A disappointing Liverpool performance saw Swansea earn a well deserved point at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
The game started with a real ebb and flow as both teams played good pass and move football, Swansea showing Liverpool early on that they weren’t just there to make up the numbers. The first chance of the match came on seven minutes after a lovely pass from Charlie Adam after he’d received the ball from Downing put the winger in behind the defence on the left flank, Downing drove a dangerous low cross across the box only for Andy Caroll to hit the bar from 6 yards. Liverpool utilized the left flank to great effect during the first half, with Downing finding himself in behind the defence on numerous occasions, however the right finish couldn’t be applied on any occasion.
Just before the half hour mark Liverpool had Pepe Reina to thank that they weren’t behind, a magnificent save was required to keep out Danny Graham’s hooked effort after a crisp Wayne Routledge ball had given him the chance to score at the Anfield Road end.
A minute later it was Swansea’s goalie receiving the plaudits from his team mates as he got down low to keep out Luis Suarez’s drive-this would prove to be Liverpool last meaningful effort on goal until the last few minutes of the game.
Swansea central midfielder Joe Allen was impressive throughout, his shot on 34 minutes had Pepe Reina scampering but it just shaved the post and went wide, Allen epitomised Swansea’s performance, a great work ethic and good technical ability. When the half time whistle went there was an edge in the Anfield atmosphere as fans started to worry about a repeat of the draw at home to newly promoted Norwich.
As the second half started you could have been forgiven for thinking Swansea were the ones playing at home to a newly promoted side, there was a real lack of creativity Liverpool’s play, Dirk Kuyt had come on at half time for the less than impressive Henderson to try and give the side new energy, however most of the attacking football was played in Liverpool’s half by the away side.
Pepe Reina was almost left embarrassed after a poor touch after a backpass was played to him almost let Danny Graham and give Swansea the lead, a rare moment of untidiness from Reina, you would think. But no, on 65 minutes Reina spilled a routine shot and Grham again almost profited, Reina manage to spare his blushes again and save the shot. In between Reina’s two near mishaps, Nathan Dyer got in behind the defence and Reina came out and was caught in an odd position but managed to block the tricky winger’s effort.
A moment of controversy came on 68 minutes as Agger brought down Joe Allen, the reffere gave Swansea a free kick as Swansea’s players appealed that it was inside the box, replays showed the foul occurred right on the line. Criag Bellamy was brought on with the reds lacking any real drive, could the Cardiff born attacker provide it?
Perhaps the best chance of the second half fell to Mark Gower after Graham’s knockdown the midfielder blazed a great chance over from eight yards with ten minutes to go.
Finally with the clock ticking down Liverpool manage to create some pressure on Swansea’s defence, Dirk Kuyt had a goal rightly ruled out for offside on 87 minutes before yet again an opposition keeper produced a fantastic stoppage time performance to hold the reds to a draw first Luis Suarez’s shot was kept out by Dutchman Michel Vorm, he followed this with a fingertip save to keep out a Glen Johnson volley. Jose Enrique then wasted a chance to get the ball in the box and final whistle was blown, a day filled with frustration for Liverpool and a fantastic point at Anfield for Swansea who got a well deserved standing ovation from the kop for their performance. The 4th draw out of 6th for Liverpool at home, Kenny Dalglish’s men must do better to have a chance of Champions League football.