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Henderson: It's all about how we react to defeat

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 20:06
Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool must use the opportunity of a decisive EFL Cup clash with Southampton next week to produce a response to today's disappointing defeat to Swansea City.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Henderson: It's all about how we react to defeat

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 20:06

Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool must use the opportunity of a decisive EFL Cup clash with Southampton next week to produce a response to today's disappointing defeat to Swansea City.

A brace of goals from Roberto Firmino helped the Reds cancel out a two-goal deficit against Paul Clement's men at Anfield and, with over 20 minutes still remaining, they looked favourites for victory.

However, a Gylfi Sigurdsson strike on the counter just five minutes after Firmino's second ended any chances of a comeback and secured the points for the Swans.

Henderson conceded the nature of the defeat was hard to take but challenged his teammates to immediately bounce back by overturning Southampton's one-goal aggregate advantage to secure a cup final berth on Wednesday.

When asked if today's result had dealt a fatal blow to the Reds' title challenge, the captain told BT Sport: "No-one knows that, we'll find out at the end of the season.

"But it's how you react after defeats, that's how you can show character, show your spirit and show how good you are as a team in the game after. 

"The next game is very important for us, and we need to react in the right way."

Jürgen Klopp's team had gone over a year without tasting defeat at Anfield before Swansea clinched a win that took them off the foot of the Premier League.

Henderson insisted the result won't kill confidence in the dressing room but admitted he was unhappy with the manner in which the hosts threw the game away.

"One defeat doesn't make you a bad team, we've still got a lot of confidence in the squad," he added.

"When we went 2-0 down you could see we still felt as though we could get back in it, which we did.

"But maybe we were pushing that bit too much for the third and we needed to be a bit more patient, [but we] got done on the counter.

"So, we're very disappointed but the games come thick and fast and we need to be ready for the next one.

"We still feel very confident as a team, we've got brilliant players and we just need to keep going the way we have.

"[We need to] learn from today, because there were a lot of mistakes out there, and make sure the next game we put in a better performance and get a better result."

The skipper also refused to single out the back four for their part in the concession of three goals, underlining the importance of defending as a team. 

"I felt, as a team, at times we did [defend well] but at times we can defend a lot better," he continued.

"We need to make sure, especially when you get back in the game at 2-2, that first and foremost you defend and, with the quality we've got, you always fancy us to get another goal."

Categories: LFC NEWS

Jurgen Klopp criticises Liverpool’s defending in loss to Swansea

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 19:34

Jurgen Klopp has lamented the dour defensive display of his Liverpool side as they fell to a 3-2 defeat to Swansea City on Saturday afternoon.

Two goals from Fernando Llorente and another from Gylfi Sigurdsson consigned the Reds to defeat at Anfield for the first time in a year, with Klopp’s side dropping points at a crucial stage.

Kicking off a must-win run of four games in 10 days with a loss to the Premier League’s bottom side is a bitter blow, and Klopp was not happy with the way his side defended on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters after the game, the German was particularly critical of the defending for the third goal.

“We weren’t in a defensive mood, it was attack after attack, rolling and rolling and rolling—that’s how the game was in this moment,” he explained.

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“The crowd was finally there, and the atmosphere was for winning Liverpool.

“In this moment, we had enough players around the challenges but nearly nobody in the challenges. That makes no sense. I saw no challenge, actually.

“We were two or three times too passive and, in the end, a free player in our box, that’s a big mistake.

“[It’s] not of one player, for sure not, [there were] a lot of players involved in this situation. But that this is possible against us, that’s really disappointing.”

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He also was critical of the first goal, conceded from a corner, saying he “couldn’t see how Llorente could be completely alone in the six-yard box and score the goal,” though he attributed no blame to his back line for the Spaniard’s second, simply saying “brilliant cross, brilliant header.”

Most troubling for Klopp, however, was the manner of Sigurdsson’s winner, with the Iceland international benefiting from a sloppy clearance from Ragnar Klavan after a long ball forward.

“The most disappointing moment, the third goal, nearly everything was wrong around this goal,” he continued.

“I think it started with a long ball—that was not a real surprise, they played a few of these.

“The reaction on the long ball was not good. We strode back, we were there and we scored, then we obviously couldn’t switch in this moment to a defensive mood.

“That was the biggest mistake in this situation. We were passive.”

Liverpool’s passivity was a major factor in their defeat, and while Roberto Firmino spearheaded a spirited revival, it prove too little, too late, as Klopp’s side undermined their title charge.

Next taking on Southampton in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final on Wednesday night, Klopp will be expecting much more from his defence—with Joel Matip no doubt returning.

