On Boxing Day, the Reds topped the Swans 5–0 in another strong offensive showing.
Sorry for the delay on this post. I was in a Wifi-less wasteland, aka Grandma’s house. Happy Holidays to everyone.
It was Boxing Day in the United Kingdom, and, wow were Liverpool gifted a match up like this. Swansea City was in last place (still is), they had just fired their manager (Sorry, Paul) and were so desperate they chose Leon Britton, a former midfielder for them, to manage (Sorry, Leon.)
Look, former stars rarely work out as managers of their former clubs. It takes a Zidane at Real Madrid for that to work, and even then, Zidane has Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema, Asensio, Modric, Isco…should I keep going?
Anyway, Liverpool knew they were the better side and it showed. Philippe Coutinho’s rocket boot six minutes in was superb. Liverpool applied excellent pressure which led to Roberto Firmino’s steal to create the chance. 1-0. Reds.
After that though, the first half was tame. Liverpool’s dominance was seen more in possession and shots than in the score. Liverpool played slicing through-ball after slicing through-ball to create multiple chances.
Firmino should’ve made it 2-0 heading into the break after a couple shifty moves found himself at the six-yard box, but his effort fizzled just wide.
Shockingly, a few times Swansea even dabbled with leveling the match up, but it was solid defense and Mignolet (2 hands!!!!) that helped keep the Reds up.
It only got better in the second half.
Firmino capitalized off an early free kick in the half, volleying home a well-placed cross into the box from the little magician himself, Coutinho. 2-0 Reds.
Coutinho continued his assault on the Swansea defense 13 minutes later as he played Andy Robertson a nice pass into the box, and while the left back’s cross to Salah was unsuccessful, the clearance went only as far as the Reds starlet Trent Alexander-Arnold, who took the bouncing ball and hit high for his first ever Premier League goal. 3-0 Reds.
Less than 60 seconds and some terrible Swansea passing in the back later, Firmino popped up again inside the six-yard box as Salah squared the ball right to the Brazilian forward for his second of the match. 4-0 Reds.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added the 5th and final goal in the 81st minute as the midfielder benefitted from the ball being ping-ponged throughout the box. Final: 5-0 Reds.
- Liverpool’s young striker Dominic Solanke came on late, but looked decent in the time he was out there. In fact, Solanke almost added a sixth goal but his volley JUST missed the far post.
- Alexander-Arnold is making a real strong case to be the No. 1 right back. Even when Nathaniel Clyne returns from injury, Alexander-Arnold’s pace, energy, willingness to get forward and balance on both sides of the ball set him apart.
- Liverpool’s offense is honestly one of the best in recent memory, and I’d argue better than even the Suarez-Sturridge combination that led to a 2nd-place finish and a Champions League berth back in 2013-14.
- With Coutinho scoring goals like that and spearheading every attack, Barcelona should pay handsomely for him. For me, Klopp needs to see some serious green ($$$$) in order for the star player to walk away like that.
- Poor Swansea City. They were pretty solid a few years ago with Wilfried Bony and Brendan Rodgers. Now they’re just abysmal.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Well, that McBurnie guy for Swansea was pre—–I’m just messing around. It’s Coutinho. The Brazilian created chances, scored a goal, was efficient and smart with the ball; he looked awesome. Now he just needs to stay.
Liverpool benefitted from playing the worst team in the league on short rest after a tough match against Arsenal. But hey, you have to play the schedule they give you, and the Reds did.
This team IS going to finish top four, I just don’t know where. Probably fourth. Deep roster, great players, Klopp’s a good motivator and analyst of his team.
3 points, and a Merry Christmas from the Reds is all I need.
Thanks again. Chat me in the comments.