Henderson and Sturridge score twice as Rodgers’ men keep up title tilt

Liverpool 4-3 Swansea

Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge netted twice each as title outsiders Liverpool edged a seven-goal Anfield classic against Swansea.

Brendan Rodgers’ side continue to be plagued by a porous defence but moved within four points of Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea after emerging victorious from one of the games of the season.

Henderson had the final word in his side’s 4-3 success, forcing home from point-blank range in the 74th minute after his initial effort had been saved.

However, Rodgers’ former team played their part with a stirring away performance capped by Jonjo Shelvey’s first-time strike and a brace from Wilfried Bony.

The frenetic pace was set in just the third minute, when the hosts scored a wonderful opener on the break.

VIDEO Scroll down for post-match reaction from Brendan Rodgers and Garry Monk

Game over: Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson pokes home from close-range to put his side 4-3 ahead

Game over: Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson pokes home from close-range to put his side 4-3 ahead

 

Magic moment: Henderson celebrates his second goal of a dramatic afternoon at Anfield

Magic moment: Henderson celebrates his second goal of a dramatic afternoon at Anfield

Pure joy: Goalscorer Henderson is grabbed by team-mate Glen Johnson after netting in the 74th minute

Pure joy: Goalscorer Henderson is grabbed by team-mate Glen Johnson after netting in the 74th minute

 

Coolly done: Wilfried Bony (left) slots his second goal of the afternoon from the penalty spot to make it 3-3

Coolly done: Wilfried Bony (left) slots his second goal of the afternoon from the penalty spot to make it 3-3

Mobbed: Bony (second from left) is congratulated by his team-mates (from left to right) Jonathan de Guzman, Jose Canas, Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer after scoring from the penalty spot

Mobbed: Bony (second from left) is congratulated by his team-mates (from left to right) Jonathan de Guzman, Jose Canas, Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer after scoring from the penalty spot

Raheem Sterling played creator when he robbed Angel Rangel inside his own half and executed an inch-perfect 30-yard pass for the advancing Sturridge.

Sterling’s ball, bending into the striker’s path off the outside of the boot, still required Sturridge to round Michel Vorm and he did so with aplomb before locating the open net.

Liverpool nearly caught Swansea off guard moments later when Sterling’s curled effort was beaten away by Vorm at the near post.

The hosts doubled their lead against the run of play after 21 minutes.

Sturridge’s flash of pace – breezing past Neil Taylor as he cut in from the right wing – created the space, but the finish was even better.

Henderson, lurking on the edge of the area, controlled the ball with his left boot, eyed up the top corner and dispatched a precision finish with his right.

Swansea’s response was immediate and emphatic.

Just two minutes after conceding they created their own version of Liverpool’s second, Nathan Dyer playing the Sturridge role as he drifted iside.

Through on goal: Sturridge rounds Swansea keeper Michel Vorm to open the scoring

Through on goal: Sturridge rounds Swansea keeper Michel Vorm to open the scoring

Too easy: Sturridge slots the ball into an empty net after using his pace to get past Vorm

Too easy: Sturridge slots the ball into an empty net after using his pace to get past Vorm

 

Main man: Sturridge celebrates scoring his 20th goal of the season

Main man: Sturridge celebrates scoring his 20th goal of the season

Unstoppable: Liverpool midfielder Henderson curls in his side's second goal against Swansea

Unstoppable: Liverpool midfielder Henderson curls in his side’s second goal against Swansea

Man in form: Henderson celebrates finding the net with a long-range effort

Man in form: Henderson celebrates finding the net with a long-range effort

Heads up: Sturridge rises highest to score his second goal of the afternoon and put his side 3-2 ahead

Heads up: Sturridge rises highest to score his second goal of the afternoon and put his side 3-2 ahead

Deadly duo: Sturridge (right) celebrates his second goal with creator Luis Suarez (left)

Deadly duo: Sturridge (right) celebrates his second goal with creator Luis Suarez (left)

And Shelvey was on hand to match Henderson’s finish, stroking the ball into top corner from a similar position.

There was no celebration against his former club and Anfield responded with a warm ovation.

The goals kept coming, with the visitors making it four in the 27th minute and Martin Skrtel unfortunate on two counts.

The Slovakian was harshly adjudged to have fouled Shelvey for the initial free-kick and, when Jonathan De Guzman’s delivery was headed on by Bony, the ball deflected past Simon Mignolet via Skrtel’s shoulder.

Swansea had the momentum, but once more the Reds proved lethal in the final third as they reclaimed the lead after 36 minutes.

