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Liverpool vs Swansea: Five-star Reds rout Swans

By This is SouthWales  |  Posted: February 17, 2013

Comments (18)

New signing Philippe Coutinho marked his Liverpool debut with a goal as Liverpool beat an understrength Swansea side with one eye on a Wembley final next week 5-0 at Anfield.

The 20-year-old scored the important second moments after the break following Steven Gerrard's first-half penalty.

Jose Enrique, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, also from the spot, finished off the visitors who rarely looked interested in, or capable of, making a contest of it.

Brendan Rodgers, facing the club he left in the summer for the third time this season, began the week talking up what an important seven days lay ahead.

But after a home defeat to West Brom and one against Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League, this game took on even more significance.

It was a match Liverpool effectively could not afford to do anything but win, although that only served to paper over the cracks which have been exposed recently.

As emphatic as the scoreline was - incredibly securing a first win over a top-10 side this season - it only served to prove just how frustrating the Reds can be.

Earlier in the week they created as many if not more chances against the Baggies but failed to put any away.

The same problem befell them in Russia, with a similar 2-0 defeat the outcome, but in some ways Swansea probably provided the ideal opposition for the Reds to end a five-match win-less run.

Physically unintimidating, with a bigger prize on offer in seven days' time, they were also the perfect team for the slight and youthful-looking Coutinho to make his first start since an #8.5million move from Inter Milan late last month.

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, with his thoughts on next weekend's Capital One Cup final, did his predecessor a huge favour by naming a weakened side, selecting only four of the side who beat QPR 4-1 last week and leaving out 15-goal striker Michu, captain Ashley Williams and Nathan Dyer.

Had Liverpool not beaten a side which was arguably not as strong as the one which defeated the Reds 3-1 in the League Cup in October, serious questions would have been asked.

After striker Roland Lamah's hopeful appeals for a handball against Glen Johnson were waved away by referee Howard Webb the match settled into a familiar and all-too-frustrating pattern for the hosts.

England right-back Johnson planted a free header well wide, Gerrard drilled a free-kick into the wall and Suarez fired the rebound over, before the Uruguay international whipped a 25-yard free-kick just over the bar, where he also dispatched a dipping volley.

The chances continued to be created and not converted as Sturridge missed the target with a close-range header before the #12million signing appeared to be brought down by Kyle Bartley.

Referee Howard Webb saw nothing untoward but worse was to follow as Liverpool's other January arrival Coutinho stabbed the loose ball wide with the goal at his mercy.

Webb was also unconvinced by Kemy Agustien's unnecessary challenge on Suarez close to the touchline but, fortunately for the home side, his assistant Mike Mularkey saw it differently and immediately flagged for a penalty.

Gerrard, having failed from the spot in front of the Kop against West Brom, went for the opposite corner and succeeded in beating Michel Vorm for Liverpool's first goal.

Sturridge had one more chance before the break but having been put through by Suarez, his left-footed toe poke was blocked by the head of Bartley.

Swansea had shown little threat in the opening 45 minutes and any ideas they may have had about staging a comeback were snuffed out within 10 minutes of the restart.

In truth, the 16 seconds it took the 20-year-old Coutinho to skip through the visitors' defence and beat Vorm was all that was required.

However, a well-worked goal saw Enrique poke home Sturridge's pass before Suarez went past both Swansea's centre-backs to fire home the fourth.

The persevering Sturridge was denied again by Vorm as the Reds ploughed forward almost at will with Swansea seemingly powerless to stop them or provide any effective response of their own.

He finally got his goal but only courtesy of the generosity of Gerrard, who relinquished penalty duties when substitute Wayne Routledge handled.

Liverpool, who finished with 10 men after third and final substitute Fabio Borini went off with a painful-looking shoulder injury, have now scored 17 goals in their last five home games with only the two conceded against West Brom spoiling a perfect run at Anfield.

The key for Rodgers, as it has been for the entire season, is to find a way of ensuring this is not just another flash in the pan as his side moved to within nine points of fourth-placed Tottenham.

