Liverpool FC will count themselves lucky to have escaped from the Liberty Stadium on Moday night with a draw which returns them to the top of the Premier League but bids farewell to their 100% record.
In an incident packed match former Liverpool player Jonjo Shelvey rode a roller-coaster of emotions scoring the first goal before being directly responsible for Liverpool’s two goals. Shelvey returned like a Hollywood hero that you were sure wasn’t get up again to set up Michu’s equaliser with a deft cushioned header.
Shelvey’s £5 million move to Swansea is one that made me raise an eyebrow this summer. While there is no doubt he has qualities such as a great engine and fearlessness when breaking from midfield, he seemed a bit too hustle and bustle for Laudrup’s side. After giving his side an early lead last night with the luck of poor clearances bouncing off him before he finished smartly Shelvey must have felt that this was his night to show Liverpool what they were missing. This turned out to be true in respect of both the good and bad of Shelvey that Liverpool were missing.
An underhit passback was seized upon by Sturridge for the equaliser before coughing up possession cheaply to Victor Moses who strode forward to finish smartly in the bottom left corner. Shelvey must have wanted the earth to open up and swallow him and for the rest of the half he played like a man trying to make amends. That is to say he overplayed everything trying to save the day and was doing his team no favours.
Laudrup was glad to get his midfielder in so as to tell him to compose himself. Whatever the Dane said worked a treat as Shelvey drove his team forward as Liverpool fell back to defend their lead. It was a typical run through the middle which saw Shelvey cushion a header down for Michu to finish from 12 yards out. Laudrup will be delighted to see how his young midfielder responded to the adversity of the first half and best football betting you can get would indicate his side were lucky to get a draw after conceding the first goal
Brendan Rodgers will be a little worried at how his team retreated in the second half, although this isn’t the first time this has happened this season. The key moment of the game was the loss of Coutinho to a shoulder injury early in the second half. The Brazilian playmaker was the connection between midfield and attack for Liverpool and his replacement Iago Aspas was not up to the job. The performance from Sahko at centre back will give reason to cheer for Rodgers as the Frenchman was a strong physical presence in the second half as Swansea bombed the Liverpool box with crosses.
This performance will deflate some of the more optimistic Liverpool fans and rightly so as there is still a long way for this Liverpool team to go before it can be considered a title challenger.