Date: 30th December 2014 at 12:19am
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Liverpool ended 2014 with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Swansea City at Anfield.

The Reds moved above the Swans into eighth place in the Premier League table, courtesy of goals from Alberto Moreno, a second half brace from Adam Lallana, and an own goal from former midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

The three points came under threat briefly when Gylfi Sigurdsson halved the deficit shortly after Lallana had made it 2-0, but the Reds were excellent value for the win.

Brendan Rodgers made three changes to the side that beat Burnley on Boxing Day, with Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno coming into the wing back positions enabling Jordan Henderson to move inside.

Emre Can replaced Kolo Toure as part of a back three, whilst Steven Gerrard was rested.

The front three of Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling remained intact however, and it was that trio that almost brought about the opening goal.

Sterling saw a first time shot saved by Swansea keeper Lukasz Fabianski, whilst Lallana controlled but fired the rebound over with his left foot.

In what was a cagey opening to the match, the Reds controlled the posession and looked the most likely to score.

Martin Skrtel saw a header from a corner go straight at the goalkeeper, whilst Philippe Coutinho brought a good save from Fabianski at the near post after a mazy run into the box. This came before Alberto Moreno broke the deadlock on 33 minutes, with his second Liverpool goal.

The Spaniard collected a good ball from Mamadou Sakho, and drove into the Swansea half. He picked out Lallana on the edge of the box, who in turn fed Jordan Henderson down the right flank. The vice-captain delivered a pinpoint first time ball, where Moreno finished from close range having continued his run into the box.

Swansea were then fortunate not to be reduced to ten men moments before half time, when replays indicated Jonjo Shelvey had struck Emre Can with an elbow to the face.

The fact referee Andre Marriner missed the incident did not matter however, as the Reds came flying out of the blocks in the second half.

Adam Lallana scored the third Liverpool goal of his career in bizarre fashion to double the Reds lead on 51 minutes. When charging down Fabianski, the Swansea keepers clearance cannoned off the England man’s shoulder to loop perfectly into the empty net.

The Reds were barely done celebrating however, when Swansea made it 2-1. A cross into the box saw Mamadou Sakho unfortunatley head the ball into the path of Gylfi Sigurdsson under pressure from Wilfried Bony, and the Icelandic international made no mistake from close range.

Seconds after the restart, Sakho gifted possession to Bony on the edge of the box, but Mignolet was equal to his strike from range, whilst the impressive Emre Can made a vital interception from the follow up.

Then it was Liverpool’s turn to attack, as Jordan Henderson delivered another perfect first time cross. This time it was Raheem Sterling arriving at the back post, but the 20-year-old saw his effort smash off the woodwork.

The Reds did not have to wait long for their two-goal lead to be restored however, with Adam Lallana collecting a sublime backheel off Coutinho to round two defenders and fire across the keeper into the bottom corner on 61 minutes for the goal of the evening.

And just nine minutes later Lallana was involved once more, this time putting Shelvey under pressure at the near post from Jordan Henderson’s corner, which allowed the former Reds midfielder to head beyond Fabianski and into his own net to make it 4-1.

Raheem Sterling tested Fabianski with a decent run and shot, whilst substitute Mario Balotelli was denied his first Premier League goal in a Liverpool shirt by a smart save from the Polish goalkeeper.

Whilst at the other end, Swansea substitute Bafetimbi Gomis struck the crossbar with a fine curling strike.

That would have flattered Garry Monk’s side however, as Liverpool ran out deserving winners on a night that will be looked back on as another step in the right direction for Brendan Rodgers and his side heading into the new year.


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