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Matip welcome back at Cameroon - coach

BBC Sport - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 19:26
Joel Matip joined Liverpool from German side Schalke in the summer of 2016

Cameroon head coach Hugo Broos wants Joel Matip to return to the national team after the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Liverpool defender, 25, was one of seven players to say they did not want to play in the tournament after being selected in the preliminary squad.

He has not played for Cameroon since 2015, but Broos told BBC Sport: "I hope he will change his mind."

Matip was cleared to play for Liverpool by Fifa on Friday after confusion over his availability during the tournament.

Cameroon said he had refused a call-up and Fifa rules state a player may be blocked from featuring for his club if he refuses to play for his country - but world football's governing body dismissed the case.

"I'm very happy that this problem is solved and he can play again for Liverpool," Broos added.

"He made the decision not to come with us to the African Cup. I respect his decision but I also think the Cameroon Federation had to do what it has done because they are the Fifa rules and it's too easy to say 'no, I don't come'.

"But this problem is solved. For me, there is no problem any more and I still hope, as I have done since I was coach of Cameroon, that he will come back and play with us again."

Matip, who has 27 caps, was not included in Cameroon's final 23-man squad for the tournament in Gabon.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp's verdict on Liverpool's defeat to Swansea

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 18:43
Jürgen Klopp admitted Liverpool's defending cost them as they were beaten 3-2 by Swansea City at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp's verdict on Liverpool's defeat to Swansea

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 18:43

Jürgen Klopp admitted Liverpool's defending cost them as they were beaten 3-2 by Swansea City at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

A quickfire brace by Fernando Llorente in the opening minutes of the second half stunned the Reds, after the first period had passed by without significant incident.

Klopp’s men responded strongly to the double setback and Roberto Firmino’s own brace hauled the hosts level and presented the possibility of securing a comeback win.

But a Swansea counter-attack saw Gylfi Sigurdsson sweep a decisive finish beyond Simon Mignolet to ensure the three points were taken by the visitors.

Here is a transcript of Klopp’s post-match press conference…

On his assessment of the game…

[In the] first half, obviously you could hear in the stadium it was not the most entertaining game. It was the job to do today. If you want to have a real spectacle on the pitch, you need two sides for it. In the first half, only we played, they defended. It’s not that you can create in each second a chance, but we had these four or five really good moments when we did really well. That’s what you have to do in a game like this, to change the situation in a positive way, [which] means you have a lead, 1-0 up, 2-0 up, whatever. That changes the game, of course. In this case, we couldn’t score and came out of half-time and then obviously you need to be spot on immediately and in the first minutes one of the decisive [moments] was that they even got the corner. It was a throw-in and we were too late, then not concentrated in the situation, flick-on and corner. We lost the first challenge after the corner and, until now, I couldn’t see how Llorente – who was the goalscorer – could be completely alone in the six-yard box and score the goal. Obviously it had an influence on us and them. Then they had their second chance in the game, we couldn’t avoid the cross, ball in the air – brilliant cross, brilliant header. That, I can easily accept. If something happens like this, I don’t speak about the mistakes around the header. But we should have avoided the pass and then the cross. That should be possible. The reaction was then very good; 2-1, wonderful goal, 2-2, wonderful goal, big chances, chance after chance. Then we had the punch that we missed a little bit in the first half, not only when we scored the goals, also when we created the chances.

Then the most disappointing moment, the third goal, nearly everything was wrong around this goal. I think it started with a long ball – that was not a real surprise, they played a few of these. The reaction on the long ball was not good. We strode back, we were there and we scored, then we obviously couldn’t switch in this moment to a defensive mood. That was the biggest mistake in this situation. We were passive. We win the ball and we could again create the next chance, but they took the opportunity and at the end Swansea players were in our box. That makes, of course, no sense. I don’t look for where is lucky and unlucky; it was obvious we had not that much luck today, maybe they had a little bit more, especially in defending. [There were] two or three situations where it was already done nearly and we could have scored again. We showed again that when we are really on track then we are a strong side and can create chances and score goals. That’s natural, if you want, and will happen. But the defending around all three goals was not good enough, 100 per cent. That’s a very important part of the game. It’s very disappointing today.

On the result being Liverpool’s first league loss at home in a year…

I don’t care, it makes no difference. It’s not that I can say, ‘[It’s] OK, we didn’t lose for a long time’ – maybe we deserved to lose more than today and we didn’t, but today, it was a big opportunity for us to get these three points. That’s what makes it so frustrating. It’s not important how often you lose or whatever, it’s only this game – we are focused only on the next game and the next game. Today was Swansea and we gave them the opportunity to win the game and so they are deserved winners.

