Swansea City 1-0 Liverpool FC (January 2018)

Goalscorer: Alfie Mawson 40

Teams:

Swansea City: Lukasz Fabianski, Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson, Mike van der Hoorn, Kyle Naughton, Martin Olsson, Sam Clucas, Leroy Fer, Ki Sung-Yueng, Nathan Dyer (Tom Carroll 64), Jordan Ayew (Wilfried Bony 79)

Liverpool FC: Loris Karius, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Emre Can, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Adam Lallana 68), Georginio Wijnaldum (Danny Ings 73), Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah

Referee: Neil Swarbrick, Attendance: 20,886

27 days earlier, Swansea City had shipped five goals at Anfield against Liverpool FC. The Swans were without a permanent manager, bottom of the table and looked completely devoid of any confidence. However, the Swans soon found a new boss and Carlos Carvalhal was about to give belief back to the Swansea supporters.

In the return match on a Monday Night Football at The Liberty Stadium, Swansea took a more cautious approach to this match. Carvalhal would later say: “They (Liverpool) are like a Formula 1 car. But at 4pm in London it will be difficult to speed, they would be a car like any other. We needed to make sure there was traffic; we could not let them have open roads to drive in.”

Both sides did have early opportunities. Jordan Ayew did have the ball in the back of the net but it was correctly ruled out as he had run the ball out of play. Meanwhile, Liverpool FC’s club-record signing was making his Premier League debut and Virgil van Dijk came close to scoring with a headed effort from a corner. His attempt whistled just wide of the far post.

The general feeling was if Swansea were going to strike, it would come from a set-piece. That theory was proved right five minutes before half-time. Liverpool didn’t clear their lines properly from a corner. Van Dijk was especially guilty as he didn’t get enough on his clearing header. After a ricochet off Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson took full advantage. He drove a shot into the bottom corner of the net. It was his first goal of the season.

Both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah wasted good opportunities in the first half but Liverpool were nowhere near the level they’d demonstrated in their recent victory over the runaway league leaders Manchester City. Going into the match, Salah had scored 24 goals in all competitions, two more than the entire Swansea team. He had a quiet evening though. The Egyptian’s best moment was a free-kick in the second half that forced Lukasz Fabianski into a flying save.

Liverpool had scored 29 away goals in the league but they achieved none here despite controlling the second half. The closest they came was with virtually the last kick of the match. Van Dijk picked out Roberto Firmino but the Brazilian’s late header struck the post with Fabianski well-beaten.

Swansea held on for a sensational victory which took them within three points of safety. It was Carvalhal’s second win in four matches and he would guide them to impressive victories in quick succession over Arsenal, Burnley and West Ham United.

However, Swansea failed to win another game after the 4-1 victory over the Hammers in early March and they would be relegated at the end of the season. However, the fans can lookback at this victory over the Reds as one of the bright spots of a disappointing 2017-2018 season.

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