Swansea 1-2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool’s winning streak continues, with a victory that saw the home side lose their first half lead and all their points at their own stadium.
Klopp has stuck with Karius for the last few games as first choice goalkeeper, even though he’s started conceding a few goals in the games we’ve played (and won), though they didn’t cost us any points. One thing he definitely wouldn’t want to happen is to see his conceded goals force us to accept a draw or even a defeat instead of a win due to his not being able to keep the opposition’s goals from being scored. He’d quickly be replaced with Mignolet if that happens. It would be nice to see some consecutive clean sheets from Karius if he can do it and it would further solidify his place as the official number 1 keeper. Dejan Lovren is back after a single game out with a virus, apparently. Glad he got well soon, as it’s good to have him in that back line of defence, sharing his experience and showing the new guys like Matip how it’s done.
Swansea weren’t dominated by Liverpool, they put up a good fight in the first half and would even be first to score. It was only 8 minutes before the home fans were celebrating a goal for their team. It was a corner that saw one of Swansea’s attacks met at very close range by Leroy Fer to put the ball in the net. Liverpool didn’t look weak, though. We had enough time to keep going and get our own goals. We’d push the ball around the pitch and continue to press our attacks with good results even when we weren’t scoring. Even the efforts that don’t result in a goal are worth something to the fans. We need to know that we won’t back down when we’ve suffered a lead taken against us. We’ll strike back. We won’t just accept defeat, or even a draw.
As the manager said after the game “In the games that are NOT perfect, it’s important to get a win”. This game certainly wasn’t a perfect one, we’d conceded a goal first and allowed our opponents a lead but we did what was necessary to still take all three points and scored 2 of our own, while making sure no more were scored by our opposition. The important part was seen to. In the second half.
So, there was a lot more things to celebrate in the next 45 minutes than in the first 45 minutes for Liverpool fans. I’m sure some positive reinforcement from Klopp was given to his side at the break and that he didn’t allow us to feel defeated despite not being in a winning position just yet.
Mané and Sturridge were working together very well in our offensive efforts. The two split the Swansea defence apart, throwing passes to each other when defenders came in to challenge them. The ball would stay with Liverpool until they were ready to take their chance at shooting.
I had expected to see either Mané or Sturridge score first, actually. They both looked so strong in attack. It didn’t happen that way, though. Within under ten minutes of the 2nd half, Jordan Henderson made a cross to Roberto Firmino who made sure the cross was not wasted and fired home Liverpool’s first goal of the game with a header. Swansea 1-1 Liverpool
He’s not incredibly well known for his headers, but he did the job well and gave us an important equaliser, with plenty of time to get another goal that could and would make sure we took all the points from this fixture.
With a claim to gain at least 1 point now, Liverpool didn’t seem content to accept a draw. They continued their attacking and went after more goals. Swansea had less chances than in the first half and the ones they did manage to attempt were shut down by our defenders who were all doing their jobs very well. On and on the game would go, further and further towards full time. Liverpool fans may have gotten a little nervous after perhaps the 80th minute and still drawing despite all the effort being made in our attacks. It would be around the 83rd minute that these worried Reds fans would get a little peace of mind as the referee pointed to the penalty spot after Roberto Firmino was fouled.
James Milner stepped up and as always looked cool and calm as he picked his spot and put the ball in the net from 12 yards. He now has scored 4 goals – all penalties- this season. Liverpool had just to wait less than ten minutes more before the referee would blow his whistle for full time and Milner’s goal had helped us take all the points from this fixture.
Man of the Match
I have a lot of reasons to love seeing James Milner play this season. He is a professional set piece taker. In addition to all the free kicks and throw ins and corners that have come from the left wing to assist his teammates, he’s scored 4 times from 4 penalties taken – that is a 100% record of scoring and he just looks like never missing them. Reds fans can be confident a goal is on the way if their team is awarded a penalty and Milner steps up to take it. It’s going IN THE NET. No doubt about it.
It’s important to have a consistent set piece taker and often, players like that are named as team captain. They might not be contending with the strikers for most goals scored by the end of the season, but they are still highly valued for their contributions to the squad. If Henderson is not a part of the team for whatever reason (perhaps suspension or injury), Milner would certainly make a great captain – adequate enough to replace Hendo. This particular fixture was looking like a draw up until the 83rd minute and it could have so easily been that we only claimed 1 point from it, had Milner not taken and scored his penalty. He got the winner and helped us have our 3 points. We now stand 2nd in the Premier League table and those two extra points you get from winning instead of drawing do matter as we want to reach the very top.
One of the most important and exciting fixtures of the entire season is coming up, it’s time to play Man United soon!
Until then, walk on with hope in your hearts Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.