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  • cresswell1  |  February 20 2013, 7:10PM

    **** team Swansea with **** supporters hope you get stuffed by Bradford

  • cyril392  |  February 18 2013, 1:00PM

    Having watched extended highlights of yesterday's defeat, and trying to take a balanced view: 1. have to feel sorry for the fans who travelled to Anfield, and an apology for that performance was the correct thing to do. However, if anyone thinks this was bad by comparison, try the trip to Blackpool on a Tuesday evening less than 3 years ago to watch the lads get beaten 5-1; 2. whether anyone likes it or not, Rogers is slowly pulling things together at Anfield. Sturridge has made a big difference since he arrived, so opposing defenders no longer just have Suarez to deal with. As a result, Liverpool were ready to make some sort of statement of intent, and the Swans were ripe for it with the team that was selected (Michel Vorm apart - who someone made some negative remark about in an earlier article. If it hadn't been for Vorm, it WOULD have been 10!). Also, Rodgers was probably quite keen to get past the "Liverpool haven't scored against Swansea in the PL" statistic, even though it's just another of those meaningless footnotes that contribute to supporting a comfortable living for so many sports journalists; 3. Winning the C1 Cup next week IS important because it will create real history for the club, and in its centenary. Along with raising the profile of the club/city, and the money to be banked, playing in Europe next season (which could of course be a double-edged sword - see Birmingham & Middlesbro) may help us to attract better players. Also, for those of a more parochial disposition, Cardiff would no longer be the only club to take a major English League trophy outside of England; 4. resting players in order to protect them for next week's final not a good idea? Ask Chico Flores if he agrees. Injuries can happen so easily. Look at Borini yesterday. Yes, we ought to beat Bradford City on paper, but as a certain Mr Clough once remarked "you don't play football on paper - you play it on grass". It's a one-off game where anything can happen. We still need our best players out there on Sunday to give us the greatest chance of winning. Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan didn't take Bradford City seriously - look what happened to them; 5. although a top ten finish would be very satisfying, by far the most important thing is to stay in the PL - £60 million minimum next season???!! That sort of cash pays for stadium expansion, squad strengthening, etc, with enough change left over for a visit to the cinema for the whole squad! That being the case, getting to 40 points should be well within the team's compass, even with a fairly tough run-in. Happy days!

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  • HaroldMonk  |  February 17 2013, 8:27PM

    Michu should have come on to offer a threat. Our goals difference is not great for the top half of the Premier league

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  • trncjack  |  February 17 2013, 8:02PM

    this has not gone down well any where ,except liverpool, YES i can understand we have a very big game next week . but we pay good money to see our first team play , not the stiffs , if i want to see the stiffs play i will pay the few quid and watch them , i would not spend hundreds of pounds to go to lfc to watch the stiffs ,these 3 droped points could come back and hit us hard if we do not win next week

  • chelsea1955  |  February 17 2013, 7:50PM

    Cresswell do any Utd fans actually live within 12 miles of Manchester

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  • chelsea1955  |  February 17 2013, 7:48PM

    What a disgrace to lose 5-0 to an average Premier League side like Liverpool, the players should hang their heads in shame, if the board have any balls they should sack the manager before it gets worst but i bet any money they will not sack him.

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  • divingtulip  |  February 17 2013, 7:09PM

    liverpool should have put 10 past us today we were out played and out classed and we still need point lets get this final over and get back to our winning ways..

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  • cresswell1  |  February 17 2013, 7:01PM

    and by the way my is team are 12point in the lead in the premier, utd utd utd, title 20 coming up.

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  • cresswell1  |  February 17 2013, 6:59PM

    i hope the FA throw the book at swansea for ripping their fans off,they did it to blackpool so the same rule should apply to swansea. i hope they now lose the final

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  • Hadoken863234  |  February 17 2013, 6:53PM

    Cresswell, do you also love the fact we are going to weblmey and will probably be going to europe when we win, where cardiff lose. Do you also love the fact that will make the top 10 of the premier league. I personally love the fact that your life is so bitter and twisted a loss of a rival team makes you happy. That must some dire life you lead in that damp state funded bedsit. Enjoy it.

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