Swansea City 0-0 Liverpool Match Report
This was Brendan Rodgers first return to the Liberty Stadium since leaving Swansea for Liverpool in the summer. Liverpool lost 1-0 in this fixture at the end of last season in what turned out to be Kenny Dalglish’s last match in charge of Liverpool and Brendan Rodger’s last match in charge of Swansea. Liverpool were hoping to gain some sort of revenge after losing to Swansea in the Capital One Cup a few weeks ago.
The big surprise in Brendan Rodgers team selection was Stewart Downing at left back with Enrique playing in front of him in left midfield. Glen Johnson switched to his more familiar role of right back. Reina kept goal with Skrtel and Agger in centre of defence. Sterling started on the right of midfield with Gerrard, Joe Allen returning to his old stomping ground for the first time since leaving Swansea and a rare start for Jordan Henderson in midfield. Suarez played as the lone striker.
Swansea started the match with a lot of possession but Glen Johnson should have given the visitors the lead from Gerrard’s corner, when he headed over.
Routledge forced Reina into a sharp save after turning on the edge of the box but most of the play was being played in the Swansea half. Suarez strayed offside when put through by Enrique, before the Spaniard steered narrowly wide from Sterling’s superb low cross.
Johnson was then thwarted by Tremmel after being played through by Enrique. Swansea continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack, one such attack resulted in Hernandez curling a shot very close to the far post.
Liverpool went up the other end but failed to convert a trio of clear-cut chances. Rangel’s brave block denied Suarez. Then, Sterling smacked the Swansea bar with a thunderous volley, before Enrique had the ball in the net from Suarez’s delicate pass, but the assistant referee ruled the effort offside.
The second half continued the same as the first half with Liverpool looking the likelier side to score. Tremmel had to be alert to beat away an angled drive from Suarez. Michu had a header saved by Reina after Hernandez got behind Johnson, then Allen cleared a Williams header off the line denying his former team as Swansea hemmed Liverpool back in a good spell of pressure.
Substitute Dyer robbed Downing of possession before racing through on goal but he was thwarted by some brave goalkeeping by Reina in a nasty looking collision that left the Liverpool goalkeeper needing treatment.
Swansea had an appeal for a penalty turned down when Agger grappled with Michu. But Liverpool missed a great chance to take the lead with 8 minutes remaining when Suarez and Sterling broke clear from a Swansea corner, but the youngster’s pass sent Suarez wide of goal and the Uruguayan’s shot was saved by Tremmel.
Reina produced a finger tipped save from a tremendous Hernandez effort with 3 minutes to go, and Shelvey was denied from long range by Tremmel as both teams had to settle for a point.
A strange decision by Rodgers to play Downing at left back and I don’t think it worked. Downing was caught too many times and I hope Rodgers realises that he will never be a left back. Enrique once again thrived in his new attacking role and was unlucky not to score as once again Liverpool were found rueing another official’s decision going against them. Suarez was his usual lively self, but lacked support. Glen Johnson was very impressive and was a threat going forward. Sterling had another good game and was very unlucky when hitting the bar. Pepe Reina looked back to his best with some fine saves. Disappointed the way Liverpool didn’t kick on after their good first half performance, as they didn’t create much in the way of chances in the second half. But another clean sheet and extends Liverpool’s unbeaten run to 8 matches at a very difficult place to go.