Liverpool 5-0 Swansea: Roberto Firmino nets twice in routine win
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 27/12/17 6:36am
Roberto Firmino scored twice as Liverpool eased to a 5-0 victory over struggling Swansea at Anfield on Boxing Day.
Philippe Coutinho's brilliant early strike laid the platform for a win which was sealed with a burst of goals after half-time.
Firmino made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute before scoring again 14 minutes later, shortly after Trent Alexander-Arnold netted his first Premier League goal for the club. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then rounded off a comfortable win in the 82nd minute.
The victory sees Liverpool move up to fourth in the Premier League, five points behind second-placed Manchester United, while managerless Swansea stay bottom of the table, five points from safety.
Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Alexander-Arnold (8), Matip (7), Klavan (7), Robertson (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (8), Can (6), Wijnaldum (6), Salah (7), Firmino (8), Coutinho (8)
Subs: Milner (5), Lallana (6), Solanke (6)
Swansea: Fabianski (5), Naughton (3), Fernandez (4), Mawson (4), Olsson (4), Fer (3), Roque (3), Carroll (4), Routledge (3), Ayew (3), McBurnie (4)
Subs: Abraham (5), Clucas (5), Sanches (5)
Man of the match: Roberto Firmino
Having drawn their previous three Premier League games at Anfield, Liverpool made the perfect start as Coutinho fired a brilliant shot into the top corner from 25 yards after six minutes.
But the hosts did not initially show the required intensity to build on the goal and Swansea stayed in the first half despite rarely threatening themselves.
The Swans were also guilty of giving the ball away cheaply on several occasions, but were not punished as Oxlade-Chamberlain and Firmino fired off target and the latter then spurned an excellent one-on-one chance in injury-time.
However, Liverpool soon put the result beyond doubt as they raised the tempo in the second half.
Alexander-Arnold, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum and Matip started for Liverpool in place of Lovren, Gomez, Henderson and Mane. Routledge, Fer and McBurnie came into the Swansea XI, with the latter making his first start of the season.
Firmino tapped in from Coutinho's free-kick to make it 2-0 before Alexander-Arnold fired into the roof of the net after collecting a clearance just outside the box.
Salah teed up Firmino to score another in the 66th minute and Oxlade-Chamberlain lobbed the fifth into the far corner after Swansea failed to clear their lines.
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- Only PSG (89) and Manchester City (77) have scored more goals in the big five European leagues this season (in all competitions) than Liverpool (75)
- Only Manchester City in 95/96 and Derby in 07/08 scored fewer goals in their first 20 games of a Premier League campaign (10 each) than Swansea have this season (11).
- This is the fourth time this season that Liverpool have scored 5+ goals in a match in all competitions; no Premier League team has hit the five-goal mark more often than the Reds in 2017/18 (also 4 times for Man City).
- Philippe Coutinho has scored 19 Premier League goals from outside the box - one more than Robbie Fowler and second only to Steven Gerrard (33) among Liverpool players
- Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in more goals in all comps for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp than any other player (39 goals, 25 assists)
Jurgen Klopp: "The last half an hour was brilliant, the first 60 minutes was work. Swansea are a different team to the others, they didn't have a lot of chances but they play really good football and the plan is good. You need to be really compact, especially after you lose the ball."
Leon Britton: "It's a worrying situation. We have to keep going, whether that's myself or someone else. We have to give everything we have got because if we don't it will be a very long second half of the season."
Man of the match - Roberto Firmino
Brazilian duo Coutinho and Firmino were Liverpool's star performers. The former scored a brilliant opener and looked a threat whenever he picked up the ball. However, Firmino takes the man-of-the-match award after recovering from a bad miss just before half-time to score twice in the win.
Liverpool are at home again on Saturday when they host Leicester. They then face a trip to Burnley on New Year's Day before a Merseyside derby against Everton in the FA Cup on Friday, January 5. Swansea travel to Watford on Saturday and then host Tottenham, live on Sky Sports Premier League, on Tuesday, January 2.