Swansea City 0
This was a game of two equals. Both teams had been managed by the same man, the league positions before that start of this game were pretty much the same and both had produced a run of form in the Premiership of similar duration Liverpool unbeaten seven games Swansea one loss in seven..The match stats, 50% possession for each side, said it all and although Swansea had one more corner than us but we had three more shots. A draw was on the cards?
It would be more intriguing to say that both sides had got to where they were via different ways thus shedding light on the diversity of styles that is the Premiership however not so. Both sides knocked the ball around as if it was a egg. If they were drivers they’d always go via some complicated maze of backstreets to get to their destination rather burning rubber down the easily navigated motorway. It looks great and gives you a small degree of smugness that we trying to do the right thing however, as a fan, sometimes you just wish they’d stop fannying around and go for it. Today’s game was nice, and nice is the word, nice but, in terms of the result and the chances we had, ultimately unsatisfying?
Liverpool fielded an interesting and perhaps even puzzling line up. Andre Wisdom was injured meaning that Stuart Downing filled in at left back meaning the Enrique pushed up. Jordon Henderson, after his less than convincing effort on Thursday and making his first Premiership start of the season, was drafted into midfield at the expense of Jonjo Shelvey who scored! Ashley Williams, during the pre match handshake didn’t knock Luis Suarez out. The handshake went off fine and was punctuated by an impish Suarez grin, was it one of fun or one of menace? I only mentioned this incident because it will be mentioned however, dear and much valued reader, please don’t confuse me with someone who gives a f*ck!
We began fairly well with Sterling having a couple of half chances which he failed to effectively connect with. Enrique and Johnson benefited from their BR Pass to Push Up. The Spaniard failed to properly connect with a cross from Johnson and returned the complement only to see his fellow full back have his effort deflected over the bar by Tremmel in the Swansea goal. Sterling then hit the cross bar with a well taken half volley and before that set up Suarez who fired straight at the keeper. The main talking point came when Suarez, after good, direct play by Johnson, clipped a cross over to Enrique at the far post who slid in to convert only to have the “goal” correctly but perhaps pedantically ruled offside.
Despite this Swansea more than gave their own with Routledge Shechter and Pablo Hernandez gaiving Reina some hairy, but well dealt with, moments. The feeling was that we couldn’t possibly keep a clean sheet with Swansea continually being allowed to express themselves in our final third, just as we were with them. Stuart Downing at left back had a “rabbit in a headlights” look of an understudy who hadn’t bothered to read his lines only to find the lead actor was ill and that he was required to fill in!
The second half began with more of the same delicate “needle craft” stuff. Gerrard kept to the script and attempted to thread a ball through a gap that probably required a laser to get through only to someone only to see it cut out and return it. He then, as if exasperated by this, swung his leg at he rebound to hit a curling shot that Trammel collected. Before that Suarez had a shot which, had he a partner in support, he would have probably passed or crossed . Dyer had a good chance which was thwarted by Reina who bravely charged of his line to snuff it out and got some studs in his head as a reward!
And so it was both sides regularly exchanged chances like they were playing hands at cards but, sadly, there was no “snap” or “trump”. There was some promise when, after a Swansea attack, we broke with Sterling and Suarez however the formers pass to the latter wasn’t that hot which meant he needed more time to set up the shot meaning Tremmel was ready to deal with it. Swansea responded with a free kick after Allen had felled Ki. The wall seemingly contained all of the Liverpool eleven plus about half a dozen fans recruited from the stands but Reina did well to turn Pablo Hernandez’s shot away and it emphasised his contribution to today’s proceedings, it was probably had his best game of the season?
There was more Williams header was cleared off the line by Allen. And Shelvey’s low hard drive was well saved. After the game BR said
“I was very pleased with my team today, the method in our game was excellent. We had 18 shots at goal, nine on target, we just couldn’t quite find the final touch to finish.”
No disrespect to the manger yesterday (I’ll leave that job to ignorant Chelsea fans) however this could have been a response which, stats permitting, could have applied to any one of our games this season. Not quite in a rut but…..
Swansea City: Tremmel, Chico Booked, Williams, Rangel, Davies, Britton, Michu, Pablo, Routledge (Dyer – 67′ ), De Guzman (Agustien – 84′ ), Shechter (Ki Sung-Yeung – 46′ ) Substitutes: Cornell, Monk, Tiendalli, Dyer, Ki Sung-Yeung, Agustien, Lita
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson (Shelvey – 77′ ), Downing, (Cole – 77′ ), Allen, Sterling, Suarez Substitutes: Jones, Coates, Carragher, Sahin, Cole, Shelvey, Suso