Liverpool: Is the Swansea loss the swansong on the Reds’ title hopes?

Swansea fans were singing with joy after a thrilling 3-2 victory over title contenders Liverpool lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Goals from Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson put an end to the Reds impressive one year unbeaten run at Anfield in all competitions.

After being billed as the best attack against the worst defence in the league, it was surprising to note there was not a single shot on target in the opening half.

 

Home dominance

The Reds controlled possession but were unable to find an opening through a stubborn Swansea defence.

Despite the home-side’s dominance, Swansea came closest to opening the scoring from Tom Carroll.

Appearing for his second debut for the club following his £4.5 million move from Tottenham earlier in the week had a game to remember.

His deflected cross bounced off the outside of the post and he also had a big part to play in two of Swansea’s goals.

Liverpool threatened with Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana linking up well but the latter’s attempted bicycle kick went high and wide of the mark.

 

Swansea’s gameplan right on the money

New Swansea manager Paul Clement’s gameplan worked a treat as he piled men behind the ball and allowed the hosts to have possession in deep and wide areas.

It was his decision to play target man Llorente that was questioned at half-time due to the lack of service he received.

However, Clement’s decision was justified just after the break.

The Swans sparked into life on the 48th minute when Llorente pounced on a loose ball from a Swansea corner and passed the ball from close range into a gaping Liverpool net.

The visitors doubled their lead just four minutes later when debutants Martin Olsson and Carroll combined brilliantly down the left flank.

It was the ex-Tottenham midfielder’s whipped cross into Llorente who thumped a header past Simon Mignolet to leave Anfield stunned.

 

Comeback

The hosts responded quickly and pulled a goal back on the 55th minute when Firmino powered a header from a James Milner cross past Lukasz Fabianski.

Arguably the best goal of the game followed on the 69th minute when Liverpool clawed their way back on level terms.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s exquisite touch took the ball past the on-rushing Swansea centre-back Federico Fernandez on the left wing.

The Dutchman was lucky not to be penalised for a handball as the ball bounced off his arm in the lead up to the goal.

He found Firmino who controlled the ball on his chest and smashed a left footed half volley past Fabianski.

 

Swansea winner

Just as everyone may have expected Liverpool to go on to win the tie, the most significant goal arrived five minutes later from Swansea’s Sigurdsson.

Tom Carroll dribbled his way into the area who was tackled by Ragner Klavan, but the ball fell kindly to the Icelandic international who had all the time in the world to pick his spot and give the Swans their first ever win in the Premier League at Anfield.

 

Aftermath

The historic result means Swansea are off the foot of the table ahead of the 3 pm games.

Liverpool have a mountain to climb to stay in the race for the title as they could fall ten points behind leaders Chelsea if they beat Hull City at Stamford Bridge in their game in hand tomorrow evening.

 

Written by Conor Lee

Follow Conor on Twitter @cmlivesports

Check out more of his writing via his excellent blog, Live Sports Reports

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