Clement toasts special performance
21st January 2017
Paul Clement toasted a superb performance as Swansea City landed a first ever league win at Liverpool to breathe life into their survival bid.
Jurgen Klopp's title-chasing Reds had not lost a Premier League game on their own patch in over a year, but that statistic was wiped out on a memorable day for the Swans.
The club's maiden league triumph at Anfield was also the first victory of Clement's Liberty reign.
And the Swans head coach was full of praise for his players after a thrilling 3-2 success.
"We have talked all along about getting some performances, and today we produced a real 90-minute performance," Clement said.
"We defended well, we took our opportunities on set-plays and we looked dangerous on the counter.
"This kind of performance can give everybody a big lift and help their confidence.
"The confidence of this team has been down at times and they have been criticised for not being able to respond when they have gone behind.
"We didn't go behind today, but we had a difficult moment in the game when we conceded two goals quickly to make it 2-2.
"At that point the crowd lifted and gave Liverpool extra energy, so it was very pleasing to take another opportunity on the counter-attack and then see the game through.
"The players showed the character they have at 2-2 and that's a big positive for us.
"They have all been very focused this week and I thought that came through in abundance in our performance. The effort for the cause and for the team was the most important thing."
The Swans contained Liverpool in a goalless first half of few chances, with Emre Can heading the hosts' best opportunity wide before Tom Carroll's cross deflected on to the post.
But the game burst into life in the second period, with the Swans taking the lead on 48 minutes when Llorente prodded home at a corner.
Four minutes later, a fabulous team move ended with Llorente powering home a header from Carroll's centre.
But just three minutes after that, Roberto Firmino headed Liverpool back into the contest, and on 69 minutes the Brazilian struck again to make it 2-2.
At that stage, Liverpool looked firm favourites to find a winner, but it was the Swans who triumphed when Gylfi Sigurdsson beat Simon Mignolet.
"We have talked about all the aspects it takes to produce a good performance - the tactics, the best thing to do defensively, where we can see opportunities to hurt the opposition, organisation at set-plays and what to do in the transition, as well as the mental aspect of coming to a place like this," Clement added.
"I am a coach who believes in executing the basics well - nothing complicated.
"We have to defend well, attack well and we need people knowing their jobs and responsibilities.
"Our mindset in the group is that anything is possible (in the relegation battle), but our only focus is on delivering performances, and we must now do that against Southampton."
Clement had words of praise for the impressive Carroll and fellow debutant Martin Olsson.
"I thought they both did really well," he said. "Martin is athletic and can get forward and he is a good footballer.
"And Tom showed what a good footballer he is. I was a little worried that he might not last the whole game as he had not played 90 minutes for a long time, but he showed how fit he is.
"He got around the pitch and made a wonderful contribution to the second goal."