Swansea 0 #Liverpool 1 (Half-time 0-0)

Not so long ago, Simon Mignolet was viewed as a bit of a liability at Liverpool, his form becoming such an issue that manager Brendan Rodgers announced that he would be having a rest for an 'indefinite' period of time. That was back in December, with the Australian Brad Jones replacing the Belgian keeper for the Manchester United game at Old Trafford, a match that the Merseysiders lost 3-0. Jones was then injured, forcing a re-think by Rodgers and Mignolet was brought back into the side. The club and fans will be grateful that he did, since in the aftermath of that very public lack of faith in his abilities and more importantly his consistency of displays, the under fire keeper has responded admirably.

Advertisements
Advertisements

It was his man of the match performance at the Liberty Stadium last night that was one of the main reasons for Liverpool continuing their unbeaten run in the league in 2015. Jordan Henderson was the slightly fortunate goalscorer that ensured the three points to the visitors, but it could have been so different but for a number of marvellous saves by his man at the back in the first-half.

Liverpool began shakily with a number of loose passes and touches, allowing the home side to dominate the possession for much of the first-half. Mamadou Sakho was particularly wasteful, prompting the Swansea fans to give him the 'big build up' whenever he touched the ball. Rodgers clearly wants him in the side for his defensive capabilities, as he once again left big summer signing Dejan Lovren out of the side.

Advertisements

Swansea's possession began to pay off, as they created several presentable chances during the first period. Wilfried Bony may have moved on to Manchester City, but his 'replacement' Bafetimbi Gomis proved a handful for the Reds' defence and was only denied a goal after a powerful driven shot, due to the reflexes of Mignolet to palm the ball clear. Gylfi Sigurdsson turned smartly in the area, but his curler went just too high and over the bar. Sigurdsson got his next shot on target, only for the Belgian keeper to stretch athletically to tip the shot away from danger.

The Reds had some moments of intent themselves, including a neat move between Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana, which the former Saints' player hit straight at the keeper. They were few and far between though before the break, and Rodgers would have been relieved to go in all-square at his old hunting ground.

After the interval their resilience paid off, as Henderson was released down the centre and as Jordi Amat attempted to clear, the ball fortuitously ricocheted off the Reds' midfielder and looped into the net.

Advertisements

Sturridge hit the post late on, although a second goal would have flattered his side on the night. Liverpool held on for their tenth win in thirteen league games, with captain Steven Gerrard coming on as a second-half substitute to help them to increase the tempo and gain the lead. Gerrard did his own PR work while warming up on the touchline, making one lucky young Liverpool supporter's day with a handshake. They will miss him when he leaves in the summer for America.

The hard-earned triumph keeps Liverpool in the hunt for the Champions League places and while the title still looks beyond them, second place certainly is not, if they continue their unbeaten run. That will be severely tested one expects when Manchester United visit Anfield at the weekend, with Rodgers' men having the carrot of going above their bitter rivals should they win, as they now sit just two points behind Louis van Gaal's side. #Football #Premier League

For Mignolet and the defenders they left Swansea with their solid away performance intact, having not conceded an away goal now for over 9 and a half hours in the league. Mignolet can claim to be Liverpool's joint record holder for consecutive away clean sheets (at 6 games), a record that dates back to the days of Bill Shankly, which was something that no one could have predicted at the start of the year.