On how damaging the defeat is for the Reds…

I don’t know how much exactly. In Germany, that’s a pretty harsh word. If it has influence, then it has to be like this. It’s a few weeks ago we [last] lost in the Premier League and it has to feel really bad – and that’s what it does. I don’t need this feeling but now we have to, like always we have to use it – we have to show a reaction. It was not like we are in this situation and think everything is going well, we are really fighting. 2-0 down is not nice, but scoring the equaliser was fantastic so then it was clear who was on the run – but then it was really hard when we conceded the third one. It is our mistake – nobody else made a mistake, only us. Now we have to show a reaction.

On whether it was a lack of concentration for the third goal…

We weren’t in a defensive mood, it was attack after attack, rolling and rolling and rolling – that’s how the game was in this moment. The crowd was finally there, and the atmosphere was for winning Liverpool. In this moment, we had enough players around the challenges but nearly nobody in the challenges. That makes no sense. I saw no challenge, actually. We were two or three times too passive and, in the end, a free player in our box, that’s a big mistake. [It’s] not of one player, for sure not, [there were] a lot of players involved in this situation. But that this is possible against us, that’s really disappointing.

On Liverpool’s lack of punch in the first half...

It’s not a big problem, you have to say now, because it’s a 0-0 and you could see it was obviously difficult. It was very, very quiet in the stadium, but you need to play like this [patient], you cannot go always with the head through the wall. You need to play around, create and have a look where is the best pass through. We had these situations, we shot, we finished, we did everything, we had the headers – maybe it was a little bit offside, I’ve no idea, but the situation when Emre had a free header, that was brilliant play. But you cannot have it more. It’s not a problem that we didn’t have it. Of course, I could ask all the time for being spot on more than 100 per cent, but it’s pretty likely like this and you need this one moment and you score. Now, after the game, with five goals in the second half, a goal for my side in the first half would have changed the game completely, but the decisions were made in the second half today. And we are [on] the wrong side.

On whether the decision on Joel Matip came too late for him to start…

Yes, of course. We couldn’t [play him]. Yesterday night at 8pm [we found out], there was no chance. We had three sessions since the last game and we had to focus on the team we could play probably. There was no chance for him to start.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Simmonds nets winner as U18s beat Newcastle

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 18:38
Okera Simmonds netted the only goal of the game as Liverpool U18s bounce back from their FA Youth Cup exit as they beat Newcastle United 1-0 at the Academy on Saturday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Simmonds nets winner as U18s beat Newcastle

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 18:38

Okera Simmonds netted the only goal of the game as Liverpool U18s bounce back from their FA Youth Cup exit as they beat Newcastle United 1-0 at the Academy on Saturday.

The 17-year-old, who netted his first goal in the mini-derby win over Everton last weekend, came off the bench to grab the all important goal.

The strike came as a result of a deflection off the Newcastle defence and the ball fell invitingly for Simmonds who finished superbly.

In the absence of Conor Masterson it was a proud day for Liam Coyle as the Scouser was given the captain's armband.

Reflecting on the victory, U18s boss Neil Critchley told Liverpoolfc.com: "I was pleased to get the win and keep a clean sheet.

"It took us a while to get going and were not at our most fluent going forward but we were much better in possession in the second-half.

"After losing at Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night I thought we showed a good response and showed good character.

"I was delighted for Okera to get a goal again. He worked his socks off during the last two games and when I brought him on he made a real impact."

Liverpool U18s: Kelleher, N Williams, A Lewis, Parker, Coyle, Adekanye, Hunter (Jones 75), McAuley (Simmonds 70), Camacho, Millar. Subs not used: Atherton, Owens, Blair.

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Video: Jurgen Klopp post-match press conference – Liverpool 2-3 Swansea

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 18:37

Watch Jurgen Klopp speak of his disappointment after Liverpool’s poor 3-2 defeat to Swansea City at Anfield.

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“The first half, you could hear it in stadium, it was not most entertaining game,” said Klopp. “If you want to have a spectacle you need two sides to play, we were the only one doing that.”

On Swansea’s third goal, the manager said: “There was almost everything wrong in this goal. The reaction to long ball was not good.”

Speaking of the attacking side, Klopp said: “We showed that when we are on track we are a strong side & can score goals but the defending on all 3 goals today was not good enough.

“Today was a big opportunity for us to get these 3 points, that’s what makes it frustrating for us. We gave them opportunity win this.

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“It’s damaging (to season’s hopes). It has to feel really bad, and it does. We have to use it and show a reaction.”

Klopp says the OK from FIFA for Joel Matip to play came too late to select him for the team.

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Matip missing, Lallana lost, Firmino firing – 5 talking points from Liverpool 2-3 Swansea City

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 18:06

Liverpool capitulated against a resurgent Swansea City in a 3-2 defeat which could end any hopes of challenging for the Premier League.