Stunner: Swansea star Jonjo Shelvey bends in his side's first goal against Liverpool

Stunner: Swansea star Jonjo Shelvey bends in his side’s first goal against Liverpool

 

Apologetic: Former Liverpool midfielder Shelvey says sorry to the Kop after scoring

Apologetic: Former Liverpool midfielder Shelvey says sorry to the Kop after scoring

 

Battle: Suarez (left) tussles for the ball with Swansea defender Chico Flores (right)

Battle: Suarez (left) tussles for the ball with Swansea defender Chico Flores (right)

Top corner: Bony's header flicks off Martin Skrtel and beyond Simon Mignolet for Swansea's second goal

Top corner: Bony’s header flicks off Martin Skrtel and beyond Simon Mignolet for Swansea’s second goal

 

Comeback: Swansea striker Bony (left) celebrates his goal with team-mate Leon Britton

Comeback: Swansea striker Bony (left) celebrates his goal with team-mate Leon Britton

Dramatic: Suarez (left) goes down in the penalty area after a challenge from Swansea sub Canas (right)

Dramatic: Suarez (left) goes down in the penalty area after a challenge from Swansea sub Canas (right)

 

  • Team P GD Pts
    1 Chelsea 27 28 60
    2 Arsenal 27 25 59
    3 Manchester City 26 42 57
    4 Liverpool 27 35 56
    5 Tottenham Hotspur 27 3 50
    6 Manchester United 27 12 45
    7 Everton 26 10 45
    8 Newcastle United 27 -5 40
    9 Southampton 27 6 39
    10 West Ham United 27 -3 31
    11 Hull City 27 -2 30
    12 Swansea City 27 -4 28
    13 Aston Villa 27 -10 28
    14 Norwich City 27 -19 28
    15 Stoke City 27 -15 27
    16 Crystal Palace 26 -18 26
    17 West Bromwich Albion 27 -8 25
    18 Sunderland 26 -16 24
    19 Cardiff City 27 -29 22
    20 Fulham 27 -32 21

A patient build-up stretched Swansea and when Luis Suarez floated a cross for Sturridge, he rose between Ashley Williams and Wayne Routledge to nod home his 20th goal of the season.

There was no further scoring before the break, though did Luis Suarez see an an audacious strike from 45 yards drift a couple of yards wide with Vorm back-tracking.

Less than three minutes of the second half had passed when Swansea equalised for the second time, Skrtel again cursing his luck as he conceded a questionable penalty as he tangled with Bony.

He was at least spared a second yellow card but Bony made no mistake from the spot.

Attack continued to dominate defence with Suarez denied at the near post after a flowing move, and De Guzman twice going close at the other end.

Referee Mike Jones had decisions to make too, Mignolet close to handling outside the area and Suarez calling unsuccessfully for a penalty following a collision with Jose Canas.

A seventh goal seemed inevitable and Liverpool grabbed it with 16 minutes remaining.

Steven Gerrard produced a wonderful 40-yard pass to Suarez, who controlled on his chest and saw his shot blocked by Williams.

Henderson fired the loose ball at Vorm, who saved smartly but allowed it to squirm out of his grasp as the England midfielder followed up to finish the job from a yard. The two goals he bagged meant the England midfielder doubled his season’s tally in a day.

No way through: Vorm makes himself big to stop Suarez's low shot in the first half

No way through: Vorm makes himself big to stop Suarez’s low shot in the first half

Respect: Both teams pause to honour the life of former England winger Sir Tom Finney, who died last week

Respect: Both teams pause to honour the life of former England winger Sir Tom Finney, who died last week

Looking on: Swansea caretaker boss Garry Monk watches his side in action during the first half

Looking on: Swansea caretaker boss Garry Monk watches his side in action during the first half

Under pressure: Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling (right) attempts to win the ball from Chico (left)

Under pressure: Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling (right) attempts to win the ball from Chico (left)

 

Henderson fired the loose ball at Vorm, who saved smartly but allowed it to squirm out of his grasp as the England midfielder followed up to finish the job from a yard. The two goals he bagged meant the England midfielder doubled his season’s tally in a day.

Swansea threatened to equalise for a third time in the closing stages, but the Reds went even closer as Gerrard’s deflected effort crashed off the post.

 

Dejected: Shelvey (right) reacts after missing a chance during the opening period

Dejected: Shelvey (right) reacts after missing a chance during the opening period

Classic: A scoreboard at Anfield displays the final score as Liverpool fans watch the end of the game

Classic: A scoreboard at Anfield displays the final score as Liverpool fans watch the end of the game

 

On the run: Glen Johnson (right) gets past Swansea winger Nathan Dyer (left)

On the run: Glen Johnson (right) gets past Swansea winger Nathan Dyer (left)

 

Source : Daily Mail

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