Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Four Star Reds Stun Swans

Liverpool signed off 2014 in style with a 4-1 win at home to Swansea City on Monday Night Football, a performance that saw a long awaited return to the attacking prowess show last season.

As the game was the second of three in the space of six days, the team selection saw Simon Mignolet, Emre Can, Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno included as the Reds looked to end a mixed 2014 on a high.

In the absence of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson took over duties and looked to set his team off to a good start when he swept in a dangerous cross in the fifth minute which found the head of Martin Skrtel but the Slovak's effort was too close to trouble Lukas Fabianski in the Swansea goal.

Liverpool continued to push for the opening goal and a pacy combination between Raheem Sterling and Alberto Moreno saw the former power an effort against Lukas Fabianski whose parry fell to Adam Lallana whose rebounded shot went over.

Swansea responded with an effort of their own when a nice move resulted in Nathan Dyer looking to test Simon Mignolet but saw the Belgian claim his header comfortably before Wifried Bony powered an effort high over the target.

Liverpool resumed their attacking threat with promise as Mamadou Sakho swept forward a superb pass for Moreno which saw Spaniard pass infield while advancing into the box, the ball moved from Lallana to Henderson with the Reds captain picking out Moreno who tapped past Fabianski for the lead.

The lead could have been doubled before the interval when Phillipe Coutinho jinked into the box and thundered an effort to the near post which Fabianski denied before the Swans stopper denied the Brazilian from long range.

However, the slim lead was soon increased in bizarre circumstances when a back pass from the Swansea defence saw Fabianski delay a clearance on the edge of the box and with Lallana advancing on him, the Pole's attempted clearance cannoned back off the playmaker and into the net.

Swansea replied instantly as the Liverpool defence were caught out by a loose ball after Sakho had failed to deal with Bony at the back post resulting in an easy conversion past Mignolet for Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Simon Mignolet did come good minutes later as he preserved the Reds lead with a superb save to deny a thunderous effort from Bony before Raheem Sterling came achingly close to restoring the two-goal lead with a clipped shot which cannoned back off the post.
 
The game looked to be firmly in the hosts hands just after the hour mark as a stunning piece of skill from Coutinho saw him find Adam Lallana who evaded numerous challenges before sweeping a shot low into the corner to put the Reds 3-1 in front.
 
Swansea were unable to replicate their rapid response from earlier in the half and soon fell further behind as an in-swinging corner from Jordan Henderson caused chaos for the Swans defenders which saw former Reds midfielder Jonjo Shelvey head into his own net.
 
The Swans were keen to mount a comeback and came close to making it 4-2 when Bafetembi Gomis swept an effort against the upright as the Reds held on for a superb win in what was their 59th game of the year.