Liverpool 2-3 Swansea City

Premier League, Anfield
January 21, 2017

Goals: Firmino 55′, 69′; Llorente 48′, 52′, Sigurdsson 74′

Leaky Defence Means Matip Must Start

 Liverpool's substitute Joel Matip warms-up against Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Matip available for selection following the farcical situation involving FIFA and the Cameroon FA, he might have been expected to start, but Klopp stuck with Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan at the back.

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There was no commanding presence in the box when Federico Fernandez won a header from a corner, allowing Fernando Llorente to put Swansea ahead at the start of the second half.

Llorente scored a second from a Tom Carroll cross minutes later, and was again relatively unopposed.

Alfie Mawson had another free header from a set-piece with just over an hour gone, and Swansea scored a third in open play as Liverpool were crying out for Matip’s presence in the back line.

Jurgen Klopp must surely reinstate him in defence for the games against Southampton and Chelsea, and he just has to decide who from Lovren and Klavan will partner him—but on today’s showing, he might go with Joe Gomez.

 

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Returning Henderson and Coutinho Lack Impact

 Liverpools captain Jordan Henderson looks dejected as Swansea City scorer the third goal during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Neither Jordan Henderson or Philippe Coutinho were able to have a major impact on the game on their return to the starting lineup following injury.

Henderson did create the first chance of the match, though, with one of his trademark crosses from just outside the area.

There are few in the game better than the Liverpool captain at delivering the ball from that position and Emre Can should have done better, at least getting his header on target, having got on the end of it.

After this Henderson suffered several poor touches on the edge of the final third, as well as a couple of wayward passes in that direction as he struggled to settle into the game.

He suffered what looked like a recurrence of his heel problem midway through the second half, and though he was able to play on his performance never quite reached a reasonable level.

Coutinho was also a slow burner, but he created a good chance for Roberto Firmino with around half an hour gone, and played some good balls from midfield, especially into wider positions.

He had a good opportunity to score just after Liverpool went behind, but he tried to find a team-mate and instead Swansea were able to regain possession, move up the pitch, and score their second. He was replaced by Daniel Sturridge shortly after.

 

Firmino Back in the Goals

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scores the first goal against Swansea City to pull a goal back and make the score 1-2 during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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The Brazilian forward started the game as the central striker, but his first goal came from a position on the right, and his second once he’d moved to the left as Sturridge and Divock Origi entered the fray.

Firmino’s form has dipped since his shift out wide, even though it was a position he’s impressed in previously for both Liverpool and Hoffenheim.

He was unable to complete his hat-trick and grab a point for his side, and though his general performance was up and down, his goalscoring exploits were a positive on a miserable day for the Reds.

 

Lallana Still Toiling Without Mane

 Liverpool's Adam Lallana in action against Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Adam Lallana started the game on the right of the attack in the slot usually occupied by Sadio Mane.

He’s a completely different type of player to the Senegalese speedster, and the whole team has had to adapt as a result.

One aspect of Mane’s game retained by Lallana is a tendency to drift into the box when the team were attacking, as demonstrated when he attempted an overhead kick on the edge of the six-yard area from Firmino’s cross.

Despite the usual nice touches and one particularly eye-catching nutmeg in the opposition area, the Englishman struggled for end product when acting as a forward rather than the attacking midfield role he thrived in earlier in the season.

 

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Does Klopp Have Depth Needed Ahead of Big 10 Days?

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match against Swansea City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Looking at Liverpool’s bench, Klopp still had plenty in reserve. But, that said, Mane and Matip aside it was probably a lineup which the manager considers to be his first choice.

Mane’s absence affects the team and their results more and more as the weeks go by. Given the performance it’s not just the pace of the Senegalese which the side were lacking.

Some familiar problems reared their head, not least the familiar failing that is defending of second balls at set-pieces, which had looked to be becoming a thing of the past under Klopp.

Though it’s difficult to sign top players in January, Liverpool look in need of an extra squad member or two to add pace up front or guile in midfield, and maybe even an upgrade alongside Matip in the back four.

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Liverpool 2-3 Swansea City: Player Ratings

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 17:51

Liverpool fell to a crippling 3-2 defeat at home to Swansea City on Saturday, with Jurgen Klopp‘s side producing an abysmal performance.


Liverpool 2-3 Swansea City

Premier League, Anfield
January 21, 2017

Goals: Firmino 55′, 69′; Llorente 48′, 52′, Sigurdsson 74′

Simon Mignolet – 6 (out of 10)

Klopp has performed an impressive feat in playing both Mignolet and Loris Karis into form by juggling their duties in recent weeks, but the fact remains that Liverpool need a better goalkeeper than their No. 22.

