Swansea produced a memorable performance in a captivating end to end game to hold five time European Cup winners to a goalless draw.
Both teams had chances to win it and only great saves from both keepers kept the score line blank.
The big news for the Swans today was the inclusion of Wayne Routledge on the left hand side instead of Scott Sinclair. Elsewhere, the rest of the XI was as expected with Kemy Agustien proving his fitness enough to make the substitutes bench.
Andy Carroll had the game’s first chance he hit the crossbar making that the eleventh chance of the season that has hit the frame of the goal for the reds. Liverpool were looking to break the deadlock but Luis Suarez could only fire one shot wide and another into the side netting. Stuart Downing nearly got lucky with his deflected shot but luckily for the Swans, it deflected out of play to safety for a corner.
The Swans were showing that they were not there to make up the numbers and impressed the home fans and neutrals by playing the attractive brand of football that has made them many people’s second team this year. Angel Rangel’s shot from distance was skied into the top tier and after a prolonged period of possession, Joe Allen couldn’t find the target. It was Wayne Routledge who came closest to opening the scoring for the Swans as his cross looked to be going in if not for a world class save from Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal. Danny Graham will feel a little gutted that he was unable to make contact with the ball to make it 5 in 5 for him.
As the end of the half drew nearer, Liverpool were looking to press the initiative and it was Downing and Suarez who looked to score again. Downing’s shot troubled the Liverpool fans more than the goal and only a great save from Michel Vorm prevented Suarez opening his account for the day. Carroll went close on the stroke of half time but saw his header well saved by the Dutchman between the sticks.
HT – Liverpool 0-0 Swansea
Jordan Henderson was replaced by Dirk Kuyt at the start of the second half as they looked to inject more energy into the game. Despite the substitution, it was a tentative start to the second half with a Suarez header straight at Vorm all the home fans had to cheer about. At the other end, Danny Graham nearly capitalised on a weak back pass to Reina but the Spaniard was able to recover the situation just in time.
The Swans dominated the early and middle parts of the second half and nearly found themselves 1-0 up. The lively Nathan Dyer saw his shot from distance spilled by Reina. The rebound fell to Graham who was again denied by Reina. Mark Gower had two glorious opportunities to put the Swans ahead, a free kick which he skied into the Kop and had an even better chance late on when Dyer’s cross was nodded down by Graham to Gower who shot over from eight yards with the goal at his mercy.
Except for the previous Gower chance, the last 15 minutes was all Liverpool but they faced stern resistance from the Swans midfield, defence and in particular Michel Vorm. Craig Bellamy’s introduction in to the game saw Liverpool raise the tempo late on. Charlie Adam’s free kick was deflected wide for a corner. Liverpool were to come closer still when Dirk Kuyt’s goal was rightly ruled offside by Sian Massey with the home fans thinking they’d snuck a winner late on.
The goal mouth drama wasn’t over there though for the Swans as Vorm was forced into two excellent saves first from Suarez and secondly from Glen Johnson’s volley. Suarez felt he should have had a penalty late on but referee Phil Dowd wasn’t having any of it.
A famous draw for a famous club at a famous ground was the message from this afternoon. The reception our players and fans got from the Liverpool fans is testament to how well the Swans played this afternoon. Swans next play in 2 weeks at home. United who?
This article was written by Matt Wallace