Alfie Mawson has lowly Swansea singing after denting Liverpool’s high hopes

first_imgPremier League Share on LinkedIn Alfie Mawson makes a late block to deny Adam Lallana after Roberto Firmino hit the post for Liverpool. Photograph: McManus/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock Swansea remain bottom but a result that moves them to within three points of safety enhances their fight for survival. They are six points off 10th-placed Watford.There was a minute’s applause before the kick-off in memory of Jimmy Armfield and Cyrille Regis after which Swansea began brightly but Liverpool, who had a light training session along the M4 at Port Talbot Town on Monday morning, took 45 minutes to find their stride. It was Emre Can who instigated their first threat when his diagonal pass found Sadio Mané, who had crept in behind Mike van der Hoorn. But by the time Mané latched on to the ball, Lukasz Fabianski smothered the danger. Swansea issued their own warning, when Jordan Ayew, who left the field to a standing ovation, lashed home but only after running the ball out of play.Swansea were organised defensively but Carvalhal also demanded his full-backs, Martin Olsson and Kyle Naughton, to fly forward. But when Mawson tugged at Mohamed Salah’s shirt 25 yards from goal, one could forgive the home support for shuddering. From the resulting corner Van Dijk put a header just wide. It was role reversal a moment later when the Dutchman lofted the ball over the Swansea backline, only for Salah, first time, to volley over. Van Dijk’s centre-back partner, Jöel Matip, then rampaged forward unchallenged, playing a give-and-go with Salah, but the defender got himself in a tangle. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Share on Messenger Swansea City Share on Twitter Reuse this content For Liverpool it is jarring anomalies like these that have blighted their attempted transition into title contenders. Jürgen Klopp’s side badly lacked mojo on a night when they lost their 18-match unbeaten run against Swansea City, the Premier League’s bottom club.Carlos Carvalhal had said his team must make do with buying sardines and not lobster at the start of this month but this courageous performance, to earn only their fifth league win of the season, threw Liverpool behind the trawler.After four minutes of injury time, during which Roberto Firmino headed against a post, the sound of relief in south Wales was deafening. For Swansea, with the season already six months old, perhaps this is lift-off. Alfie Mawson’s first-half goal from Sam Clucas’s corner handed Swansea victory and at the same time destroyed the myth that Liverpool’s set-piece woes would end with the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, who made his league debut, in defence. Share on Facebook Swansea City 1-0 Liverpool: Premier League – as it happened Read more Share via Email match reports Topics Share on WhatsApp Listen When Ki Sung-yueng clumsily upended Mané, Swansea surrendered a free-kick 20 yards from goal. Liverpool formed a five-strong queue around the ball but it was Salah whose curling effort brought a fingertip save from Fabianski. Swansea, understandably, were a nervous wreck but continued to fight their corner relentlessly.As Carvalhal paced the touchline, Klopp sought changes in the shape of Adam Lallana and Danny Ings. The latter jinked away from Van der Hoorn before blasting at Fabianski, who cradled the ball in his arms. Then Van Dijk and Salah fired over and wide respectively. Van Dijk was not finished, teeing up Firmino in the fourth minute of added time. Unmarked at the back post, his header rattled the other one before Lallana forced the ball goalwards in a six-yard box skirmish. Mawson cleared his effort off the line and Swansea survived. Transfer swap shop, another stung Hornet and Lyon tamers – Football Weekly Liverpool If that was an unfamiliar sight, then the moment Mawson steered home only the seventh league goal Swansea have scored at home this season was almost as unexpected. Van Dijk’s headed clearance from Clucas’s corner cannoned off Federico Fernández to Mawson, who swivelled and squeezed the ball beyond Loris Karius.Klopp was not drawn into changing personnel at half-time but his team’s intentions altered. They were camped inside Swansea’s half for much of the second period, leading to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain flighting a superb ball in for Firmino, who wrestled in between van der Hoorn and Fernández before the Swansea captain hacked the ball away. Liverpool dominated possession as the hosts lost sight of the ball altogether, retreating further and further. Robertson twice found space and would have shot goalwards but for Naughton’s magnificently-timed interception. Share on Pinterestlast_img

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