Premier League: ‘F1 car’ Liverpool break down in Swansea
Alfie Mawson scores the winner to end the Reds’ unbeaten run
Swansea City 1 Liverpool 0
The master of the metaphor was in his element last night as Swansea brought Liverpool’s unbeaten league streak to a shuddering halt.
Swans manager Carlos Carvalhal, who has recently likened his club’s transfer policy to “sardines and lobsters”, had previewed yesterday’s encounter as “David against Goliath”.
Following Goliath’s toppling, Carvalhal went for a more modern metaphor as he entertained reporters in the post-match press conference.
“They are like a Formula 1 car,” he said of the Reds. “But at 4pm in London it will be difficult to speed, they would be a car like any other. We needed to make sure there was traffic, we could not let them have open roads to drive in.”
If that assessment was a little congested, Swansea’s performance against Liverpool was more free-flowing as they extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to four matches.
The precious three points against Liverpool weren’t enough to lift them off the bottom of the table, but Swansea are now only three shy of Stoke, Brighton and Newcastle, all of whom hover just above the relegation zone.
Alfie Mawson scored the only goal of the game, seizing on a sloppy corner clearance by Virgil van Dijk to fire the ball past Loris Karius. It wasn’t the league debut Van Dijk dreamed about, but the Dutch defender wasn’t alone in failing to match up to the intensity of the opposition.
“I am more frustrated about the performance than the result,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. “We didn’t play how we wanted to play. We gave them the opportunity to score and then we did exactly what Swansea wanted. Swansea knew that to win they needed our help, and unfortunately we gave it to them.”
It was Liverpool’s first defeat in the league since losing to Tottenham in October and the result leaves them in fourth, three points behind Chelsea and two ahead of Spurs.
The manner of the defeat clearly got to Klopp, whose composure cracked at one point as he responded to the taunts of a fan close to his dugout.
“He was shouting at me all the time. Sorry, I reacted one time,” said Klopp. “I remind myself I am a human being and not a professional manager who takes that all the time... he felt quite good because nobody can do anything. He is in a good position.”