Liverpool’s January malaise continued as the Reds once again struggled against basement dwellers, falling 3-2 in a shocker to Swansea City. A sleepy Anfield crowd understandably expected an easy win over a flailing Swans side on their third manager this season in Paul Clement, unable to score or defend and firmly mired in the relegation zone, seemingly destined for the drop.
However, a scoreless first half gave way to a frantic second that saw the visitors execute a smash-and-grab to exit Anfield with all three points, leaving Reds boss Jürgen Klopp at a loss to explain a damaging and confounding result:
“[The first half] was like it should be and like we expected because we had these three, four, five moments when we could’ve have scored; but what we didn’t have in the first half was the last punch in the right situations.”
Fernando Llorente’s tap-in from a corner to open the scoring hearkened back to Liverpool’s early season struggles from set pieces that disappointed Klopp as well, “I saw it only once until now,” he admitted. “But we lost one challenge and [the ball finds] Llorente in front of the goal. The first ball was [cleared] and the second ball comes back in. It was too easy obviously.”
A flurry of goals then saw the Reds fight back to make it 2-2 and seemingly intent on imposing their quality to win the game. However a late dagger from Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurðsson was ultimately the deciding moment of the match, with the goal itself, even after multiple re-watches, hard to even explain.
“We came back and played really good,” the German said. “We deserved the first goal, we deserved the second goal but the most disappointing moment was [Swansea’s] third goal.
“I have no explanation for this in this moment. There were for four or five possibilities for having a challenge and in the end, one guy is free in our box, so that makes no sense.”