our help, and unfortunately we gave it to them."

This was Liverpool's first defeat in 15 Premier League games (W10 D4), and just their third of this season.

But the German boss seems to dislike this Welsh side, having lost three Premier League games against Swansea, more than against any other opponent in the competition.

What a difference a week makes. Next on the list are West Brom in the FA Cup at the weekend, and then Huddersfield in the league next week.

It can only get better, right?

Swansea Goal: Mawson 40'.

Swansea Team: 1 Fabianski; 16 Olssen, 6 Mawson, 33 Fernandez (c), 5 van der Hoorn, 26 Naughton; 17 Clucas, 4 Ki, 8 Fer, 12 Dyer (15 Carroll 64'); 18 Ayew (2 Bony 79'). 5-4-1
Subs not used: 11 Narsingh, 13 Nordfeldt, 27 Bartley, 51 Mesa, 62 McBurnie.

Liverpool Team: 1 Karius; 26 Robertson (booked 44'), 4 van Dijk, 32 Matip (booked 45'), 12 Gomez; 5 Wijnaldum (28 Ings 73'), 23 Can (c); 18 Mané, 21 Oxlade-Chamberlain (20 Lallana 68'), 11 Salah; 9 Firmino. 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: 7 Milner, 17 Klavan, 22 Mignolet, 29 Solanke, 66 Alexander-Arnold.

HT Stats: SWA 1-0 LIV
Possession: 35%-65%
Shots: 2-4
On target: 1-1
Corners: 3-2
Fouls: 4-6
Yellow cards: 0-2

FT Stats: SWA 1-0 LIV
Possession: 28%-72%
Shots: 3-21
On target: 2-4
Corners: 3-9
Fouls: 5-9
Yellow cards: 0-2

Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Man of the match: Alfie Mawson
Ground: Liberty Stadium
Attendance: 20,886

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All pictures, quotes, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match report, Sky Sports app, Twitter and SFR match coverage.

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