By jpa90, 25-11-2012, 16:53:08
Brendan Rodgers could only earn a point against his old club in a goalless draw at Liberty Stadium. Liverpool came the closest when Raheem Sterling rattled the bar with a powerful drive and the visitors bossed the majority of the first half. Swansea also had a handful of chances but neither side could produce a goal in a rather scrappy game.
|The home side started brightly with a great deal of possession. Stuart Downing had a hard time settling in to the unusual position of left-back and Swansea were keen to take advantage of this. Pepe Reina made a good save from a Wayne Routledge header shortly after Glen Johnson saw his header fly over the bar at the opposite end.
Sterling and Luis Suarez were causing problems for Swansea’s defence and Gerhard Tremmel was called into action to stop a nicely-struck shot from Sterling. Jonathan De Guzman almost gave his side the lead after Steven Gerrard gave away possession in his own half but his effort curled around the wrong side of the post.
Liverpool began to press the home side further up the pitch and were looking the better side midway through the first half. Jose Enrique came close to opening the scoring when a wonderful cross from Johnson found him on the edge of the six-yard box, but the Spaniard missed the target. Sterling picked up a loose ball after a Liverpool corner and released a superb volley whilst under pressure which crashed against the cross-bar, the Reds unlucky not to be 1-0 up.
Seconds later Johnson made a clever run into the 18-yard box and he found Suarez with a neat back-heel. The Uruguayan chipped a ball over the defence and found Jose Enrique who thought he had given the visitors the lead when he tucked the ball past Tremmel, only to see the linesman flag for offside.
Both sides were yet to score at half time with the Reds having the better chances. Liverpool threatened late in the first half but Swansea’s control of the ball in defence was as scrappy as the visitor’s wasteful possession in the final third. Most of the action had occurred down Liverpool’s left wing where Jose Enrique had threatened but Downing had struggled.
The teams exchanged possession early in the second half but neither side could create much in front of goal. Liverpool executed precise passing and decent movement off the ball but could not capitalise on the space that they had worked.
Gerrard attempted a long-range strike with his left foot but again Tremmel was there to collect the ball. Swansea’s defence was solid but Suarez’s acceleration proved too much for them at times, proven when he was allowed to stride into the box and release a low shot. Tremmel made a good save but the Reds were encouraged by their ability to exploit gaps in Swansea’s back line.
De Guzman was linking up well with Angel Rangel on Swansea’s left wing. Routledge forced a corner and Williams reached the cross with his head but saw his effort cleared off the line. Chico was booked for pulling Suarez to the ground and Daniel Agger rose well to meet Gerrard’s resultant free-kick, although the defender could not generate enough power to guide the ball past Tremmel.
Downing’s woes at left-back continued when he miscued a clearance and allowed Nathan Dyer to race past him. Reina met Dyer with a good block and it took both players a while to return to their feet after a heavy collision. Shortly after, Joe Cole replaced Downing who will be disappointed with his performance, albeit in a relatively unfamiliar position.
Michu’s penalty shout was waved away by the referee when he was pulled to the ground after leaping for a header. Sterling and Suarez found themselves with just one defender to beat after countering from a Swansea corner, but Sterling’s return pass was sloppy and it forced the Uruguayan wide. Suarez did well to work an angle but his low shot was hit straight at Tremmel who made a comfortable save.
Joe Allen conceded a free-kick when he pulled Ki to the ground. Hernandez smashed the ball low and hard but Reina got down well to turn it around the post. Jonjo Shelvey almost won it for the Reds with a rasping shot but Tremmel was not to be beaten as he once again met the shot with a good save.
With very little separating the two sides in the second half, the game finished 0-0. Liverpool were frustrated that they didn’t take advantage of their chances in the first half – an all too familiar story for the Reds this season.
The home side had their fair share of chances but will have been happy to take a point away from a game that could have easily gotten away from them in the first half. Both teams are back in action on Wednesday evening when Swansea take on West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool face a tough game against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
Kopworld man of the match: Luis Suarez