Soccer Magazine

Swansea Come Away from Anfield with a Point and Pride

By Stuartnoel @theballisround

Abi Davies was at Anfield on Saturday.  To say that she was elated by the result is an understatement.

Swansea come away from Anfield with a point and pride
Swansea City went into Saturday’s game at Anfield as mighty underdogs as a win for Liverpool would have seen them leapfrog Chelsea and Spurs into the top four, whilst victory for Swansea would have been their first 3 points away from home in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers made just one change to the side that claimed an annihilating victory over Bolton last weekend as Wayne Routledge made his 5th start of the campaign, replacing Scott Sinclair who had to settle for a place among the substitutes.

Despite many pundits and fans drawing on previous results between the two teams, I felt they were completely irrelevant given the fact that the sides last meeting came over 20 years ago.

The hosts got the game under way and Spanish international Jose Enrique was quick to demonstrate his offensive credentials, attacking the left wing and applying optimum pressure on Angel Rangel.

From the outset it was evident that Wayne Routledge was going to try and capitalise on Sinclair’s injury misfortunes as he staked his claim for a permanent spot in the starting XI. Impressive against the Liverpool defence, Glen Johnson found it hard to read Routledge’s unpredictability, as he commanded play on the left flank. For me the ex-Newcastle player delivered a far more assertive performance than Sinclair has done over recent weeks. Having a larger influence on the game and constantly posing a threat.

Given Liverpool’s mass summer spending along with the numerous world class players they posses, Swansea knew that they would have to be on top form to take anything from Saturday’s game, and despite riding their luck on a few occasions, the Swans were able to absorb and deal with the majority of the pressure applied by the home side.

One of Liverpool’s best chances came within the opening 10 minutes of the game when Andy Carroll was found unmarked inside the area and connected well with a great delivery into the box from Downing, only for the ex-Newcastle striker’s effort to be denied by the cross-bar.

Swansea had a great opportunity to break the deadlock with just under half an hour played, when Routledge weaved his way through the defence before squaring a great ball to Graham, who couldn’t get an influential touch to take the ball past Reina as the Spanish keeper parried the ball away to safety.

Two fantastic saves late on in the half from Vorm to deny Suarez and Carroll meant the sides went in level at the interval.

Dirk Kuyt was introduced for the home side at the start of the second half, a change which I felt could have made the difference for the home side as his work rate could have caught out Neil Taylor, who has seemed a little out of sorts over the past few weeks.

The home side were the quicker out of the blocks after the break, as we sat deep and allowed them to press high up the field. However Swansea remained solid at the back and after surviving the early onslaught of Liverpool pressure, the visitors began to play their way back into the half. But for all of their possession, Brendan Rodgers’ side were not testing Pepe Reina sufficiently.

The game began to open up just before the hour mark as chances came for both sides, with Vorm in particular having to pull off some fine saves to keep the scores level.

Danny Graham was almost rewarded for his tireless work and pressure when he came close to charging down Enrique’s pass back to Reina, however the keeper somehow scrambled the ball away.

With Rangel’s offensive attributes proving far superior to his defensive work, Suarez and Henderson enjoyed much success down the left flank. Swansea’s right back was also frequently drawn in field, meaning Nathan Dyer again had to show his defensive qualities to cover for Rangel out wide.

Swansea were enjoying some dominant spells in possession in which they were able to advance into some great positions high up the field, however for all of their possession, failed to substantially work Pepe Reina.

Liverpool were looking to find a lot of success through the centre, in my opinion underestimating the physical ability of the diminutive midfield duo Leon Britton and Joe Allen who remained solid throughout.

The game remained goalless, meaning Swansea picked up their second Premier League point away from home. Despite this great accolade, the visitors could and maybe should have taken all three points, having taken the game to Liverpool with Dalglish’ side amounting minimal response. Despite still being likened to Blackpool, I feel we are proving far more defensively capable of retaining our status among the elite.

Having been tipped as one of the best summer signings this season and rightly so, Michael Vorm delivered another outstanding display, commanding his area well, ensuring the Swans recorded their first clean sheet of the season away from home. However, despite his faultless display with the gloves, Vorm’s distribution is proving to be a working progress as a number of his clearances went straight out of play.

Ashley Williams delivered another colossal display in which he not only completed his defensive duties well, but also organised the back line and with Steven Caulker set to return for the visit of Man Utd to The Liberty after the international break, Swansea have a realistic chance of taking something from the reigning Premier League Champions.

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