Published: 22:12 | 22/1/18

Bad "offensive motions" cost Liverpool, says Klopp


​Swansea claimed a shock 1-0 win over high-flying Liverpool in the Premier League at Liberty Stadium, with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp stating that problems with his side's "offensive motions" were behind the defeat.

Liverpool dominated possession and territory for the duration, and recorded 21 shots to Swansea’s three, but they were toothless in front of goal, clearly lacking the midfield incision of recently departed, now-Barcelona man, Philippe Coutinho.

The Swans, meanwhile, executed a smash-and-grab win perfectly. They sat deep, defended in numbers, with Alfie Mawson grabbing the game’s only goal from a corner five minutes before the break.

Roberto Firmino hit the post in the last-minute of injury time in the final chance of the tie, but ultimately Liverpool were under par and didn't have the incision to get the job done in Wales.

Despite the win, Swansea are still bottom of the table, but crucially are now level on points with 19th place West Brom. For Liverpool, the good work and mental high of defeating league leaders Man City last week has been eradicated, as they stay fourth in the table, three points behind Chelsea. 

"I'm frustrated and I'm angry because it was not a good game. We lost the game in the first half. We didn't do what we wanted to do. It hasn't happened too often so I didn't expect that, I was quite surprised. Because of the first half we weren't flying and they were," said Klopp.

"We made pressure at the end but not enough to score. The last situation was unlucky [when Firmino hit the upright] but if we got a point it would still have been a bad game for us, and it was the opposite of what we wanted. That happens from time to time and it's never the right moment and like it should be.

"It's not that we threw it away. Swansea are fighting for their life and we've no problem with that, we had a problem with our offensive motions. It's not what we came here for tonight, we have nothing, and that's our fault."

Swansea boss Carlos Carvahal credited his side's one-and-two-touch football, and use of the flanks, for the unlikely win, saying: "We did mistakes when we played Liverpool before but today they were ready for that. Inside the pitch we played one, two touch and played to the sides to be out of pressure. We have the fortune to get a goal and after that, playing against a strong team and my team needing points. It is not how we want to play but in this moment we need the points."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mo Salah both had chances to break the deadlock early doors, before the Swans struck against the run of play. A corner from the right was inadequately dealt with by the Reds rearguard, with new signing Virgil van Dijk – the world’s most expensive defender – only managing to head the ball into open space in the box. The ball struck Federico Fernandez before falling for Mawson to strike the ball first time into the bottom-left corner past the diving Loris Karius in nets.

Sadio Mane could have levelled just prior to half-time, when he was played in by Salah, but the Senegal international could only skew his effort wide of the sticks.

Salah was next to come close for the visitors when he curled a free-kick over the wall from 25 yards, forcing Lukasz Fabianski into tipping the goal-bound effort over the bar.

The pressure continued from the Reds with Joel Matip firing wildly over the bar as Adam Lallana was introduced for Oxlade-Chamberlain with just over 20 minutes to go, and Danny Ings for Georginio Wijnaldum five minutes later. 

Ings found himself in space in the box minutes after his introduction but his shot back across the face of goal was well saved by Fabianski. The chances continued as Joe Gomez seized on a loose ball to drive into space, but his effort was wide and not too handsome as time began to dwindle. Van Dijk followed suit with a similarly inaccurate effort.

Referee Neil Swarbrick gave the Reds four minutes of added time to find the leveller, and in that very last minute they had their very best chance of the tie. The ball came to Firmino in the box, with the Brazilian striker directing his header across the face of goal, where it hammered back off the upright and fell to Lallana, who fired over the crossbar from three yards out.

By Russell Stoddart

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Image: Getty/ Michael Steele

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