Swans put Reds' run at Anfield to sword

Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson finishing past Liverpool's Simon Mignolet to hand his side a first win at Anfield and a much-needed three points to haul them off the foot of the table.
Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson finishing past Liverpool's Simon Mignolet to hand his side a first win at Anfield and a much-needed three points to haul them off the foot of the table.PHOTO: REUTERS

Welsh side earns Clement his second victory as Klopp left to rue costly mistakes at the back

LONDON • Liverpool were on the end of one of the the biggest upsets of this Premier League season, when relegation-threatened Swansea repelled a dramatic comeback from Jurgen Klopp's title chasers to earn their first-ever league win at Anfield yesterday.

The Welsh strugglers, who started the day bottom of the league, clinched an extraordinary 3-2 win that stunned Liverpool fans who had not seen their team lose a home league match since defeat by Manchester United a year ago.

Klopp blamed poor defending for the loss and lamented that his side simply had no luck.

"We showed we can score goals but the defending on all three goals today was not good enough," the German said.

"I have no explanation for their third goal. We had four, five chances to clear it and they had a man free, it makes absolutely no sense.

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"I don't look for luck but it's obvious we didn't have a lot today."

The Liverpool manager added that the atmosphere at Anfield was "very quiet" after he had called on home fans to show their support during his pre-match conference on Friday.

"It was very, very quiet in the atmosphere today," Klopp said.

"We were rolling forward and the crowd was finally there, atmosphere was for us to win at 2-2, but the third goal was just a huge mistake.

"It's damaging if this defeat influences us. We have lost. It has to feel really bad. And it does. We have to use it and react."

ALL OUT OF LUCK

I have no explanation for their third goal. We had four, five chances to clear it and they had a man free, it makes absolutely no sense. I don't look for luck but it's obvious we didn't have a lot today.

JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, lamenting his side's rearguard display.

In a thrilling match in which all five goals were scored in the second half, Swansea striker Fernando Llorente struck twice to open the scoring before Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino tied the game with his double.

The stage was then set for the Reds to complete the fightback and claim a victory that would reverberate through the title race.

Time, momentum and Swansea's understandable nervousness were on Liverpool's side, but so too was weak defending and remarkably it was the visitors who struck for a third time.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, who has repeatedly been linked with a move away from the Welsh club, snatched the victory in the 74th minute and Klopp had no answers to Paul Clement's controlled and disciplined side.

Swansea have won two of their last three league games since Clement took over and he was delighted with his team's performance, saying that the victory will be a confidence boost.

"I think this kind of performance can give everybody a big lift and help with confidence," the Englishman said.

"The team had been criticised for going behind in games but we didn't go behind today. We led 2-0 in a very difficult place to come to.

"I am very proud of my players. It was a massive team effort."

When asked about two-goal hero Llorente, who had been linked with a move to Chelsea, he added: "If you get the right kind of service to him, he's a scorer. You have to give him service. He played very well today.

"Am I afraid to lose him in the transfer window? I want to keep him."

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 22, 2017, with the headline 'Swans put Reds' run at Anfield to sword'. Print Edition | Subscribe