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Liverpool 2, Swansea 3: No Escape From Reality

The Reds break a lengthy home unbeaten streak against one of the worst teams in the Premier League in a truly pitiful display; Roberto Firmino scored twice in the 2nd half but no one else could put Liverpool on top

Liverpool v Swansea City - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Liverpool 2 Firmino 55’, 69’

Swansea 3 Llorente 48’, 52’ Sigurdsson 74’

I don’t think I was in the right state to watch this game, much less recap it.

I had been in a sort of daze since yesterday, owing to my country being gripped by the dawning of an autocratic regime seizing the reins of power. I tried to stay away from television and the internet all day but the news filtered to me all the same. The man now at the helm of an incomprehensibly vast war machine had just declared open season on this country’s enemies— which, as a queer, progressive journalist, apparently includes me now. I read this great piece a few days ago about how autocracy destabilizes people, robs them of their sense of definable reality until it becomes whatever the people with the power and the guns say it is. It definitely felt something like that, like everything was in this shaky unreality and I had no idea what the rules were.

Whether because I was desperate for some means to cope or out of a sense of reckless abandon in the face of the end of the world, I didn’t bother sleeping last night. Usually I pull all-nighters because my anxiety won’t let me sleep or because I have to get up early and am too afraid of missing the alarm. The latter was partly why I skipped a decent night’s rest, but mostly I just stayed up all night so I could talk to someone cute that I’m crushing on pretty bad. I have no regrets; if we’re all falling off a cliff, I might as well hold someone’s hand on the way done.

(I promise I’m going somewhere with this.)

So partly as a function of the sustained state of compromised reality that started yesterday, and partly as a function of not sleeping, I don’t really know what happened during Liverpool’s 3-2 loss at home to [expletive deleted] Swansea today. And I don’t mean that in a typical can you believe that ludicrous display last night sort of way. I mean, I have a final scoreline and a blurry image of Roberto Firmino flying through the air in front of the Kop, but I don’t actually know how to put what I have together into a narrative that makes sense, and I’m not even sure I can say with confidence that this all actually happened.

I don’t remember the first half. Like, at all. I remember the game kicking off for the second half and the scoreline being at 0-0. I don’t remember anything that came before that. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there wasn’t much to talk about, other than Liverpool going 45 minutes without being able to score at home against one of the worst teams in the league. Everything of note seemed to happen in the second half anyway.

So I shook myself and saw that the second half was kicking off at 0-0. I blinked, and all of a sudden Swansea were up 2-0. I didn’t see the goals, but I pieced together through Twitter that Fernando Llorente scored twice within four minutes, and that the first one came thanks to a spectacular defensive blunder. None of it felt real. How could this possibly be?

Things made a little more sense when Roberto Firmino pulled one back just a few minutes later. It still felt... illusory, that we were in this position, but maybe this was the spark we needed to take control.

And when Bobby Effing Firm equalized 15 minutes later, it felt as if the mists were being parted. That we were at least closer to the world as it should be, and not this hall of mirrors we had all somehow been forced into. A draw would be dour but acceptable; a win still on the cards.

I had gone to fix a quick breakfast, thinking that a simple meal would have a grounding effect on me and chase away this horrible faerie enchantment, this foul conjuration I was under. When I came back, Gylfi Sigurðsson had reclaimed the lead for Swansea. There was still time for a comeback but, even in my own compromised mental state, I could see that there was no way back. You saw it, too, I’m certain. Sometimes you can just tell.

And that was that. Apparently the Reds will remain in the Top 4 despite the loss unless City completely demolish Spurs by more than 10 goals. [knocks on wood] Not that we necessarily deserve Champions League football after today, but still. Meanwhile, we’ve got a League Cup semifinal and an aggregate disadvantage to deal with in four days, another FA Cup tie three days after that, and then, three days after that, Chelsea.

I would say that this team picked a really bad time to have a nervous breakdown. But then, as I know all too well, there really isn’t a good time to have one of those.

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