Liverpool bounced back to winning ways in style on Tuesday as they cruised to a 5-0 win over a hapless Swansea City side at Anfield.
The Reds were on the front foot from the get-go, with Philippe Coutinho putting them ahead just six minutes into the game, with a sublime long-range effort into the top corner. The hosts then had a few more chances to double there advantage, but the score remained 1-0 heading into half-time.
Liverpool then turned on the style post the half-time break, with Roberto Firmino breaking the shackles by tapping in from Coutinho’s free-kick. Trent Alexander-Arnold made it three to the good by scoring his first ever Premier League goal, before Firmino scored his second a minute later.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 26, 2017
The win was then rounded off in the 82nd minute as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain lobbed the ball into the far corner. The result meant Liverpool moved back into the top four, while Swansea remained bottom of the table, five points away from safety. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Simon Mignolet: 7/10
A quiet night for the Liverpool number one after the frenzy of the Arsenal game. Mignolet had just one simple save to make until the dying stages of the match, when he had to stay alert and make a good stop to maintain a confidence-boosting clean sheet. A cheerful way to bring up 200 appearances for the Reds.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8/10
The teenage prodigy is going places, and he showed that once again on Tuesday. With much of the game being played in the opposition half, Alexander-Arnold seemed to be enjoying himself, while also proving to be equal to the threat of Jordan Ayew.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is the first teenager to score in PL for Liverpool since Raheem Sterling in Sept 2014 pic.twitter.com/94jmdN7LnD
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 26, 2017
He started the second half sprightly though, with a fine cross towards Roberto Firmino going abegging. A sensational long ball towards the Brazilian showed just what he is capable of. And, then came the moment that the young Englishman will never forget as he scored his first Anfield goal in front of the Kop. What a moment.
Joel Matip: 7/10
Making his comeback to the starting eleven after nearly a month away from the action, Matip got an ideal game to get into the thick of things. The visitors did not test him much, but whenever the need arose to keep the Swansea attack at bay, the Cameroonian helped keep things organised, staying largely composed to neutralise their minimal threat.
Ragnar Klavan: 7/10
A straightforward outing for the Estonian, who used his physical presence to good effect, especially when up against Oliver McBurnie. All in all, an assured outing by Klavan, who seems to have usurped Lovren for now, although it remains to be seen how long his run lasts in the side, with Liverpool signing Virgil van Dijk.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
Wayne Routledge tested him in parts of the first half with his pace and trickery, but Robertson was equal to it for the most part while also bombarding forward effectively. The Scotsman seems to have made good use of his extended spell in the first-team, with Alberto Moreno still on the sidelines. Might have just done enough to remain the first-choice when the Spaniard’s back.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 8/10
A nice finish from Oxlade Chamberlain vs Swansea 👏
— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) December 27, 2017
Oxlade-Chamberlain continued his fine form on Tuesday, putting in a good shift from midfield. Slightly sub-par in the first half, the Englishman turned on the style in the final 45 minutes to help suffocate the Swansea defence by adding to the numbers around their box. He capped off a strong performance with a well deserved goal as well.
Emre Can: 6/10
Underwhelming from Can, who has often looked better in the deeper role than Jordan Henderson. On Tuesday, he struggled to increase the tempo of the game, especially in the first half as the game settled into a slow rhythm. To his credit though, he did stifle the Swansea attack, but his output going forward leaves a lot to be desired.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7/10
Wijnaldum produced one of his best performances of the season, once again showing just how good he is in the comforts of Anfield. The Dutchman helped out in defence by covering for Robertson during the latter’s forward forays while charging forward with purpose whenever he could. An energetic outing that perfectly complemented the attackers in front of him.
Mohamed Salah: 7/10
It wasn’t one of the best Salah performances on Tuesday, but that is only due to the high standards that he has set for himself so far this season. He still had two assists to show for his effort, with the second in particular a fine unselfish ball to Firmino that put the game to bed.
The Egyptian worked hard to get a goal for himself too, but it just wouldn’t connect for him on the night. A strong performance, nonetheless, as he continues being a factor for his side.
Roberto Firmino: 9/10
63 – Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in more goals in all comps for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp than any other player (38 goals, 25 assists). Thriving. pic.twitter.com/fcuu5MixNr
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2017
If 2016-17 was a stellar season for Firmino, the current campaign is turning out to be even better, with numbers to back his intangible output as well. As always, the Brazilian worked hard and showed an impeccable work rate all through the game. He had a role to play in the first goal as well, winning the ball in midfield before Coutinho scored.
He capped off another fine performance with a brace, although he really should have had a hat-trick, if not more, on the night. All in all though, it was a wonderful night for Firmino, who continues to go from strength to strength this season.
Philippe Coutinho: 9/10
Coutinho has been sublime for the most part this season, and it was more of the same on Tuesday night. The Brazilian playmaker notched up his 12th goal of the campaign in trademark fashion before resuming his playmaking duties.
🙌 Philippe Coutinho in December 2017:
⚽️ 7 goals
🥇Captains LFC for the first time
🎰 Scores first LFC hat-trick
📊 Makes 150th Premier League and 200th appearance for LFC
📈 Scores 50th career league goal pic.twitter.com/KvfhIHsS4z
— LFCVine (@LFCVine) December 27, 2017
He nearly set up Salah with a delicious through ball before getting his assist from a free-kick that landed perfectly for Firmino. As the transfer window nears, the feeling of him potentially getting closer to the exit door might just be unnerving for everyone associated with Liverpool.
Adam Lallana: 7/10
Another appearance off the bench for Lallana, who is slowly working his way back to peak sharpness and fitness. The Englishman was lively in the final twenty minutes, and his return will seek to provide a huge boost in the second half of the season.
Dominic Solanke: 6/10
Solanke’s search for a maiden Liverpool goal continued on Tuesday, this time coming close with two shots that were only inches away from being the decisive efforts.