Football: Swansea safe as Ayew downs Liverpool

Swansea's Andre Ayew (right) in action against Liverpool's Dejan Lovren at Liberty Stadium on May 1, 2016.
Swansea's Andre Ayew (right) in action against Liverpool's Dejan Lovren at Liberty Stadium on May 1, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

(AFP) - Andre Ayew's double ensured Swansea are safe from the threat of Premier League relegation as Liverpool's weakened team crashed to a 3-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Ghana forward Ayew was on target either side of a wonderful strike from Jack Cork to move Swansea onto 43 points and guarantee they will be playing in the English top flight next season.

It was a lacklustre effort from Liverpool, who saw Australian defender Brad Smith sent off in the closing stages as the Reds were left to lick their wounds ahead of their Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal.

With Thursday's game in mind, Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp made eight changes from this week's 1-0 first leg defeat in Spain and the visitors paid the price.

Only Philippe Coutinho, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren survived and Klopp's starting line-up was the youngest Liverpool had ever sent out in the Premier League.

Christian Benteke scored the only goal for the Reds.