Liverpool Hit Five Against An Under Strength Swansea Side
Liverpool proved today that if the conditions are right they can indeed beat a team above them in the Premier League. That team today was Swansea, who with the Capital One Cup final in seven days' time sent an unfamiliar eleven out onto the pitch this afternoon.
Michael Laudrup has since the match finished come out and apologised for getting it wrong this afternoon and I really hope that the clubs supporters accept his honesty. He is after all taking Swansea to Wembley to try and win their first trophy for many years.
His decision of course helped an inconsistent Liverpool to prove that yes, when they put their minds to it they can actually score goals and win games. We were also able once again to call upon Daniel Sturridge, who had missed the tie in Zenit because of his ineligibility in the Europa League and young Phillipe Coutinho was given his first start for the club. A start that would show us, he has the makings of a very good player. A player, who like Luis can weave in and out of the opposition and score a wonderful goal.
The game itself kicked off in a very quiet Anfield - so quiet in fact that you could hear the players yelling at one another. That yelling of course came from the Liverpool team who from the moment of kick-off were in the ascendency. The second string Swansea team seemed to be overawed by the occasion and failed to grasp any movement on the ball.
As the half progressed there were of course the obligatory missed shots at the goal. Glen Johnson set his first shot over the bar, Stevie sent a free kick straight into the wall and Luis Suarez sent several shots either wide or over the bar.
There was also the usual 'penalty not given incident'. This time though it involved Liverpool's adversary, referee Howard Webb who it appeared failed to spot that Daniel Sturridge had been brought down by Kyle Bartley. Then we had young Phillipe Coutinho send a loose ball wide.
Liverpool's luck was in today though and with them continuing to govern the play, it was not long before they took the opportunity to open the score sheet. Kemy Agustien decided to challenge Luis Suarez and thankfully the linesman flagged for a penalty although Howard Webb appeared to be unconvinced.
Step forward Stevie G and the ball was in the back of the net. Liverpool were now in front and with half time approaching Daniel Sturridge set a ball towards the net but this was blocked by Kyle Bartley.
The whistle blew for half time and with Liverpool being so inconsistent; you did have to wonder if Michael Laudrup would change his team for the second half. He did not and within 46 seconds of the second half starting Phillipe Coutinho announced his arrival at the club with a beauty goal, having made his way through an empty Swansea defence.
The next goal came after several great movements from Enrique and I am really glad it went into the back of the net because he is one of those players that have improved a lot in the last couple of months.
Swansea of course was in disarray by now and it took a hand ball from Wayne Routledge to ensure that we had goal number four. This was scored from the penalty spot by Daniel Sturridge who having tried and missed several times was told to take it by Stevie.
Luis Suarez who had been making some wonderful moves during the game, also ensured that his name was on the score sheet which ensured that Liverpool won the game in a comfortable manner.
It also saw them playing for the last ten minutes with ten men after substitute Fabio Borini went off with what is believed to be a dislocated shoulder, although having witnessed his scream it may well be more serious than that and Brendan has since confirmed that he is expected to be out for the rest of the season.
We now have to face Zenit St Petersburg at Anfield on Thursday and will be without Daniel Sturridge and Phillipe Coutinho who played a massive part in today's victory. This of course is a great shame and we really have to hope that the team chosen will be able to score the goals needed to go through to the next round. If not the inconsistency that surrounds Liverpool will rear its ugly head once again.