23rd January, 2018
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp
Fourth-placed Liverpool were stung by a 1-0 defeat at English Premier League basement side Swansea City who withstood a second-half onslaught to secure the points on Monday.
The Swans had taken the lead through defender Alfie Mawson at the Liberty Stadium five minutes before the break.
This came when an attempt to clear by Liverpool’s 75 million pounds defender Virgil Van Dijk landed at the feet of Mawson who swept the ball home.
It was his sixth league goal this season.
Van Dijk, playing in his first league game since signing from Southampton, had earlier flashed over a header from a first-half corner kick.
Mohamed Salah also blazed the Dutch defender’s lofted pass over the bar on the half-hour mark.
Liverpool upped the tempo in the second half, dominating possession and attacking from all angles.
Roberto Firmino saw his late header come back off the post, but Swansea managed to hold on for only their fifth league win of the season.
Liverpool had not lost in 18 games, having just ended the unbeaten league record of runaway leaders Manchester City, but they fluffed their lines in the face of some stout defending.
The loss leaves them on 47 points, three behind Chelsea and six off Manchester United, with Tottenham Hotspur two points outside the top four after a draw at Southampton on Sunday.
Manchester City lead the way with 65 points from 24 games.
“I told my players: Liverpool is a strong team. Like a Formula 1 car,” Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal said after the win.
It is a win which has taken his side level on 20 points with second-bottom West Bromwich Albion and three off the safety zone.
“If you put that F1 car in the 4 p.m. London traffic, the F1 car will not drive very fast. That’s exactly what we had to do. Let them play in a way they don’t like.”
The plan seemed to work as the visitors struggled to find a way through the Swansea defence in the first half.
Van Dijk looked composed but a lack of movement in front of him limited his options as he brought the ball out of defence.
Mawson’s goal lit a fire under the Liverpool attack and they surged forward after the break, notching 17 of their total 21 attempts on goal in the second period.
Mohamed Salah buzzed between Swansea’s defensive lines, playing clever passes and shooting as soon as he got a sight of goal as Liverpool chased an equalizer.
But all too often the Merseysiders fired either high or wide of the target.
Firmino came closest to scoring deep into stoppage time, but his header across the goal came back off the left-hand post.
Adam Lallana was unable to steer home the rebound as Swansea breathed a sigh of relief at the final whistle.