EPL: Swansea register shock 1-0 victory against Liverpool
Bottom-placed Swansea register shock 1-0 victory to halt Reds' 18-match unbeaten run
Swansea's Alfie Mawson (second from left) celebrates after scoring his team's goal against Liverpool at Liberty Stadium in Swansea last night. Pic/ Getty Images
Liverpool's progress towards securing a Champions League spot was halted by the Premier League's bottom club and a single goal by Alfie Mawson last night as Liverpool's defensive frailties returned.
Jurgen Klopp's side, with £75 million (R669 crore) centre-back Virgil van Dijk making his away debut, were seeking to extend their unbeaten run to 19 matches and draw level on points with third-placed Chelsea. But fresh from dramatically ending Manchester City's unbeaten run, the Reds ran into a determined Swansea side desperate to close the gap on the strugglers above them.
Despite laying siege to the Swansea goal, Klopp's side were unable to find the net and Roberto Firmino struck the post with a header in the dying seconds.
The defeat snapped Liverpool's unbeaten 14-match run in the Premier League dating back to October and old, familiar defensive failings were laid bare despite Van Dijk's arrival.
Swansea took the lead against the run of play just before half-time when Mawson swept the ball in from a corner after Van Dijk failed to head clear. The ball struck Swansea captain Federico Fernandez and Mawson swivelled to shoot past Liverpool keeper Loris Karius. It was exactly the kind of soft goal that Liverpool manager Klopp thought he had found the solution to with the purchase of the towering Dutchman.
In contrast to their clinical performance against City at Anfield, Liverpool were wasteful and guilty of missing a number of first-half chances. Sadio Mane and leading goalscorer Mo Salah both volleyed wide before the break and Van Dijk flashed a header just wide of the post.
Liverpool kept pressing in the second half, but either found their strikers lacking or else discovered Lukasz Fabianski in inspired form in the Swansea goal.
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