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Mignolet was one of the players to come out of Saturday’s loss with the most credit, but it can certainly be argued that the Reds would have fared better with a more accomplished all-rounder.

Nathaniel Clyne – 5

Speaking on Friday, Klopp revealed that Clyne had taken two running sessions to test his recovery from a rib injury, with the right-back only rejoining full training on Friday evening.

Clyne looked laboured at times pushing up and tracking back, with his loose marking in the buildup to Fernando Llorente’s second goal a clear red flag, while his supporting work in attack was not up to scratch.

 Liverpool's Dejan Lovren looks dejected as his side lose 3-2 to Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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Dejan Lovren – 5

Lovren had been talked at as one of the major success stories of Klopp’s reign in the opening months of the season, but in the absence of Joel Matip the Croatian has looked noticeably shakier at the back.

This continued against the Swans, with his bizarre headed clearance leading to the away side’s first, and his questionable decision-making alongside Ragnar Klavan proving costly.

Ragnar Klavan – 4

With Matip returning to the fold after his farcical eligibility dispute with FIFA and FECAFOOT, Klavan’s place in the starting lineup is likely to come under threat in the coming days.

The 31-year-old was booked in the first half for obstructing the onrushing Martin Olsson, and left in a vulnerable position as a result, while it was his shanked clearance that gifted Gylfi Sigurdsson the winner.

With Mamadou Sakho yet to secure a move away this January, should Klopp swallow his pride and welcome the Frenchman back into the fold?

James Milner – 5.5

After a rest in midweek, with Alberto Moreno providing able cover in his absence, Milner returned to left-back duties against a side he had scored against in both of his previous outings for the Reds—but he failed to make the difference this time around.

Sent 12 crosses into the box, but only three found their intended target, which serves to encapsulate his performance: full of endeavour, but lacking incision.

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 Liverpools captain Jordan Henderson looks dejected as Swansea City scorer the third goal during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jordan Henderson – 4.5

Captaining Liverpool for the 50th time in the league on Saturday afternoon, Henderson returned to the fold after a recurrence of a troubling heel injury that looks set to dog him throughout the campaign.

But with Will Ferrell watching on in the stands, Henderson struggling in the anchorman role, regularly handing possession over to Swansea, marring the Reds’ push for parity throughout.

Emre Can – 3

While his form has been largely inconsistent of late, Can was excellent in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home to Manchester United, with his defensive contribution and support in attack providing a welcome bridge in the middle of the park.

It couldn’t have been much worse against the Swans, however, with the 22-year-old producing a sluggish display lacking the speed of thought required to thwart a hardworking away midfield.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5.5

Wijnaldum’s last contribution in a Liverpool shirt came with a tame effort trickling into David de Gea’s clutches in the closing stages of the draw with United, depriving the Reds of a late winner.

While the Dutchman is subtle in his influence, this largely faded into staid irrelevance at Anfield, with Klopp needing more thrust from his £25 million summer signing.

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 Liverpool's Adam Lallana in action against Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Adam Lallana – 6

With Sadio Mane progressing through to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, Klopp has turned to Lallana as his utility man in attack, moving away from his successful role in midfield.

Drifting between duties in the final third, Lallana was one of the only players to look capable of grabbing a goal for the Reds, but was unable to replicate his late heroics in the 5-4 win away to Norwich City a year ago.

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia in action against Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Philippe Coutinho – 5.5

Making his first Premier League start since picking up an ankle injury in November’s 2-0 win at home to Sunderland, the pressure was on Coutinho to perform.

But just as against Plymouth Argyle on Wednesday night, while the 24-year-old did showcase his skill, quick feet and creativity at times, he remained at odds with the tempo of the game, still needing to recapture his sharpness.

Roberto Firmino – 8 (Man of the Match)

With Coutinho restored to the starting lineup, Firmino was able to return to his most effective role as Liverpool’s centre-forward, after an unproductive stint covering for his compatriot on the left.

Not often is there such a disparity between one individual display and that of their team-mates, but Firmino’s endeavour, class and cutting edge were undermined by a dismal showing in support.

His second goal of the afternoon, a sensational half-volley, on the turn and under pressure, serves as unequivocal proof that Firmino should be played as a No. 9 and built around.

 

Substitutes

 Liverpool's substitute Joel Matip warms-up against Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Daniel Sturridge (on for Coutinho, 56′) – 4 – Really struggling to prove his worth of late.

Divock Origi (on for Can, 70′) – 4 – Much like Sturridge, with another flaccid display.

Joel Matip (on for Wijnaldum, 90+4′) – N/A – Needed back in the starting lineup pronto.

