Impressive Reds Thrash Swans
Liverpool finished a tough week on a high with an emphatic win over Swansea whose manager Michael Laudrup, made 7 changes to his side with one eye on next weekend’s Capital One Cup Final at Wembley.
Brendan Rodgers gave new signing Philippe Coutinho his full debut and Daniel Sturridge returned to the line-up to boost the attack.
Liverpool missed a host of chances in the first half before finally taking the lead through a Gerrard penalty, and the impressing Brazillian Coutinho capped a fine debut with an excellent goal just seconds into the second half before further goals from Enrique, Suarez and Sturridge put Swansea to the sword.
Brendan Rodgers made four changes to the team that lost at Zenit on Thursday with Brazillian debutant Coutinho, Sturridge, Agger and Lucas all starting in an attacking line-up. Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Enrique, Downing, Gerrard and Suarez made up the rest of the team.
Liverpool started the match with Coutinho playing down the left and immediately won a corner in the first minute. A minute later the Brazillian evaded a couple of challenges before having his shot blocked for a corner, Downing volleyed wide from the resulting corner.
Liverpool continued to press high up the park in the early stages as the visitors struggled for possession, next Suarez had his first strike of the afternoon, but Vorm saved easily.
Swansea managed to win a corner against the run of play and they had appeals waved away for a penalty when Lamah’s low effort struck Johnson.
Next Downing cut in from the right but fired his shot wide. Then Johnson headed a Downing corner off target as Liverpool continued to attack.
Then Suarez was fouled just outside the penalty area but Gerrard’s effort struck the wall before Suarez fired the rebound over.
Moments later Suarez was fouled in another dangerous position, but Suarez curled the resulting free-kick over the bar.
Suarez was becoming much more involved and was unlucky with an audacious lobbed volley in the 20th minute which just landed on the roof of Vorm’s net.
Downing created the next attack with good work down the right before crossing for Sturridge but the striker couldn’t keep his header down.
Then in the 25th minute Sturridge wriggled into the box before seemingly being tripped before Coutinho shot wide, Howard Webb waved penalty appeals away.
Liverpool won a penalty in the 33rd minute when Suarez was bundled to the ground after trying to go past Agustien. Gerrard dispatched the penalty with great relief after missing from the spot against West Brom last Monday night.
Liverpool were buoyed by the goal and went for the jugular and Sturridge went close after cutting in from the right before dinking an effort over Vorm just wide.
Liverpool went in at the break at with a slender 1-0 lead to show for all their dominance.
Barely seconds into the second half Liverpool doubled their lead when Coutinho burst clear of the Swansea defence before firing past Vorm for his first Liverpool goal on his full debut for the club.
Coutinho almost scored a second goal moments later with a cheeky backheel which just went wide of the far post.
But Liverpool scored a third after a fine move involving Coutinho, Suarez and Sturridge all combining to release Enrique on the edge of the box. He played a pass into Sturridge, who picked out his run into the danger zone with a low cross and the Spaniard found the net with a close-range prod.
Liverpool were rampant and they made it 4-0 six minutes later, when Suarez bamboozled two defenders before firing a shot into the bottom corner past Vorm from 18 yards.
Coutinho was given a standing ovation when he was replaced on the hour mark by Jordan Henderson.
Moments later Sturridge was again thwarted by Vorm when his left-footed sliced shot was saved by the Swansea keeper’s legs.
But Sturridge was not to be denied and when Liverpool were awarded another penalty, this time for a handball by Routledge, Steven Gerrard handed over the penalty taking duties to the striker, Sturridge seized his chance to get on the score sheet with confidence by firing into the top corner and making the score 5-0.
Moments later Sturridge clipped the top of the bar with a long range effort as he continued to impress.
Luis Suarez was replaced with just over 10 minutes to go for Borini as Rodgers looked to give his star striker a rest ahead of Liverpool’s Europa League second leg clash with Zenit on Thursday night.
Liverpool finished the game with only 10 men after substitute Borini landed heavily on his shoulder and had to head down the tunnel in obvious pain.
It was a magnificent performance from the Reds, who scored five and could have got 10. Brendan Rodgers’ side climb to seventh in the Barclays Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers would have been looking for a positive reaction from his players after two defeats on the bounce, and he couldn’t have asked for more. OK so Swansea were not at full strength and had their mind on next week, but you can only beat who you are playing against, and Liverpool did that impressively.
Brilliant to see Coutinho make his full debut and he looked very good with a bit of pace and creativity. Capped off a tremendous day with a superb goal. Sturridge made a big difference once again to Liverpool’s attack with his pace and movement complimenting Suarez.
It looked like it could be one of those days again with many chances being wasted in the first half and only going in at half-time one goal to the good, but the amazing start to the second half gave Liverpool great confidence to finish Swansea off. Liverpool had 35 shots at goal in the match which is a Premiership record this season and could have scored 10 as Michael Laudrup said afterwards.
The whole team played well, but special praise has to go to Gerrard who dominated the midfield by spraying passes all over the field. Suarez and Sturridge were a constant threat and look to be forming a dangerous striking partnership. But star of the day must be Coutinho who showed no nerves in his full debut and gave the Kop food for thought with some clever runs and passes from the left of midfield, a memorable day for the youngster and I’m sure he won’t forget his first goal for Liverpool.
Overall a superb performance from Liverpool, but Rodgers must be asking why his team can’t play like that every week ? Liverpool need to find this form on a consistent basis, but for now Rodgers should be allowed to enjoy the victory.