Liverpool earned a priceless 1-0 win at Swansea on Monday evening, as Jordan Henderson‘s fortuitous second-half goal proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Swansea 0-1 Liverpool
Premier League – Liberty Stadium – Monday, 16th March 2015
Goals: Henderson (68)
Brendan Rodgers made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Blackburn in the FA Cup, as the Reds travelled to Swansea for their first Premier League game in almost two weeks.
Mamadou Sakho and Joe Allen both returned from injury, while Alberto Moreno was also given a start. Dejan Lovren, Glen Johnson and Lazar Markovic all missed out, with the returning Steven Gerrard also on the substitutes’ bench.
Jordan Henderson picked up a needless early booking, while Daniel Sturridge dragged a right-footed shot well wide of Lukasz Fabianski’s goal.
Swansea enjoyed the better of things in the opening 30 minutes, bossing possession and looking more threatening than Rodgers’ men. Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho both shot straight at Fabianski from range, but that was all the Reds could muster.
The dangerous Bafetimbi Gomis forced Simon Mignolet into a fine save after 31 minutes, and Gylfi Sigurdsson fired over, as Garry Monk’s team continued to look the more impressive side.
Mignolet brilliantly denied the Iceland international soon after, and from the resulting corner former Red Jonjo Shelvey’s deflected effort missed by inches.
At half-time it was goalless, and Liverpool had been incredibly disappointing.
There were no changes at the interval, and the Reds started with a little more urgency than in the opening 45 minutes.
Coutinho almost broke the deadlock in the 58th minute, but Fabianski saved well. Gerrard replaced Alberto Moreno shortly after.
Midway through the second-half Liverpool were ahead. Henderson ran through on goal, and he was extremely fortunate to see the ball ricochet off Jordi Amat and into the net. It wasn’t pretty, but it was potentially priceless.
Coutinho nearly curled a trademark stunner into the top corner, and Raheem Sterling shot wildly over, as the game began to open up.
Liverpool held on during a tense finale, registering three more vital points in their quest for a top-four finish this season. It was an ugly win the Reds aren’t always capable of producing.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Allen, Henderson, Lallana (Johnson ’87), Moreno (Gerrard 64), Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge.
Subs not used: Jones, Toure, Lovren, Lambert, Markovic.
Swansea starting XI: Fabianski, Naughton, Amat, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Cork, Shelvey, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Gomis.
Referee: Roger East