Subs not used: Karius, Lucas, Moreno, Woodburn

 

Manager

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match against Swansea City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp – 6

Navigating a busy January schedule, Klopp made another 10 changes to his starting lineup following Wednesday night’s 1-0 victory away to Plymouth Argyle in their FA Cup third-round replay.

The absence of any of Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and Sheyi Ojo from his substitutes’ bench was something of a surprise, but came with key players such as Clyne and Coutinho returning.

Hamstrung by FIFA’s late call to clear Matip as eligible for selection, Klopp’s starting lineup was largely straightforward, though he made a big call in leaving both Origi and Sturridge on the substitutes’ bench.

The German will have been hugely disappointing with his side’s performance in the first half, and while Firmino shone after the break, the second half will have been even more demoralising.

Klopp did little wrong from the sidelines, with his senior selection letting him down when they were needed most.

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“Nothing but new players will fix this defence” – Fans react to Liverpool’s disappointing 3-2 defeat against Swansea

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 17:41
on 21.01.2017

Liverpool were dealt a major blow in their title chase after they suffered a hugely disappointing 3-2 defeat against Swansea in Saturday’s early kick-off at Anfield.

Joel Matip was given clearance to take part by FIFA so he was named in the squad for the first time since December 11th while Philippe Coutinho started his first game since November 26th.

Jordan Henderson made his 50th appearance as Liverpool captain while Dejan Lovren featured in his 100th Premier League game.

There wasn’t too much too get excited about in the first half as Liverpool dominated possession but were unable to breakdown Swansea’s defence.

However, the second-half started with a bang as Fernando Llorente poked home Swansea’s opener within moments of the restart before doubling the lead with a powerful header just minutes later.

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Liverpool responded though and Roberto Firmino scored with a header in the 55th minute before Daniel Sturridge came on to replace Coutinho.

The hosts pressed for an equaliser and it was Firmino who came up with the goods once again with a sensational half volley.

However, Swansea scored the winner and Liverpool had to settle for a hugely disappointing 3-2 defeat.

Here’s how fans saw the game on social media.

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Fans were delighted to see Coutinho and Matip involved…

Perfect team selection apart from Matip not starting, although I can understand why… Come on you Redmen!!!! #LFC

— Simon Peacock (@THESimonPeacock) January 21, 2017

Had a feeling Matip wouldnt start! 20 mins for him then he'll start against Southampton!!

— Jay LFC (@Jasonbranagan79) January 21, 2017

Sadio Mane’s presence was certainly missed…

Not having Mane is really disrupting our formation. We all know he was leaving for the AFCON, we all know its hard to buy quality in January

— Eathen.. (@Eathen_1892) January 21, 2017

I think a goal will come eventually but without a Mane type to take on and beat someone to create space we struggle.

Article continues below

— kop in full voice (@LFC_Klopped) January 21, 2017

We need another pacey attacker, Mane is litterally the only fast player we have

— AntonLFC (@AntonGBR) January 21, 2017

It was a shock when Swansea scored within minutes of the second-half…

Yikes. Going to be a loooong second half now.

— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) January 21, 2017

The mistake magnet's at it again

— Alex Barilaro (@Alex_Barra12) January 21, 2017

Awful defending from the corner, but what was Lovren thinking in unnecessarily conceding such a cheap corner? Brainless panicking

— Andy Wales (@AndyArmchair) January 21, 2017

Article continues below

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the first goal against Swansea City, with team-mate Adam Lallana, to pull a goal back and make the score 1-2 during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But fans were delighted when Firmino scored two goals to mount a comeback…

World class finish from Firmino!

— Alex Harris (@alexharris_92) January 21, 2017

Swansea regained the lead though and fans were frustrated once again…

Never winning the league with this defence, you just can't keep gifting goals. It's embarrassing.

— Rory Greenfield (@RoryGreenfield) January 21, 2017

Worked so hard to get ourselves back in the game and sloppy defending sets us back again.

— Leanne (@_lfcleanne) January 21, 2017

Fans were not impressed by the performance as it finished 3-2 to Swansea…

Something of a reality check. Getting in the top four this season would be huge for #LFC and there's a long way to go. Need to regroup now.

— David Lynch (@LynchMDavid) January 21, 2017

Klopp can persist all he wants: nothing but new players will fix this defence. Nothing but new players will fix the achilles heel

— Alex Barilaro (@Alex_Barra12) January 21, 2017

done trying to find reasons to justify our defence. It's absolutely shambolic. No defending any of that back today all woeful. Feel for migs

— Nathan Stalker (@VoiceofNathan) January 21, 2017

Nightmare of a game and performance for so many different reasons. System we started not working against teams visiting Anfield.

