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Liverpool 5-0 Swansea City

Roberto Firmino scores for Liverpool against Swansea
Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in more goals under Jurgen Klopp than any other Liverpool player

Jurgen Klopp said his Liverpool side were “a joy to watch” as they consolidated their place in the Premier League’s top four with a dominant home victory over managerless bottom side Swansea.

Philippe Coutinho’s sublime long-range finish – curled into the top corner after Mohamed Salah’s pass – opened the scoring in the sixth minute.

The away side responded well and dominated possession for spells in the first half but Roberto Firmino should have doubled the lead when he dragged wide just before the break.

Liverpool 5-0 Swansea City
Liverpool 5-0 Swansea City

Instead, the Brazil international put his side two goals up six minutes after half-time, firing home from Coutinho’s lofted free-kick.

Nineteen-year-old full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold added a third with his first Premier League goal for the club, chasing down a loose clearance and smashing in off the bar from inside the box.

Just two minutes later, Swansea self-destructed further as Salah pounced on a misplaced pass before cutting back to Firmino to tap home – then Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed the rout by planting the ball in the net after another poor clearance.

“After 55 minutes it was brilliant, before that it was work. It was not easy,” Klopp told BBC Sport. “But the last half an hour was fantastic, a joy to watch, a very deserved win.”

The result means the Reds reclaim fourth spot from Tottenham and restore their one-point advantage over the north London side, who briefly moved above them with a 5-2 win over Southampton in Boxing Day’s 12:30 GMT kick-off.

Swansea stay bottom of the table, five points from the safety of West Ham’s 17th place.

Attack v defence

After Friday’s thrilling 3-3 draw at Arsenal, in which the Reds conceded three times in five minutes, Klopp rejected claims his side do not focus enough on defence.

The Liverpool backline was not given its greatest test at Anfield on Tuesday – Swansea’s best football was played in the transition from defence to attack without actually threatening – but nor were there many instances of sloppiness or lapses in concentration.

Indeed, Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet pulled off a great fingertip save to deny Tammy Abraham with the last touch of the game.

Down the other end, there was much, much more of the rich and flowing offensive play that has typified the other side to the story of Liverpool’s season so far.

Salah, Firmino and Coutinho interchanged at will and Swansea found their close control and trickery in the box impossible to deal with. The only problem for Liverpool was it perhaps took slightly longer than it should have done for them to reach their ruthless best.

Salah, who went into this game having scored 15 goals in his previous 15 matches, was guilty of wasting several good chances before Alexander-Arnold really did open the floodgates with a third goal that left the visitors backtracking and beaten for the rest of the match.

Firmino was withdrawn in the 68th minute – denied the chance of a likely hat-trick – and his replacement Dominic Solanke might have had a treble of his own, flashing his most impressive effort just wide of the post on the volley.

However, the fact the England Under-20 World Cup winner failed to score his first Liverpool goal was the biggest of small problems for Klopp, who embraced the young forward with an ironic grin as they made their way off the pitch.

The nightmare after Christmas

It was always going to be a daunting task for Swansea.

This was a trip to the one of the league’s top-scoring sides and their second of four matches in 10 days. The Welsh club, with just three wins all season, had the odds firmly stacked up in opposition.

But until Alexander-Arnold’s goal – crafted from sheer desire to beat his man to the ball and profit – the Swans were actually still in it.

Roque Mesa, Tom Carroll and Leroy Fer had impressed with some attractive interplay, Wayne Routledge was a threat on the wing and in the first half they were averaging about 14% more possession than Anfield’s other visitors this season.

However, when Fer played the ball back to his defence without looking and found Salah instead, the game really was up. Firmino added the easy fourth, before slack defending from forward Jordan Ayew allowed Oxlade-Chamberlain a second chance to make it five.

Even if his influence and potential candidacy will not be judged on this result alone, temporary player-manager Leon Britton will surely be very disappointed his side folded like they did.

Analysis

Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 live

Liverpool again played pretty well in the first half. Swansea worked hard but Liverpool stepped up in the second half and were fabulous going forward. They were sparkling in the final third when they were attacking and could have had more goals.

It sums it up for Swansea that they had one chance and it was with the last touch of the game. Nothing went right for Swansea and they are in big, big trouble.

This Swansea team are not going to stay up unless they acquire players in January. Liverpool, on the other hand, look like they can score against anyone.

Man of the match – Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

Jurgen Klopp and Roberto Firmino
All he needed was 68 minutes. Firmino has now been directly involved in 39 goals and 25 assists for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp – more than any other player

‘A perfect result’ – what the managers said

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Liverpool 5-0 Swansea: Jurgen Klopp praises Reds’ ‘fantastic football’

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “I’m really happy with what we learned from the game. It is a perfect result for us, nobody injured I don’t think. Important three points, five goals, clean sheet so it’s all good.

“I know that people are often not patient enough as it’s all about results. It’s possible from outside to think it’s not quick enough, we feel really good in this moment. Five minutes in the Arsenal game was not good – but the performance was good. We drew. For tonight, we feel really good.”

