Swansea City 0
So we come to the end of a trio of games, Norwich, West Brom and on Saturday Swansea, that one might have expected to see us kick on and find ourselves in a top four place. Nine points out of nine was perhaps too much to expect however, even allowing for a good way win at West Brom, I don’t think any Liverpool fan would be happy with two home draws against two of the League’s “new boys”.
Saturdays contest was a game of old habits some older than others. The old habit of not performing in games we would, on paper at least, be expected to win. The not so old habit of failing making the most of our chances and positively geriatric (incontinent and in a bath chair) old habit of welcoming new recruits to the Premiership with an introductory point or two. Such generosity may be welcomed by romantics and Sky TV however, it is time for someone else to take over the mantle, “no more Mr Nice Guy”!
Many might say that new teams are inspired by playing at Anfield however there are other grounds and to suggest that is by no means a ready made excuse for not being clinical enough to finish them off? Four homes draws this season, three in a row, give the cliché “Fortress Anfield” a hollow ring. Our inability to make the most of home games is slowly and surely becoming an issue, sound familiar? The opportunities lost could be felt more acutely with Chelsea and Manchester City up next?
At 0-0 this was a game that unsurprisingly found itself last on the Match of The Day line up however, I’ve no doubt Swansea fans didn’t see it like that. At final whistle they celebrated like they did when they secured promotion last May, and they had just cause to. The truth of the matter is that Swansea played some nice football and, with a bit more composure in front of goal, could have won this game. We could have also secured three points at the beginning and particularly at the end and would have but for the heroics of the Vorm in the visitor’s goal. However it is debatable that many neutrals would have said that a Liverpool victory would have been deserved?
Kenny kept an unchanged side from West Brom. This meant Suarez and Carroll being paired up front again. Carroll started things by clobbering Downing’s cross against the cross bar, after only ten minutes, it’s a cliché but yes, it would have easier to score! Any expectations that this was the sign to exert our home advantage were dashed. Swansea made a game of it. Sure Suarez, into the side netting after escaping from Gower, and again after Adam’s shot was charged down, had chances but after that the visitors settled and knocked the ball around with a cockiness and confidence that most sides, we are told, are supposed leave outside the ground when they visit here. In was only a matter of time before Swansea made chances and Reina was forced to save well from Routledge’s dangerous cross which fortunately Graham didn’t connect with.
From then on it was game in which the keepers excelled. Reina for us and particularly Vorm for Swansea. Reina, after nearly gifting Graham a goal when he nearly lost control of the ball, made amends stopping his follow up after he charged down Dyer’s effort, his second good save from the midfielder. Vorm was more than equal to the task collecting Suarez’s glancing header from Adam’s free kick and then spectacularly stopping efforts from Suarez and Johnson right at the death as we laid siege to Swansea’s goal. Kuyt had a goal correctly disallowed for offside but it was a familiar story and thankfully we were saved a gruesome ending when Gower, with the goal gapping, fired into The Kop.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Henderson (Kuyt 46), Downing, Lucas, Adam, Suarez, Carroll (Bellamy 74) Substitutes: Doni, Coates, Kelly, Maxi, Spearing, Kuyt, Bellamy
Swansea: Vorm, Williams, Taylor, Monk, Rangel, Britton, Dyer, Routledge (Sinclair 74), Allen, Gower (Agustien 90+2), Graham Substitutes: Tremmel, Moras, Sinclair, Agustien, Richards, Lita, Moore