— kop in full voice (@LFC_Klopped) January 21, 2017

Only Liverpool can go from an outstanding defensive performance at Old Trafford to conceding 3 at Anfield to Swansea #LFC

— Allwyn D'souza (@ZonalMarker) January 21, 2017

Fans should take some blame today. Silent all of the first half, didn't get behind the team until we scored.

— Nads (@lfcnads) January 21, 2017

I love Klopp and think he is a genius but even he can only take this group of players so far. Bit I don't get is the reluctance to buy #LFC

— Paul Austin (@PaulBigpaulie) January 21, 2017

I guess it was just one of those games… Need to make sure we thrash Chelsea to make up for it… ? #LFC #YNWA

— EMMA (@holty_LFC) January 21, 2017

Do we need a signing or two? I think we do.
Will we make any? I doubt it.
Big summer ahead if we are to take the next step

— Andy Wales (@AndyArmchair) January 21, 2017

#LFC haven't won a Premier League game since Mane went on international duty. That saying we should beat a team bottom of the league.

— Mersey Reds (@MerseyReds1) January 21, 2017

Our disastrous start to 2017 continues

— The Redmen (@LiamLFCButler) January 21, 2017

Let us know your thoughts on the game in the comments section.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Photo gallery: Reds suffer PL defeat against Swansea

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 17:30
It was a frustrating afternoon for Liverpool as they were beaten 3-2 by Swansea City at Anfield on Saturday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Photo gallery: Reds suffer PL defeat against Swansea

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 17:30

It was a frustrating afternoon for Liverpool as they were beaten 3-2 by Swansea City at Anfield on Saturday.

Roberto Firmino scored twice to haul the Reds back to level terms in the second half, but a third for the Welsh visitors left the hosts with no points from the Premier League clash.

Here is the story of the game in pictures.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 2-3 Swansea City: Swans edge frantic clash as Reds’ title hopes fade

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 17:23

Five goals in 27 minutes saw Swansea City deliver a crushing blow to Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes, as the Reds lost 3-2 at Anfield.


Liverpool 2-3 Swansea City

Premier League, Anfield
December 21, 2017

Goals

Llorente 48′ (assist – Routledge)
Llorente 52′ (assist – Carroll)
Firmino 55′ (assist – Milner)
Firmino 69′ (assist – Wijnaldum)
Sigurdsson 74′ (assist – Carroll)

After three games away from home, Liverpool returned to Anfield on Saturday afternoon, welcoming relegation candidates Swansea as they looked to get their Premier League form back on track.

Having fought for a 1-0 victory away to Plymouth Argyle in their FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday night, the Reds took on the south Wales outfit in their bid for consecutive wins.

Article continues below

While Jurgen Klopp opted for a youthful lineup at Home Park, most of his key names returned for the league, with Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino those to take to the field, while Joel Matip‘s FIFA clearance saw him named on the substitutes’ bench.

Against a Swansea side who had taken just 15 points from their first 21 games in the league, and won just once in their last five outings, Liverpool will have taken to Anfield confident of sealing the three points.

But when victory was of paramount importance in their lunchtime kickoff, the Reds crumbled under the pressure, as the travelling Swans claimed a smash-and-grab win.

 Liverpool's Adam Lallana tries a bicycle kick shot against Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Klopp makes 10 changes as key names return, Matip on bench
  • Liverpool dominate first half but struggle to break through
  • Two Llorente goals give Swansea comfortable lead after interval
  • Firmino heads Reds back into the game, before adding another
  • But Sigurdsson hits winner after error from struggling Klavan

With Swansea manager Paul Clement prompting his side to sit back and break with Fernando Llorente as his target man, Liverpool were able to hold possession and dominate from kickoff at Anfield.

Article continues below

Restored in his role at the base of the midfield, Henderson was therefore able to dictate play, and it was the captain’s fine cross that brought the Reds’ first opportunity, with Emre Can heading over from close range.

Liverpool continued to press high and attack in numbers, and a lovely piece of skill from Firmino on the right saw the Brazilian tee up Lallana in the box, but his elaborate overhead kick was too high to trouble Lukasz Fabianski.

Though primarily focussed on keeping their shape, Swansea did counter when possible, and January signing Tom Carroll hit the post with a left-footed effort, taking a deflection off Dejan Lovren.

The half continued in similar fashion, with the Reds struggling for a cutting edge in the final third, and the interval was ushered in with the score at 0-0.

 Swansea City's Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring the second goal against Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Neither manager made any changes at half-time, but Clement’s team talk clearly had more of an effect than Klopp’s, with Swansea hitting twice within the first seven minutes of the second half.

