Lal­lana nets twice, leads Liver­pool over Swansea 4-1 in Premier League

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Adam Lal­lana net­ted t wice as Liver­pool founds its scor­ing form to beat Swansea 4- 1 Mon­day for its big­gest Premier League home vic­tory of the sea­son.

After Al­berto Moreno put Liver­pool ahead in the 33rd minute, Lal­lana’s first goal came with a bit of luck as Swansea goal­keeper Lukasz Fabi­an­ski hit a clear­ance straight at the mid­fielder, and the ball bounced off his shoul­der and looped into the net to make it 2-0 in the 51st.

Gylfi Sig­urds­son replied for Swansea just a minute later, but Lal­lana re­stored the two- goal cush­ion by go­ing around two de­fend­ers and slot­ting a low shot inside the far post in the 61st.

Jonjo Shelvey headed in an own-goal in the 69th, giv­ing Liver­pool four goals in a game for the first time this sea­son. Bren­dan Rodgers’ team had scored just nine goals in as many home Premier League matches this sea­son as they strug­gled to re­place Luis Suarez and the in­jured Daniel Stur­ridge.

Liver­pool climbed above Swansea into eighth, with both on 28 points — five out­side the top four Cham­pi­ons League spots. And Rodgers may have found an ef­fec­tive sys­tem go­ing into the new year, as he once again played with­out a rec­og­nized striker. Lal­lana part­nered Ra­heem Ster­ling and Philippe Coutinho in a front free, with Mario Balotelli again on the bench. Cap­tain Steven Ger­rard was also rested, but Liver­pool con­stantly looked a threat go­ing for­ward.

“It’s some­thing we’ve been search­ing for all sea­son,” Rodgers said. “Ob­vi­ously, we’ve lost some play­ers, and I’m get­ting to find out about play­ers ... We put a lot of work into find­ing a way that will al­low us to get that cre­ativ­ity back.”

Moreno’s en­ergy cre­ated the open­ing goal as he be­came Liver­pool’s 10th dif­fer­ent scorer in the league at An­field this sea­son. The de­fender started the move on the left and then charged into the box to turn a cross from Jor­dan Hen­der­son into the goal de­spite Fabi­an­ski get­ting a hand to it.

The pre­vi­ously dropped Si­mon Mig­no­let was back in the Liver­pool goal, but it was his coun­ter­part who made a mis­take when his clear­ance can­noned into Lal­lana and back into the empty goal.

“I can’t re­mem­ber where it hit me, but it ended up in the back of the net, so I’ll take that any day,” Lal­lana said.

But Rodgers’ side al­lowed Swansea to get back into it im­me­di­ately, when weak head­ers by Javier Man­quillo and Ma­madou Sakho al­lowed Sig­urds­son to pull one back.

A manic three-minute pe­riod ended with Ster­ling hit­ting the post at the other end from an im­me­di­ate coun­ter­at­tack.

There was noth­ing lucky about Lal­lana’s sec­ond as Coutinho’s back­heel al­lowed him to dance his way through the de­fense to fire past Fabi­an­ski.

Shelvey’s header past his own goal­keeper from Jor­dan Hen­der­son’s cor­ner then put the game beyond reach.

“We made too many mis­takes to­day to re­ally war­rant any­thing from the game,” Swansea man­ager Garry Monk said.

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