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Defeated But Not Disgraced

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I don’t suspect I was the only person to fear the worst when we went a goal down inside three minutes and then two down inside twenty would have been bringing back memories of that dismal afternoon 53 weeks ago when we were crushed 5-0 at Anfield.

That though was very much our reserve team but this today was a team that is getting its belief and style back and to fight back from that position and then again from going another goal down shows the difference in attitude and play over the last three weeks since the poor defeat at West Ham.

A superb strike from Jonjo Shelvey and Wilfried Bony’s first two Premier League goals away from the Liberty Stadium gave us the belief that we could steal a point against a team that is very much still in the title race as they look for their first crown since 1990.

And we would have got that point if it wasn’t for Jordan Henderson reacting the quickest to a parry by Vorm to score what turned out to be the winner to give the home side the three points and leave the Swans wondering about what could have been.

However, coming so soon on the back of a famous performance against Napoli on Thursday night there is now much additional evidence to show that the Swans will be safe come May when the season ends with much weaker opponents than Liverpool to come – particularly at the Liberty – that should see us secure the points that we need to ensure a fourth season of Premier League football beckons for next season.

Daniel Sturridge had scored for the 8th successive game in the third minute when he latched onto Courtinho’s through ball to round the desperate Vorm and put the ball into an empty net to give the home side the lead. It was the perfect start for Liverpool although there were early signs of a Swans comeback when they didn’t let the early goal unsettle them and continued to stick to their gameplan.

That gameplan looked rattled though when Henderson found the back of the net from the edge of the area to double Liverpool’s lead and for many at that side I suspect the game was probably over in their head.

But the Swans had other ideas and just a few minutes later Shelvey scored from outside the box with a perfectly executed shot that he elected not to celebrate which drew much applause from the Kop but the Swans were back in the game.

And four minutes later they were back on level terms when Bony’s header from De Guzman’s free kick deflected in off Skertel to make the score 2-2 and silence Anfield.

The first half scoring though was not over and Sturridge was afforded a lot of space to score Liverpool’s third before half time and take them in ahead which I suspect they probably felt they deserved in a pretty equal half.

The second half though was less than three minutes old when the Swans were back on level terms. Bony was pushed in the box by Skertel and he got himself back up and slotted his penalty into the bottom corner of the net and the Swans had scored three at Anfield for the second time in under eighteen months.

Liverpool were rattled and the Swans looked as if they were on top at this point but gradually the home side got back into the game and were creating chances of their own in what was turning into a pulsating encounter of end to end football.

And it was Henderson who had the last say when he pounced on the parry from Vorm to score the winner in front of the Kop and keep Liverpool very much in the title hunt and leave the Swans beaten on the day but full of confidence for their second leg in Naples on Thursday.

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