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    Reds Stunned By Swans as Season Hangs In the Balance

    Liverpool were beaten at Anfield for the first time in over a year as a Fernando Llorente inspired Swansea picked up a vital three points in a pulsating 3-2 win. The game got off to a slow start as Liverpool struggled to find their rhythm in the first 45 minutes. Emre Can spurned the only good chance created by the reds before Carroll hit the woodwork for Swansea.

    Liverpool were punished for their lackluster display early in the second half when Llorente poked the ball in after Liverpool failed to clear their lines after a set-piece. Four minutes later in the 52 minute the big Spaniard struck again with a towering header past Mignolet to give the swans a two goal cushion. Klopp's men and the Anfield crowd finally woke up and the side responded almost immediately with Roberto Firmino pulling a goal back for Liverpool three minutes later. With Liverpool applying pressure to the Swansea back line, their efforts finally came to fruition with Firmino slotting home on the half volley to bring the hosts level. With the home side seemingly on the front foot it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Liverpool to the lead but it was Swansea who had the last say.

    Once again errors at the back were costly for the reds as an ineffective clearance from Klavan fell to the feet of Sigurdsson who caressed the ball past the the keeper to once again give Swansea the advantage. Despite having Sturridge and Origi on the field Liverpool struggled to break the Welsh side down with Lallana heading over late on. This defeat means Liverpool are yet to win in the League in 2017 and could potentially fall 10 points behind Chelsea if they beat Hull. Many punters before this game would of predicted Liverpool to win this game comfortably beforehand with Liverpool scoring the most goals in the league, while the Swans have shipped the most also.

    Liverpool's only win of the year came against Plymouth in their FA Cup replay
    Liverpool seasons now effectively hinges on the next three games and their season could almost be over by the end of the month. The reds host Southampton in the 2nd leg of the League cup Semi-Final on Wednesday knowing that they need to overturn a 1-0 deficit to advance to Wembley. Southampton may rue the missed opportunities in the first leg and will feel they should of put the tie to bed.  After that Klopp has yet another domestic cup fixture to prepare for, when Wolves travel to Merseyside in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Klopp's policy of playing youngsters in the cup almost came to haunt him after Plymouth grabbed a famous draw at Anfield before producing a spirited display in the replay, but with an even bigger fixture a few days after Klopp may once again give the kids a chance.

    Liverpool end the month with a mouth watering game against league leaders Chelsea again at Anfield. Chelsea could be 10 points ahead of Liverpool by the time this fixture kicks off so Liverpool know they can ill afford to lose more ground if they want to secure that elusive Premier league crown. With no European commitments this season failure in their next three games would mean Liverpool would only have the league to focus on and a potential 13 point gap to overturn. For a team who started the season so brightly, the thought of potentially ending the season empty handed and outside the top four would of been unthinkable a few months prior.

    Liverpool will be without Sadio Mané while Senegal are involved in the African Cup of Nations. 

    The reds loss of form has coincided with key players being out of the team. Liverpool have not played a game with Coutinho, Mane, Firmino and Lallana since late November, with Coutinho only just covering from injury and Mané being on AFCON duty. Liverpool have also had their best defender Matip unavailable for recent weeks due to an uncertainty with his eligibility. With Mane returning next month Liverpool will be confident they can get back in their groove, but they will need to make sure there is still something to salvage by the time the Senegalese winger makes returns.

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    Item Reviewed: Reds Stunned By Swans as Season Hangs In the Balance Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jordy D
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