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February 23, 2014
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: M. Jones
• Attendance: 44731
D. Sturridge 3', 36'
J. Henderson 20', 74'
J. Shelvey 23'
W. Bony 26', 47'
That wraps up our live text coverage of another entertaining Premier League clash. My name's Ben Cullimore and it's been a pleasure describing the action to you. Take care!
As for Swansea, they will feel hard done by after putting in such a fantastic shift for the majority of the 90 minutes, but were well and truly beaten by some wonderful attacking play by Liverpool. The loss leaves them in 12th place with 28 points, equal with 13th place Aston Villa and just four points clear of the relegation zone. It's going to be a tough end to the season for the Swans but they will be able to take away plenty of positives from today's narrow defeat.
The three points gained are huge for Liverpool, and they send them to within one point of third-place Manchester City (although the latter have a game in hand over the Reds) and six points clear of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur, who are in action against Norwich in just over half an hour.
A hugely enjoyable game is brought to an end by Mike Jones, much to the relief of the Liverpool fans. Their side were sloppy at times, particularly in defence, and failed to close down the Swansea forwards on many occasions, but they were wonderful whena attacking, resulting in four goals that were a joy to watch.
FULL-TIME: LIVERPOOL 4-3 SWANSEA CITY
90' + 3'
One last chance for Swansea. Chico fires the ball forward but Canas undoes all of his work with a wayward pass that goes out for a Liverpool throw-in midway inside their own half.
90' + 2'
Swansea are throwing every available body forward in the hope of grabbing a last-minute equaliser. Ngog gains possession on the edge of the penalty area and turns before firing towards goal, but the contact isn't clean and the save is an easy one for Mignolet to make.
There will be a minimum of three minutes stoppage time.
Liverpool have a plethora of chances to seal the victory with a fifth goal but Vorm is on hand to deny them each time. Swansea then gain possession and push forward themselves but Skrtel deals with the attacking movement and sends the ball out for a throw-in.
Flanagan has been fantastic for Liverpool in defence. Routledge tries to break down the left wing but the youngster sticks out a foot and clears the danger.
Suarez fires in from the edge of the box but his attempted is uncharacteristically weak and it floats harmlessly into the hands of Vorm.
Gerrard bursts forward but finds himself with a lack of options in front of him. Flanagan then draws the foul from Routledge and earns Liverpool some time to breathe with only a few minutes left to play.
Swansea have been the better of the two sides over the last few minutes. They push forward and pressurise the Liverpool defence into almost conceding an own goal after Johnson's attempted clearance richocheted off Skrtel's head and towards goal, but Mignolet is able to deal with the deflection.
Ngog tries to whip in a cross from the right hand side of the Liverpool penalty area but Toure is there to block the cross and send it out for a corner. The initial set-piece is cleared but the ball ends up with Routledge who sets up Ngog. The Frenchman slices his attempt at a shot but Williams jumps high to try and meet it with his head, taking out Mignolet in the process and conceding a free-kick.
Former Liverpool player Ngog replaces Dyer and receives a modest applause from those inside Anfield, whilst Sturridge makes way for Moses and is greeted with a much-deserved standing ovation.
Liverpool are showing no signs of slowing down. They push forward again but the attack breaks down and allows Swansea another chance to breathe.
Williams fouls Suarez to give away a free-kick in a dangerous position. Gerrard whips it in and Swansea deal with the initial danger, but Suarez finds himself with the ball at his feet and weaves in and out of a multitude of white shirts before setting up Henderson. The Englishman unleashes a shot on goal but it's easy for Vorm to deal with.
GOAL! Liverpool are back ahead! It's a scruffy goal but an extremely important one. Gerrard finds Suarez with a great ball forward, and the Uruguayan fires towards goal across the ground. Vorm does well stop the shot but Henderson is there to poke the ball into the back of the net for his second goal of the game. 4-3!
Jonathan De Guzmán
Liverpool continue to exert a huge amount of pressure on the Swansea defence, but their visitors are performing fantastically. You can really sense the rising discomfort amongst the Liverpool fans as we enter the final 20 minutes of the game.
