After the shambles at the Emirates Stadium only a few days ago, a win against bottom of the table Swansea City was going to be the only acceptable result and Liverpool obliged accordingly, battering the Welsh side to hold on to their place in the top-four going in to the New Year.
It looked like the floodgates would open early after Philippe Coutinho struck with a beautiful curling effort only six minutes in, but the Reds would have to wait until after the break to add a second through Roberto Firmino’s fine finish. Scouse fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold would get his Christmas wish as he thumped in third in front of the Kop and if that wasn’t harsh enough on the visitors Firmino would add a second and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would bag his first goal at Anfield before the final whistle was blown.
Deadly. Sublime. Majestic. Savage. Adjectives.
We saw the same type of football in North London on Friday, but unlike Arsenal, caretaker manager Leon Britton couldn’t cox his side in to taking advantage when they gained some semblance of control after Liverpool’s predictably strong start. With just three wins this season and firmly rooted at the foot of the table, it was always going to be tough going for Swansea, but after seeing the Gunners fight back from two goals down to take control of proceedings, there was hope that the Welsh side could cause a real upset on Merseyside — a threat that never did materialized.
“After 55 minutes it was brilliant, before that it was work. It was not easy,” stressed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, keen to point out the work his side put in despite the scoreline. “The last half an hour was fantastic, a joy to watch, a very deserved win,” added the German manager. “I know that people are often not patient enough as it’s all about results. It’s possible from outside to think it’s not quick enough, we feel really good in this moment.”
Yes, the age old adage of you can only beat what’s in front of you certainly applies, but that takes nothing away from this performance. In full flow, the Reds are a sight to behold and the Jack’s back-line couldn’t even think of coping. To be fair, the hosts should have had even more with Mohamed Salah uncharacteristically wasteful in front of the net.
That the only real chance that Swansea could muster came with the last touch of the match summed things up nicely for the visitors — a header from late substitute Tammy Abraham that Reds ‘keeper Simon Mignolet did well to push over the bar. After giving up three goals in three shots against Arsenal, a highlight reel worthy save as the Belgian preserved his clean sheet should help with the confidence after it was given a knock at the Emirates Stadium.
With the fixtures coming fast and furious, he’s going to need it. Leicester City visit Anfield to close out the year before Liverpool travel to high-flying Burnley on New Years day — sides that’ll provide far stiffer tests than the Jacks were able to muster.