Laudrup lauds Swans display

16th September 2013

Michael Laudrup praised Swansea's second half performance against Liverpool as the side's best of the season so far.

In a riveting game at the Liberty, the Swans drew 2-2 with Liverpool, courtesy of goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Michu for the Swans, while Daniel Sturridge and Victor Moses got the goals for Liverpool.

The game began at frenetic pace as Shelvey opened the scoring with a goal against his former club, before gifting Daniel Sturridge an equaliser just moments later.

Victor Moses then took advantage of a misplaced Shelvey pass, intercepting the ball before driving a shot past a helpless Michel Vorm, giving the visitors the lead before half-time.

However, Shelvey made amends in the second-half with a flicked header that set up Michu to cancel out Liverpool's advantage just past the hour mark.

Laudrup said that, after a tricky first half, he was delighted with his side's performance.

"It was a difficult first half for us," the Great Dane said. "We changed a bit tactically at half time to get a little more power in midfield with Jonathan in there, and I think we dominated it quite well.

"We got the equaliser, and then the last twenty minutes was Swansea all over.

"I think it was a great second-half performance - the best so far. I was very pleased, especially after what happened in the first-half.

"In the second-half, we had the ball two thirds of the time. It's not easy against a side like that [Liverpool]."

The Swansea boss was also keen to acknowledge the performance of Shelvey, who experienced a difficult first period, despite scoring the opener.

The former Liverpool midfielder rose to the occasion in the second-half, putting in a superb performance that impressed his manager.

"It was a difficult first half for him," said Laudrup. "Up there after one minute [to score], then 15 minutes later, one back pass and then another missed pass caused the second goal.

"He knew that only he could bring himself back into this game, and I think he had a fantastic reaction because it's not easy to come back, pull yourself together and get back on track.

"It shows about his character as well, and we still have to remember he is a very young guy."

The Swans now head into a busy few weeks that includes four Premier League fixtures, two Europa League games, plus an away cup tie at Birmingham.

And Michael Laudrup was quick to stress the importance of tonight's performance.

"It was very important for us - this first game of seven, in less than three weeks - to start like this, with a good result against a good side, especially with that performance in the second half.

"I think it's great to move on from that."

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers was equally satisfied with his side's efforts.

The ex-Swansea City boss said he was impressed by his team's show of character in coming from behind so early on.

"We showed incredible character to get back into the game so early after they scored," said Rodgers. "I thought for the first 65 minutes we were very good."

"We were disappointed with the second goal we gave away, and obviously the momentum changes into Swansea's hands for the last 25 minutes.

"Then we had to show another side of character and resilience - and we did that."

The Ulsterman also saved some words of praise for Shelvey, who made his first appearance against his former club tonight.

"Jonjo's a terrific boy," he said. "He's a boy who made a brave decision to leave a club like Liverpool."

"And it's a night like this that is why he left, because it's about learning for him."