Gerrard finds Sturridge with a great long ball forward and the latter decides to try and take on the entire Swansea back four single-handedly, which Suarez doesn't seem too happy about. The visitors dispossess the Liverpool forward and another swift attacking movement is broken down.
Suarez goes down in the box under a challenge from Canas and the Liverpool players scream at Mike Jones for a penalty. The referee shakes his head, much to the anger of the majority of the crowd inside the stadium.
Skrtel and Mignolet are involved in a defensive mix-up that results in the Liverpool goalkeeper almost handling his ball outside of the box, but, despite the protests from the Swansea fans, Mike Jones waves play on.
Chico loses possession to Allen, who sets up Sturridge with a great long-range through-ball. Sturridge fires the ball towards goal in an attempt to wrap up his hat-trick but Williams throws his body in front of it to send the ball out for a corner. Poor play by Chico, and it almost cost his side dearly.
Henderson shows fantastic skill to beat Canas before setting up Sturridge, who decides to try and chip Vorm for his hat-trick. The ball beats the Dutchman but also beats the far post and safely goes out of play for a goalkick.
Sloppy play again by the Liverpool defenders allows Bony another shot on goal, but Mignolet is able to deal with the attempt. The hosts are having a torrid time at the back.
Liverpool need to do something different if they are going to have any hope of going back in front, so former Swansea man Allen comes on to replace Sterling.
Dyer goes down under a challenge from Johnson and wins a free-kick 25 yards out. De Guzman decides to have a shot on goal and it goes just wide of Mignolet's left post. Half of the crowd gasp in horror as they believe that the ball has actually hit the back of the net, and then laugh with relief when they realise that there eyes have been deceived.
Liverpool look determined to go back in front but their final touches in front of goal have let them down so far in the second half. Suarez is pushing for a goal of his own but the Swansea defence are doing well to deal with him.
Canas brings down Sturridge in a dangerous position near the Swansea penalty area. Gerrard fires the ball in but it's cleared up the pitch by the visiting defenders. Liverpool find themselves back in possession, however, and Suarez fires towards goal again but this time misses the target.
The corner finds Skrtel's head in the centre of the Swansea penalty area but his attempt clears the goal by some distance.
A great chance for Liverpool at the other end! Sturridge sets up Suarez with a beautiful through-ball and the Uruguayan attempts to round Vorm, but the Dutch goalkeeper is quick off his line to throw his body in front of the ball and send it out for a corner.
Penalty GoalWilfried Bony
GOAL! Bony fires the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal, just past the fingertips of Mignolet. This game shows no signs of slowing down. 3-3!
PENALTY! Swansea immediately break forward down the right flank. Dyer whips in a cross towards Bony in the centre of the box and the Ivorian is wrestled to the floor by Skrtel. Bony steps up to take it...
And we're off! Liverpool kick off to get us underway once again.
The two sides are back on the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Just one change has been made, with Canas coming on for goalscorer Shelvey, who seems to have picked up an injury.
Referee Mike Jones blows his whistle and brings the first half to a close. Wow, what an opening 45 minutes that was! We've seen the best and worst of both sides, particularly Liverpool. The hosts have looked in a league of their own when attacking but their nervy-looking and scatterbrained defence is too often being picked apart with ease by the Swansea forwards. The opening moments of the second half are going to be vitally important and could determine who finishes with the much-needed three points.
HALF-TIME: LIVERPOOL 3-2 SWANSEA CITY
45' + 1'
Liverpool are once again sloppy in the middle of the pitch, allowing De Guzman to break towards goal. However, Agger is there to put in a vital block that eases the pressure on the hosts.
There will be a minimum of three minutes stoppage time.
Dyer and Rangel combine to confuse Johnson, leaving the former space to charge into the Liverpool box before having a shot on goal, but it rolls wide of Mignolet's right post and out for a goalkick.