Swansea caretaker boss Leon Britton on BBC Radio 5 live: “After we conceded the second goal we made so many mistakes, it’s unacceptable. It’s difficult when the game is going like that, but you have to face up to it and take responsibility.

“When I see that second-half performance it hurts an awful lot. It’s difficult seeing it after being at the club for so long. After the second goal the heads went down. But you are still professional, you have to keep going, you have to give everything you’ve got.”

On any update on the next manager: “I’ve heard nothing, I’ve got no update. It’s just me until I’m told anything different.”

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Liverpool 5-0 Swansea: Leon Britton expects fresh faces in January

Liverpool’s high fives – the stats

  • Of teams in the Europe’s big five leagues – England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – only Paris St-Germain (89) and Manchester City (77) have scored more goals this season than Liverpool (75).
  • Only Manchester City in 1995-96 and Derby in 2007-08 scored fewer goals in their first 20 games of a Premier League campaign (10 each) than Swansea have this term (11).
  • This is the fourth time this season that Liverpool have scored five goals or more in a match – and no Premier League team has hit the five-goal mark more often than the Reds in 2017-18 (also four times for Manchester City).
  • Coutinho has scored 19 Premier League goals from outside the box – one more than Robbie Fowler and second only to Steven Gerrard (33) among Liverpool players.
  • Salah has been directly involved in 20 goals in his 20 Premier League games this season (15 goals, five assists) – more than any other player.

What’s next?

Liverpool’s next match is at home to Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday (15:00 GMT kick-off).

Swansea next play away to Watford at the same time.

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 32Matip
  • 17Klavan
  • 26RobertsonSubstituted forMilnerat 75′minutes
  • 21Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 23Can
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 11SalahSubstituted forLallanaat 69′minutes
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forSolankeat 68′minutes
  • 10Coutinho

Substitutes

  • 1Karius
  • 6Lovren
  • 7Milner
  • 12Gomez
  • 19Mané
  • 20Lallana
  • 29Solanke

Swansea

  • 1Fabianski
  • 26Naughton
  • 33Fernandez
  • 6Mawson
  • 16OlssonBooked at 56mins
  • 15Routledge
  • 8FerSubstituted forRenato Sanchesat 78′minutes
  • 51MesaSubstituted forClucasat 65′minutes
  • 14Carroll
  • 18J Ayew
  • 62McBurnieSubstituted forAbrahamat 62′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 10Abraham
  • 12Dyer
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 17Clucas
  • 22Rangel
  • 35Renato Sanches
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
52,850

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home22
Away7
Shots on Target
Home9
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home5
Away8

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Liverpool 5, Swansea City 0.

Full Time

Posted at90’+4′

Second Half ends, Liverpool 5, Swansea City 0.

Posted at90’+4′

Attempt saved. Tammy Abraham (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Wayne Routledge.

Posted at90’+2′

Offside, Liverpool. Trent Alexander-Arnold tries a through ball, but Georginio Wijnaldum is caught offside.

Posted at90’+2′

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at90’+1′

Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at90’+1′

Foul by Kyle Naughton (Swansea City).

Posted at88′

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Dominic Solanke with a headed pass.

Posted at87′

Attempt missed. Dominic Solanke (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

Posted at86′

Attempt saved. Dominic Solanke (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Posted at85′

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Martin Olsson.

Posted at85′

Attempt blocked. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho with a headed pass.

Posted at84′

Attempt missed. Alfie Mawson (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Tom Carroll with a cross following a corner.

Posted at84′

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Goal!

Posted at82′

Goal! Liverpool 5, Swansea City 0. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner.

Posted at82′

Attempt blocked. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Posted at78′

Substitution, Swansea City. Renato Sanches replaces Leroy Fer.

Posted at76′

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Ragnar Klavan.

Substitution

Posted at75′

Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Andrew Robertson.

Posted at75′

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Jordan Ayew.

Posted at73′

Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool).

Posted at73′

Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at72′

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at72′

Foul by Tom Carroll (Swansea City).

Substitution

Posted at69′

Substitution, Liverpool. Adam Lallana replaces Mohamed Salah.

Substitution

Posted at68′

Substitution, Liverpool. Dominic Solanke replaces Roberto Firmino.

Goal!

Posted at66′

Goal! Liverpool 4, Swansea City 0. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.

Substitution

Posted at65′

Substitution, Swansea City. Sam Clucas replaces Roque Mesa.

Goal!

Posted at65′

Goal! Liverpool 3, Swansea City 0. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

Substitution

Posted at62′

Substitution, Swansea City. Tammy Abraham replaces Oliver McBurnie.

Posted at62′

Offside, Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.

Posted at60′

Attempt missed. Leroy Fer (Swansea City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Wayne Routledge with a cross.

Posted at58′

Foul by Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool).

Posted at58′

Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at58′

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at57′

Attempt saved. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andrew Robertson with a through ball.

Posted at56′

Attempt missed. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho following a set piece situation.

Booking

Posted at56′

Martin Olsson (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at56′

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at56′

Foul by Martin Olsson (Swansea City).

goal

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