Penalty gave Liverpool a hard-fought victory over Swansea


It was down to James Milner to save the day again! A late penalty gave Liverpool a hard-fought victory over Swansea. It was certainly a game of 2 halves, but we ground out a win. Possibly a game we’d have lost last year.

That’s another win under our belt. Taking us to 2nd in the table till the afternoon results come through.

Inability to defend

It was as early as the 8th minute that Liverpool’s inability to defend set pieces was exposed. We had a zone of 5 defenders setup, however Swansea just missed out that zone with a sweet delivery to the back post. Leroy Fer easily scored from a foot away from goal!

Lallana was forced to come off with a possible hamstring injury, meaning Klopp had to shuffle his pack earlier than he’d probably planned. Bringing Sturridge on as he moved Coutinho into midfield.

We did gain some control and Sturridge’s pace did stretch Swansea’s back 4 however we continued to run down blind alleys. Eventually the frustration lead to Sturridge being booked for diving in the penalty area.

Liverpool are always a danger to any team due to their slick passing and pace on the break. However, they really struggled in the 1st half to get a grip on the game because of Swansea’s brilliant pressing. They out pressed the presser!!

Maybe Klopp going on national TV and revealing his tactics to everyone wasn’t the greatest idea after all!!

Unable to craft any meaningful openings in the 1st half there were echoes of 2013/14 Chelsea from Liverpool. Able to beat all the big teams but lose the title by dropping points against weaker sides.

Angry on the touchline Klopp was no doubt preparing some strong words for the break.

Hard-fought victory

Thankfully the Reds emerged a different team for the 2nd half. Switching to a 4-2-3-1 formation Coutinho moved into a more central attacking role.

This move worked wonders as in the 54th minute Firmino had scored to make it 1-1. Philippe Coutinho’s free-kick hit the wall, falling to Henderson who chipped the ball back into the area.

Firmino found himself with a lot of space, a very clever glancing header ensured it found the bottom corner.

No Liverpool player has been involved in more PL goals than Roberto Firmino since the start of last season (13 goals, 7 assists).

Firmino’s pressing and general intelligence could not be faulted throughout the game. Really showing why Klopp says he has the hardest role to perform on the pitch. 
Henderson’s quality on the ball once again stood out – superb cross provided Firmino with the equaliser. Lets not forget his work-rate in front of the back-four. He is working tirelessly and growing in stature every game. Great leadership – now becoming the captain we need. 

Total dominance

Liverpool were now hitting their stride. High pressing which we didn’t see in the opening 45 minutes. Creating on the right, creating on the left – complete total dominance!

Mane, Sturridge and Clyne all trying to find a second, with the persistence of Milner on the left flank proving ever more influential. While others around him toiled, Mane was a constant menace in Swansea’s final third, with his pace, movement and unpredictability almost impossible to defend against.

With just 7 minutes remaining Firmino was nudged in the back by Rangel – PENALTY!! Milner fired his spot-kick hard and straight past Fabianski. That’s 4 Premier League penalties this season for Milner – more than any team has managed.

Not a bad start at all. It’s still a work in progress, summed up so nicely with these tweets.

 

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