Writer: Matthew Thomas
Date:Sunday February 17 2013
17th February 2013
Swansea City slumped to their worst defeat of the season after losing 5-0 at Liverpool.
Having one eye on next week`s Capital One Cup Final, Michael Laudrup rested several of his first team players and named a team with seven changes and it backfired as all the momentum built up after victory over QPR drained away.
Dwight Tiendalli replaced Angel Rangel while there was a completely new centre-back pairing as Garry Monk and Kyle Bartley started together for the first time. Leon Britton and Kemy Agustien returned to the midfield. Roland Lamah made his first Premier League alongside Pablo Hernandez and Itay Shechter started up front with Michu taking his place on the bench.
After their defeat to West Brom on Monday Liverpool were first to threaten with two corners and new man Philipe Coutinho seeing a shot blocked by Garry Monk.
A poor pass from Jose Enrique allowed Roland Lamah to run in behind the Liverpool but his cut back was cleared behind by Jamie Carragher. From the resulting corner Lamah`s effort struck the chest of Glen Johnson.
Since he was expected to walk through the Anfield exit door Stuart Downing has made a string of starts and the winger looked dangerous again as he cut inside Ben Davies but dragged his left footed shot wide of the near post.
As has been typical with latest away fixtures the Swans looked to soak up pressure and hit on the counter attack but Liverpool were keeping the heat on as a Gerrard free-kick was blocked by the wall and Suarez`s follow up was blasted into the Kop.
The Uruguayan has had a reputation of going down easily and Liverpool`s number seven won himself another free-kick about 20 yards out but again ended up in the fans rather than the net.
The best chance of the first twenty minutes fell to Daniel Sturridge as Downing, yet again causing Ben Davies all sorts of problems, whipped in a cross that the former Chelsea striker could only head over.
For the second time Sturridge looked like he should have given Liverpool the lead as he skipped round Monk and Vorm before being brought down by Bartley. The referee ignored claims for a penalty and Coutinho shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Since his man of the match performance against Manchester United back in December Kemy Agustien has failed to rediscover that form and he was at fault again as he felled Luis Suarez and the referee pointed to the spot. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard converted to put Brendan Rodgers` side ahead after thirty five minutes.
Liverpool were rampant at this point and Swansea were struggling and were looking like a side that had made seven changes and the possession showed with Liverpool enjoying the vast majority of the ball.
The best Swansea could offer was a long range effort from Jonathan De Guzman which was easily collected by Pepe Reina.
Swansea survived another late penalty scare as Sturridge went down before the first half was brought to a conclusion with Michael Laudrup`s side trailing.
It was a nightmare start to the second half as Suarez set Coutinho through against Monk and hit a curling shot that Vorm could have kept out but dribbled over the line. The goal came within sixteen seconds of the restart and the young Brazilian very nearly had his second as Suarez`s ball in was flicked goalwards but just wide.
Swansea were now panicking and were suddenly three goals behind as Enrique collected Daniel Sturridge`s ball to thump the ball emphatically past Michel Vorm.
With the Capital One Cup final coming up next weekend there just seemed to be a lack of determination in the Swansea side and Liverpool were exploiting the space and the gaps being left by a poor Swansea defence.
Luis Suarez was practically frightening the Swans defence and the Uruguayan got in way to easily as Monk and Bartley failed to challenge Liverpool`s leading goalscorer and it was four - nill in no time at all.
Liverpool could have been five clear after Vorm made a great save to deny Sturridge after being put through by Gerrard. Suarez`s follow up was cleared away by Bartley.
Again the Dutch international was called to the rescue to deny Sturridge yet again as Swansea`s comical defending continued.
Things went from bad to worse for the Swans as substitute Wayne Routledge handled inside the area and Sturridge converted the penalty.
The only player showing any ambition was Swansea`s captain Garry Monk, if it hadn`t been for the thirty-three year old it may well have been worse.
Routledge almost made up for the penalty he gave away as he danced into the box and brought out a decent save from Reina which was the hardest the Liverpool goalkeeper had to work all afternoon.
At the end of an embarrassing day for Swansea they will hope the sun shines down on them next week at Wembley for their Cup final against Bradford.
Thanks to Matthew Thomas for his match report. You can access his blog at http://matththomas66.wordpress.com/ and follow him on Twitter @mcthomas2905
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Date:Sunday February 17 2013
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