Both came through former Athletic Bilbao striker Llorente, first with a toe poke from close range, and then a powerful header following an excellent cross from energetic midfielder Carroll.

This could have dampened Liverpool’s spirits irrevocably, but Klopp’s side surged forward in response, and three minutes after Llorente’s header, Firmino had halved Swansea’s lead with his own.

The German promptly sent on Daniel Sturridge as the home side pushed for an equaliser, but it was his starting centre-forward who made the difference, with Firmino netting an incredible half-volley to make it 2-2 with 20 minutes to play.

It wasn’t to last, however, with a poor clearance from Klavan gifting another goal for the Swans, with Gylfi Sigurdsson the man to benefit, sweeping home from close range for the winner.

Article continues below

TIA Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino

Referee: Kevin Friend

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Henderson, Can (Origi 70′), Wijnaldum (Matip 90+4′); Lallana, Coutinho (Sturridge 56′), Firmino

Subs not used: Karius, Lucas, Moreno, Woodburn

Swansea City: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson (Rangel 79′); Carroll, Cork, Fer (Fulton 90+4′); Sigurdsson, Routledge, Llorente (Borja 85′)

Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Amat, Dyer, McBurnie

Next match: Southampton (H) – League Cup Semi-Final Second Leg – January 25

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Match report: Firmino nets twice but Reds defeated at Anfield

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 17:22
Liverpool suffered their first home Premier League defeat in over a year as Swansea City claimed a 3-2 victory at Anfield on Saturday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Match report: Firmino nets twice but Reds defeated at Anfield

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 17:22

Liverpool suffered their first home Premier League defeat in over a year as Swansea City claimed a 3-2 victory at Anfield on Saturday.

After a goalless first half of few chances, the game came to life in the second period when Fernando Llorente gave the visitors a shock two-goal lead by netting from their first two opportunities - a poke home from a corner and a thunderous header.  

The Reds fought back, with Roberto Firmino heading in before producing a marvellous finish on his left foot to seemingly set up a grandstand finale for Jürgen Klopp's team.

But the points instead went to the Swans, as they poached another goal on the counter through Gylfi Sigurdsson to boost their hopes of Premier League survival.

The key points...

  • First half ends goalless at Anfield
  • Two goals from Llorente put visitors in front
  • Firmino strikes twice to level things up
  • Sigurdsson settles topsy-turvy match late on

The team news...

With Philippe Coutinho having proved his fitness in the midweek win over Plymouth Argyle, the No.10 was restored to the league starting XI in attack.

Nathaniel Clyne also made his comeback after injury, taking the place of the youngster who had proved an able deputy in Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The first half...

Liverpool wasted little time in settling into their customary domination at Anfield, with Emre Can the recipient of the game's first big chance after just nine minutes.

But, after the German headed a Jordan Henderson cross wide and Adam Lallana sent a bicycle kick over the bar from close range, the visitors began to warm to their task.

The Reds had all the possession but, when the Swans managed a rare foray forward, they almost opened the scoring as Tom Carroll's low cross deflected onto the post.

Despite ending the half having boasted 72 per cent of the possession, the hosts failed to trouble goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

A deflected Firmino shot and a header that looped wide from the Brazilian were the closest Klopp's men came before the break.

The second half...

The manager's half-time talk no doubt consisted of ways in which his team could break down an obstinate opponent, and that need became even greater just two minutes into the second period. 

The Reds failed to properly clear a corner and, when the ball dropped to Llorente in space, he poked the ball home to send the travelling supporters wild. 

Things went from bad to worse moments later as the Spaniard leapt highest to power home a left-wing cross in impressive fashion.

But this Liverpool team has proved its resilience time and time again - and it was about to come to the fore once more.

Almost straight from the kick-off, Firmino produced a fine header from James Milner's cross to reduce the arrears. 

And the No.11 produced another moment of brilliance with 20 minutes remaining, bringing a Georginio Wijnaldum ball down before swivelling to finish on his left foot. 

The hosts' comeback made it seem like there would be only one winner, but the Swans hit back again as Sigurdsson finished off a quick counter after some hesitant defending.

Klopp's men continued to pour forward as they sought to claim at least a point late on but an Adam Lallana header off the bar after good work from Daniel Sturridge was the best they could muster in the closing stages.

The stats...

The table...

Categories: LFC NEWS

Listen live: Free commentary on Anfield clash with Swansea

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 15:00
If you cannot watch Liverpool's Premier League clash with Swansea City this afternoon, listen to our free live commentary service from Anfield instead.
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Listen live: Free commentary on Anfield clash with Swansea

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 15:00
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LIVE: Liverpool vs. Swansea City – Follow the Reds’ Premier League clash here

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 21/01/2017 - 14:45
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