At the other end, Bony tests Mignolet with a strong shot from the edge of the penalty area but the Belgian wins the battle and turns the ball out for a corner with his right hand. A good attempt by the Ivorian, nonetheless.
This time Liverpool break down the right hand side of the pitch and come close to carving out another good chance. Sturridge crosses into Henderson, who tries to flick the ball towards the goal but there's not enough power on it to trouble the Swansea defence, who are able to clear it up the pitch.
Liverpool break on another swift counter-attacking movement. Henderson sets up Sterling on the left side of the penalty area but Rangel stands tall and deals with the danger superbly.
Swansea push forward for the first time since their goal and Routledge whips in a cross from the left hand side of the box, but there are no white shirts in there to tap the ball into the back of the net.
Liverpool break on a counter-attack and Suarez decides to shoot from the halfway line after seeing Vorm dangerously far out of his goal. Luckily for the Dutchman, the Liverpool striker's shot flies just wide.
GOAL! Liverpool are back in front, and it's Sturridge again! Delicate build-up play from the hosts on the edge of the penalty area leads to Suarez sending an inch-perfect cross into the box, which the Englishman meets with his head and sends past a stationary Vorm with ease. 3-2!
Liverpool slowly but surely make their way up towards the Swansea goal, but Swansea have got a multitude of men behind the ball to deal with the danger.
After a frantic few minutes, things have calmed down somewhat. The atmosphere inside the stadium has gone flat, changing from one of celebration to one of anxiety.
Liverpool break on a counter-attack down the left flank but Rangel deals with the pressure and the danger is eventually cleared. In stark contrast to the opening moments of the game, Swansea are looking the more dangerous of the two sides as enter the final quarter-of-an-hour of the first half.
Liverpool are looking extremely open and vulnerable after conceding two goals in such quick succession. Taylor sprints forward and fires a shot that's deflected out for a corner, which amounts to very little for the visitors. Liverpool have looked great going forward but are full of problems at the back.
AssistJonathan De Guzmán
GOAL! Two goals in four minutes for Swansea and they're right back in this game! Skrtel gives away a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the box and earns a yellow card as a result. De Guzman whips in the resulting set-piece, and the ball meets Bony's head and flies into the back of the net via a Skrtel deflection. It's been a torrid minute for the Slovakian. 2-2!
Yellow CardMartin Skrtel
GOAL! Swansea pull one back. Henderson's goal was great, but Shelvey's is even better! Similarly to Liverpool's goal, Dyer darts around the Liverpool defence before setting up Shelvey, who fires in a rocket of a shot that bounces off the woodwork and into the back of the net. He refuses to celebrate and holds up his hands in almost an apologetic manner, and even the Kop applaud his efforts. 2-1!
The momentum is with Liverpool now. Henderson whips in a dangerous lofted ball towards Sterling at the back post but the youngster is flagged for offside, much to the relief of the visitors.
GOAL! Another sublime Liverpool goal doubles their lead. Completely against the run of player, Sturridge darts in, out and around the Swansea defence and lays the ball off to Henderson, who smashes the ball from the edge of the box and into the top-left corner of the goal. 2-0!
There's so much room in the middle and Swansea are exploiting it with ease. Shelvey, again, finds himself in acres of space on the edge of the Liverpool penalty area but his shot lets him down and clears the goal by some distance.
Shelvey rounds Gerrard with ease in the centre of the pitch and fires from distance, but Skrtel throws himself in front of the ball to deflect it out for a corner. De Guzman whips in the resulting set-piece but it's cleared back up the pitch and eventually goes out for a Liverpool throw-in near the halfway line.
Swansea have looked increasingly sharp since Liverpool scored. Bony slides towards goal to try and poke in yet another dangerous cross but Mignolet is just about able to deal with the danger, despite fumbling the ball slightly whilst on the ground.
Another wonderful cross from Shelvey almost sets up Bony, but it's just a foot or two in front of the Ivorian. Swansea are looking increasingly dangerous down the wings.
