Liverpool continued their good form with a fortuitous 1-0 victory away to Swansea City. The Liberty Stadium has never been a happy hunting ground for the men from Merseyside, however tonight’s performance was yet another for the record books; a first win away at the Liberty Stadium coupled with Liverpool’s sixth consecutive clean sheet away from home, a club record. Although lucky to escape with the three points, sometimes you create your own luck. Player ratings as follows:
Simon Mignolet - 8: Made two crucial saves in the first half. His save from Bafetimbi Gomis was among his best this season while his effort from Gylfi Sigurdsson wasn’t too far behind, either. A complete performance from the renaissance man. Any hint of replacing him in the summer seemingly dwindles as each match passes.
Emre Can - 7: Defensively, he looked to struggle with the physical aspect at times. He made several marauding runs from the back and defended on the front foot, winning crucial tackles in the dangerous areas of the pitch. Solid.
Martin Skrtel - 8: The big Slovak didn’t put a foot wrong from the opening whistle. Generally coped well with Gomis. A carbon copy performance since the turn of the year, all told.
Mamadou Sakho - 8: Heckled by the Swansea faithful, the big Frenchman took it in his stride with yet another impressive display. His introduction back into the starting XI was very much welcomed. A mainstay when fit.
Adam Lallana - 6: An industrious performance from the Englishman. Along with his team mates, suffered in the first half due to Swansea’s incessant pressing off the ball.
Alberto Moreno - 6: Got himself into trouble several times, which led to a booking and eventually led to his substitution. Comfortable in the new formation, however requires improvement in the final third.
Jordan Henderson - 7: In the first half, was overrun in the midfield, however looked far more comfortable further up the pitch. Although there was an element of luck with his goal, he busted a lung to get into the position and reaped the reward for his effort. His impressive run of goals continues.
Joe Allen - 8: Man of the Match. Liverpool’s best player. Even when the chips were down in the first half, he won several important battles; none better than his last ditch tackle on Gomis. Controlled possession in tight areas and kept the ball moving in the second half.
Philippe Coutinho - 6: Like Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, suffered as a result of Swansea’s industry off the ball. He eventually grew into the game, where his quality was on show for all to see. Will no doubt be more influential in other games before the season’s end.
Raheem Sterling- 6: Like his teammates in the attacking third, anonymous for large parts of the match. He came to life when Liverpool managed to get a stronghold on the game, with a series of mazy excursions.
Daniel Sturridge - 6: See Raheem Sterling. Looked lively with the ball at his feet; it just didn’t fall to him often enough, which is a credit to Swansea, who worked tirelessly off the ball throughout the match.
Steven Gerrard - 7: Changed the game. His aura seemed to breathe life into those around him. Made a series of crucial tackles in the midfield and got Liverpool on the front foot when it mattered.
Glen Johnson – N/R: Was brought on to keep things tight towards the back end of the game.
Brendan Rodgers - 7: The masterful substitution of Steven Gerrard proved the difference in the end. Midway through the second half, Rodgers sensed Liverpool were beginning to get on top and played his Wildcard in Gerrard. It paid dividends.
By Simon K.