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    Swansea City 1-0 Liverpool Match Report

    Liverpool were left to rue a number of missed opportunities as Alfie Mawson's first-half goal condemned The Reds to a first defeat in all competitions since October.

    Bottom-club Swansea, who were six points adrift of safety ahead of kick-off, mustered only two efforts on target throughout the match but defended their narrow advantage heroically against their star-studded opponents.

    Despite having only 28 per cent possession, the home side took the lead five minutes before half-time when Mawson produced a clinical finish into the bottom-corner after being teed-up by Federico Fernandez.

    Liverpool's £75 million signing Virgil van Dijk produced a commanding performance for much of the game but was at fault for the goal, when his headed clearance from a rare Swansea corner was gratefully received by Fernandez inside the penalty area.

    The visitors had already created two excellent chances to take the lead themselves, but neither van Dijk or the usually reliable Mohamed Salah were able to show the same level of composure that Mawson would manage later in the half.

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's pinpoint corner found van Dijk on the edge of the six-yard box but the Dutch defender headed a yard wide, while Salah rifled the ball over the crossbar from eight yards out following a well-measured van Dijk pass.

    Swansea also needed to survive a close shave towards the end of the half in order to keep their lead in tact, with Sadio Mane volleying a Salah cross narrowly past the post when he only had Fabianski to beat.

    Liverpool continued to press forward in pursuit of an elusive equaliser after the break but were unable to find a way past an inspired Fabianski, who made excellent saves to deny Salah and substitute Danny Ings.

    The former Arsenal goalkeeper made a full-stretch intervention with his fingertips to prevent Salah's 20-yard free-kick from heading into the top-corner, while he also needed to make a smart stop, low to his left, to keep out Ings.

    Swansea defended as though their lives depended on it throughout the match but they needed to rely on an element of luck deep into stoppage-time when Liverpool came within millimetres of claiming a point.

    Roberto Firmino's point-blank header cannoned against the post, after van Dijk had picked him out with a delicate cross, before Adam Lallana failed to convert the rebound from close-range in the fifth-minute of injury-time.

    The victory was nothing more than the home side deserved for their defensive organisation and resilience, with their back-three of Mike van der Hoorn, Fernandez and Mawson all producing outstanding performances.

    The Swans remain bottom of the table but have managed to halve the deficit from 17th-place Stoke City to three points ahead of an away tie in the FA Cup against Notts County on Saturday.

    Jurgen Klopp's side, meanwhile, were unable to replicate the magic of eight days earlier, when they became the only domestic team to beat Manchester City all season, despite dominating possession and creating the better chances.

    The Reds dropped a place in the table to fourth, after Chelsea's 4-0 win at Brighton two days earlier, but they will be hoping to bounce back on Saturday night when they entertain West Brom in the FA Cup fourth-round.
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    Item Reviewed: Swansea City 1-0 Liverpool Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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