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“Momentum maintained as Reds win ugly” – How the papers reacted to Liverpool 1-0 Swansea City

Following Liverpool’s 1-0 win against Swansea City on Sunday, we take a look at how Monday’s papers reported on the Anfield showdown.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 29, 2015: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring the first goal against Swansea City during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It may have been a far cry from the 4-1 win over Man City, but the Reds picked another three points in their quest for a top-four finish.

James Milner‘s penalty proved to be the difference between the two sides, as Klopp’s men jumped to sixth in the Premier League table; just six points adrift of City at the top.

Here’s how the morning newspapers reacted to the game:

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 29, 2015: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp is all smiles as his side beat Swansea City 1-0 during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo felt Liverpool’s performance had guts to it, and noted the importance of the Reds capitalising on several of their rivals dropping points:

The winds of change are blowing through Anfield and here was proof that there are two sides to the Jurgen Klopp revolution.

Having hit the heights with their ruthless demolition of Manchester City, Liverpool maintained their ascent of the Premier League in very different fashion with a hard-fought victory over Swansea City.

After the awe-inspiring display of style and swagger at the Etihad, this was a desperately scrappy triumph based on a gutsy show of commitment and spirit.

As a contest it was instantly forgettable. But, crucially, on a weekend when so many of their rivals floundered, Liverpool sneaked home.

[…]

With a howling gale it was never going to be a classic but momentum was maintained as the Reds dug deep to win ugly.

The Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe touched upon the return of Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge from injury, and believes improved home form could make Liverpool a real force to be reckoned with:

Look at the Premier League table, see how the favourites keep avoiding meaningful statements, and it is clear why Liverpool have edged their way back into contention.

If it was Klopp’s availability that cast a formidable shadow over the Premier League’s big hitters when this season started, it is his instant impact on English football that now has the top four’s attention.

Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson’s return from injury added to the significance of this victory. They played 20 and 24 minutes respectively as second half substitutes. Liverpool were already taking meaningful scalps before the cavalry arrived.

They didn’t get anywhere near the dynamic away performance that so invigorated at Manchester City last weekend, but this merely prompts another encouraging question. What will they be like when they start playing well at home?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 29, 2015: Liverpool's substitutes Daniel Sturridge and captain Jordan Henderson in action against Swansea City during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Paul Joyce of the Express believes the victory, although ugly, may well prove vital in the long run:

For the second time in a matter of days he could not bring himself to watch a critical moment in Liverpool’s quest to establish themselves. In time, he may yet look back upon this as a pivotal afternoon. Not only was Klopp able to savour a first league win at Anfield, but Liverpool climbed up into sixth place in the table and are beginning to muster momentum.

In doing so, they were also able to welcome back key personnel in captain, Jordan Henderson, and Daniel Sturridge who were both afforded cameos after James Milner’s 63rd-minute spot-kick brought the breakthrough.

Given Swansea’s current limitations, this was not a victory which will reverberate through the top flight like last weekend’s demolition of Manchester City.

Yet the end result felt crucial and a victory for the first time this term immediately after a Europa League game represents progress.

The Mirror‘s David Maddock hailed the display of Dejan Lovren, as the Croatian continues to improve under Klopp:

For all the praise of Ashley Williams, it is interesting to note the development of Dejan Lovren under Klopp.

He may have just had his best game for Liverpool, and looked far more like the player who was identified as the best defender in the Premier League, when with Southampton, by no lesser experts than Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.

He still has a little way before the Kop can really trust him and get behind him, but there is no doubting his improvement, and his desire here to be the leader at the back Klopp so desperately needs.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 25, 2015: Liverpool's Emre Can in action against Southampton during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

ESPN‘s David Usher selected Emre Can as Liverpool’s star man in his player ratings, but was not impressed with the respective performances of Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke:

Can- In the absence of the suspended Lucas, the young German excelled in a deeper role than usual. Swansea’s attacking ambition was limited until they fell behind, but whenever they did venture forward they struggled to find any way past the powerful Can. He was caught in possession once early in the second half but, aside from that, he was almost flawless.

Firmino- After his brilliant display at Man City last weekend, hopes were high that the Brazilian was ready to light up the Premier League, but he has followed it up with two lacklustre displays. Made little impression on but at least he was always willing to gamely chase after the ball after losing it.

Benteke- Never really managed to get into the game and was well shackled by Ashley Williams. In his defence, he was starved of the kind of service he requires but, with the one opportunity that did come his way, he elected to lay the ball off — unsuccessfully — rather than go for goal himself.

> Emre Can provides promise in holding midfield role vs. Swansea

> Liverpool 1-0 Swansea City: Player Ratings

> Video: Jurgen Klopp’s post Liverpool 1-0 Swansea press conference

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