FULL-TIME: Liverpool 4 Swans 1
29th December 2014
The Swans ended 2014 on a sour note as they suffered a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool.
After dominating the opening period the hosts took the lead as Alberto Moreno fired home from close range following Jordan Henderson's neat cross.
Things got worse for the Swans after the break as Lukasz Fabianski's clearance cannoned off Adam Lallana and bounced into the net.
The Swans pulled one back within 60 seconds as Gylfi Sigurdsson netted his fifth goal of the season from close range.
Wilfried Bony almost capped a remarkable comeback but his powerful shot was kept out by Simon Mignolet.
But Liverpool powered on, and Lallana made it 3-1 after a solo run and finish before Jordan Henderson's corner skimmed off the top of Jonjo Shelvey's head and into the far corner of the net.
This defeat saw the Swans slip down one place to ninth with Liverpool climbing above them.
The first half of the campaign, which included wins at Manchester United and at home to Arsenal, saw the Swans collect a healthy 28 points.
The Swans made three changes to the starting line-up.
From the 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day, Jazz Richards earned a start at right-back while Nathan Dyer replaced the injured Jefferson Montero. Fit-again Leon Britton returned to midfield as Ki Sung-Yueng moved to the bench while Modou Barrow missed out through illness.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers made four changes to his team that beat Burnley. Keeper Simon Mignolet returned in goal while Emre Can, Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo were also restored to the starting XI.
LIVERPOOL: Simon Mignolet, Emre Can, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Javier Manquillo, Alberto Moreno, Lucas, Jordan Henderson (capt), Adam Lallana (Lazar Markovic, 77), Philippe Coutinho (Fabio Borini, 90), Raheem Sterling (Mario Balotelli, 83).
SUBS: Danny Ward, Kolo Toure, Steven Gerrard, Rickie Lambert.
SWANS: Lukasz Fabianski, Jazz Richards (Angel Rangel, ht), Federico Fernandez, Ashley Williams (capt), Neil Taylor, Leon Britton (Ki Sung-Yueng, 67), Jonjo Shelvey, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge, Wilfried Bony (Bafe Gomis, 62)
SUBS: Gerhard Tremmel, Kyle Bartley, Tom Carroll, Marvin Emnes.
Liverpool were the more offensive side in the opening 20 minutes, with Lukasz Fabianski holding firmly onto Martin Skrtel's header from a Jordan Henderson corner after six minutes.
The Polish international was at it again soon after, parrying Raheem Sterling's effort from a Alberto Moreno cross before Adam Lallana fired over the loose from 15 yards.
Philippe Coutinho's weak effort was then comfortably dealt with by Fabianski before his next effort flew wide of the far post.
The Swans' first real threat on goal came just past the half hour when a neat counter led to Neil Taylor crossing deep for Nathan Dyer, but his header failed to threaten Simon Mignolet.
Then, in the 33rd minute, Liverpool tool the lead.
Jordan Henderson's fine cross found the unmarked Alberto Moreno, and his effort found the net despite Fabianski getting a hand to the ball.
Liverpool went on the attack soon after as they looked to double their lead, but Coutinho's low drive was padded out for a corner by Fabianski's quick reaction save.
And once again the keeper came to the Swans' rescue just before the break as he swatted Coutinho's powerful effort out for another corner.
HALF-TIME: Liverpool 1 Swans 0
The Swans made a change at the break as Angel Rangel replaced Jazz Richards at right-back.
It was the visitors who made the first attack as Wilfried Bony rose highest to meet Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick, but Mignolet collected low down.
Then the home side doubled their lead a minute later in bizarre circumstances.
When Ashley Williams passed back to Fabianski, his clearance cannoned off Lallana and into the net with 51 minutes on the clock.
But just a minute later the Swans pulled one back.
When Wayne Routledge's cross was headed out to Sigurdsson by Mamadou Sakho, the midfielder calmly slotted home from close range.
The game exploded into action, and the Swans were pushing for an equaliser just 60 seconds later as Bony raced forward before seeing his powerful effort padded out by Mignolet.
But just past the hour, Liverpool retained their two-goal lead.
Coutinho's superb flicked pass sent Lallana racing towards goal, and after feinting twice past challenges, he slotted into the far corner with 61 minutes on the clock.
Garry Monk made his second change immediately, with Bafe Gomis replacing Bony.
Liverpool continued to probe and Sterling found the sidenetting after rounding the onrushing Fabianski.
The Swans made their final change as Ki Sung-Yueng came on in place of Leon Britton for the final 23 minutes.
Things got even worse for the visitors in the 69th minute as Henderson's corner deflected off Shelvey's head and into the far corner.
Despite their lead Liverpool continued to push for more goals with Sterling again going close.
The Swans went even closer to claiming a consolation as sub Gomis saw his curling effort bounce back out off the corner off the woodwork.
Routledge's driving effort then rose over the crossbar following Ki's through ball in what proved the last real action of the game.