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Liverpool 4, Swansea City 1: First Thoughts

Strong tactics and a solid team performance allow Liverpool to rock Swansea City at Anfield in a thorough 4-1 victory.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Liverpool 4 Alberto Moreno 33', Adam Lallana 51', 61', Jonjo Shelvey (OG) 69'
Swansea City 1 Gylfi Sigurdsson 52'

  • Liverpool's starting lineup was a pleasant surprise for many Liverpool fans, as Steven Gerrard received much needed rest, Jordan Henderson was shifted to his natural position in the heart of the midfield, and Emre Can was finally given a start after his fine performance against Burnley.

  • Liverpool maintained control in the opening period of the match, with Can adding instant calmness to the defense and the Henderson/Lucas midfield duo canceling out Swansea's attempted counter attacks. While there was space for the Reds to exploit in the first ten minutes, they struggled to create any genuine chances.

  • In the 13th minute, a brilliant cross from Alberto Moreno found Raheem Sterling in the box, but the forward's subsequent shot was somehow saved by Lukasz Fabianski and Adam Lallana's follow up effort was drilled over the bar.

  • Moreno was impactful throughout the match bombing down the left wing, and in the 33rd minute he slotted home Liverpool's opener after seizing upon a well weighted cross from Henderson. Moreno's shot was directed at Fabianski rather than the open half of the goal, but he put enough power behind it to get it past the Polish goalkeeper. 

  • Swansea pushed for an equalizer before halftime through an aerial bombardment of Liverpool's back line, but the defense held strong and Liverpool entered the break with a 1-0 advantage.
  • Lallana scored one of the funniest goals of the season in the 51st minute. Fabianski had plenty of time to clear the ball after a back pass, but he kicked it straight into Lallana and the deflection took the ball into the net.
  • Things got crazy after the Lallana goal. Swansea hit right back when Sigurdsson pounced upon a failed headed clearance in the box to make the score 2-1, and the Swans nearly got a second when Liverpool fell asleep after losing possession on the ensuing kickoff. Then, a Liverpool break almost became a third goal as a fantastic curled ball to the far post from Henderson found Sterling, but he hit the post with his shot.
  • After a period of wide open play, Lallana scored his second goal to push the lead to 3-1 through a stunning bit of play from Liverpool. Coutinho found Lallana with a back heel flick, and Lallana glided through Swansea's defense and finished off the move with an accurate left-footed strike across the goal.
  • Liverpool continued to push for more as spaces in the final third began to widen. They found a fourth goal through Jonjo Shelvey, with the former Liverpool man chipping a header over his own keeper on a Liverpool corner.
  • Lallana was replaced in the 77th minute by Lazar Markovic, and he received a loud ovation from the Anfield crowd. It was a deserved response to his performance because he was excellent all match, notching two goals and playing an important role in Liverpool's attack.
  • Raheem Sterling kinda sorta slapped Fedrico Fernandez in the face right in front of the assistant referee, but he escaped punishment. Fernandez appeared to have given Sterling a condescending pat on the head, but nothing that warranted such a response.
  • Mario Balotelli came on as a late sub, but couldn't find that evasive first Premier League goal with Liverpool (although he came close).
  • This was the first time in a long time that everything seemed to click for Liverpool. The attack was cohesive, the midfield was strong, and the defense held its own. It was a performance that would have fit in with last year's team.
  • It's hard to find a poor performance in Liverpool's team today, which is a welcome change.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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