Shelvey whips a great cross into the Liverpool penalty area, but it finds a clump of red shirts in the centre. Skrtel then makes a mistake and gives possession back to the visitors, but Dyer is unable to keep the ball in play and it goes out for a Liverpool goal-kick.
Suarez and Chico clash, resulting in a free-kick for Liverpool inside their own half. They launch the ball forward but Swansea are able to deal with the pressure, despite Sterling being all over Rangel. The Spaniard is forced to play it back to Vorm, who hastily clears the ball for a throw-in.
Sloppy play at the back by Liverpool allows Swansea their first chance on goal. Bony half-volleys from the edge of the penalty area but his attempt clears the crossbar by half a foot or so. Mignolet looked to have it covered, but Liverpool can't allow the big Ivorian to have any more chances as good as that.
Sterling has started wonderfully. Once again, he finds himself in possession down the left flank but his cross is uncharacteristically poor and it bounces out for a goal-kick.
Liverpool embark on yet another fine attacking movement and go close to making it 2-0. Sterling rushes towards the left hand side of the box and shoots from distance, but Vorm is able to push the ball around the post and out for a corner, which Swansea are then able to competently defend.
GOOOOAL! DANIEL STURRIDGE OPENS THE SCORING FOR LIVERPOOL! It's a delicious through ball from Sterling, and the England international makes absolutely no mistake, stabbing the ball beyond the onrushing Vorm!
Swansea break away on a swift counter-attack down the right flank. Shelvey finds De Guzman but the Dutchman is unable to carve out a chance on goal.
Bright start from Liverpool. Coutinho ends up with the ball at his feet at the edge of the box and shoots towards goal but Chico Flores puts his body in front of the attempt to keep the ball away from danger.
And we're off! Swansea get us underway, kicking from left to right.
The Anfield crowd are on their feet and applauding in memory of the former England international Sir Tom Finney, who sadly passed away last week at the age of 91. A wonderful tribute for a footballing legend.
The two sides are making their way onto the pitch. We're just moments away from kick-off, so make sure you don't go anywhere!
The last time these two sides met at Anfield, the hosts demolished their opponents 5-0, thanks to goals from Gerrard, Coutinho, Jose Enrique, Suarez and Sturridge. Liverpool have looked incredibly strong all season, so could we see a repeat of that thrashing today?
Swansea pulled off a fantastic and well-deserved goalless draw against Napoli in the Europa League on Thursday evening, but caretaker manager Garry Monk has decided to make three changes to the side that started at the Liberty Stadium three days ago. In defence, Davies makes way for Taylor, who makes his first Premier League start for the club since the 1-0 defeat away to Chelsea on Boxing Day, whilst in midfield, De Guzman and ex-Liverpool player Shelvey are chosen ahead of Canas and Hernandez. David Ngog, another Swan facing his old club, starts on the bench.
There are no surprises that Brendan Rodgers isn't taking any chances today and has named a strong starting 11 as a result. The Liverpool boss has made just three changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Arsenal in the FA Cup a week ago, with first-choice goalkeeper Mignolet replacing Jones in between the sticks, Cissokho making way for Johnson, who is fit again after a month out due to injury, and Henderson returning to the starting line-up to replace Allen in midfield, leaving the former Swansea man to start on the bench.
Swansea City substitutes: Tremmel, Amat, Tiendalli, Canas, Hernandez, Emnes, Ngog
Swansea City starting line-up: Vorm, Rangel, Chico Flores, Williams, Taylor; Britton, De Guzman; Shelvey, Dyer, Routledge; Bony
Liverpool substitutes: Jones, Teixeira, Toure, Moses, Allen, Aspas, Cissokho
Liverpool starting line-up: Mignolet; Johnson, Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger; Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling, Coutinho, Sturridge; Suarez
First, let's have have a look at how the two teams will line up, starting with the hosts...
Good afternoon and welcome to the live text commentary of today's Premier League game between Liverpool and Swansea City. My name is Ben Cullimore and I will be guiding you through all of the action from Anfield. It looks as if it's going to be a fantastic clash, so, without further ado, let's get started!
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