Plucky Swans frustrate Liverpool
Chances galore in exciting goalless Anfield stalemate
Last Updated: 05/11/11 7:48pm
Swansea earned their first point against Liverpool for nearly 30 years in a thrilling 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Dutch keeper Michel Vorm took all the plaudits after making a string of superb saves as Liverpool threw everything at the visitors in the dying stages.
Substitute Dirk Kuyt thought he had bagged an 88th-minute winner when he slammed home Daniel Agger's knockdown, but the celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
Liverpool should have taken a first-half lead when £35million striker Andy Carroll smashed a thunderous six-yard shot against the Swansea crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
But the Welsh side gave as good as they got throughout and particularly had their hosts rocking in the second half.
Their best chance fell to Mark Gower who blazed high over the Liverpool goal when he latched onto Danny Graham's header on 84 minutes.
For the second successive home match against a newly-promoted team Kenny Dalglish's side failed to convert their chances.
In the end they were fortunate to escape with a draw as Swansea, who last won a point against Liverpool in February 1982, could have snatched victory in the closing stages.
It was only the second point away from home this season for Brendan Rodgers' side but, on the strength of their performance alone, they were well worth it.
Liverpool have hit the frame of the goal more than any other team this season and they took that unwanted tally to 11 in only the seventh minute.
Charlie Adam's through-ball down the inside-left channel was picked up by Stewart Downing whose low, teasing cross into the six-yard box required only the simplest of touches to convert.
But Carroll leant back and somehow crashed his shot against the crossbar.
Swansea were confident enough in possession without really opening up the home defence.
It was a different story at the other end with Luis Suarez flashing a long-range shot just wide, Downing having an effort deflected behind and Lucas Leiva's header dropping the wrong side of the post.
Only a brilliant one-handed reaction save from Jose Reina, on his 163rd consecutive league appearance, kept out Wayne Routledge's inswinging cross intended for Danny Graham.
It was no surprise to see Dirk Kuyt replace the ineffective Jordan Henderson for the start of the second half as the Reds resumed their pressure on the visitors' goal with Suarez heading Adam's free-kick into the arms of Vorm.
While Liverpool have been their own worst enemies up front they nearly compounded that problem at the other end when Graham almost robbed Reina just a couple of yards off his goalline as the goalkeeper tried to clear a Daniel Agger backpass.
Swansea were starting to ask more questions of the Liverpool defence and in the 64th minute Dyer's diagonal right-to-left run allowed him to collect a through-ball but Reina deflected his shot behind off his body.
Suddenly the Spaniard was the busier of the two goalkeepers and when he only half-saved Dyer's shot he had to react swiftly to blocked what looked like being a certain goal from Graham on the follow-up.
Carroll's hopes of redeeming himself for that first-half miss were ended in the 74th minute when he was replaced by former Cardiff striker Craig Bellamy.
Liverpool cranked up the pressure with Neil Taylor's last-gasp clearance denying Kuyt, Agger heading over and Adam having a free-kick deflected wide.
With six minutes remaining Gower should have snatched victory for the Swans but he could not keep his shot down from Graham's knockdown.
Kuyt thought he had scored the winner but he was correctly flagged offside by assistant referee Sian Massey.
There was still time for Vorm to pull off a brilliant save to deny Suarez and an even better one to tip over Johnson's volley.
Liverpool felt they should have had a penalty in added time when Suarez went down in the area but referee Phil Dowd waved away appeals.It may have been an eighth successive match unbeaten for Dalgish's side but four dropped points at home to two of the promoted teams does not make good reading for Liverpool's top-four prospects.
|Liverpool||Team Statistics||Swansea City|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||3|
|12||Shots off Target||6|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|