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Dublin: 13°C Saturday 19 September 2020


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WELCOME TO MONDAY night football, football fans.

It’s the cherry on top of a weekend return to club football and we’ve got a blow-by-blow account of the Brendan Rodgers/Joe Allen/Jonjo Shelvey derby.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the match. E-mail, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

Swansea 2 – 2 Liverpool

It’s Monday night, it’s suddenly cold out. You look like you need some Premier League football to warm you up.

We’re just under an hour away from kick-off at the Liberty. So come in, make yourself comfortable and write your big match prediction in that big whiteboard we call the comments section.

Team news – Liverpool hand debuts to Victor Moses and Mamadou Sakho while in-form striker Daniel Sturridge starts after missing out on England’s World Cup qualifiers with a thigh strain.

Jonjo Shelvey, who joined Swansea from the Reds, gets the nod with Michu and Wilfried Bony up front.

How will French international Sakho fare against that pair?

Swansea: Vorm; Rangel, Flores, Williams, Davies, Britton, Shelvey, Michu, Dyer, Routledge, Bony. Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Tiendalli, de Guzman, Canas, Pozuelo, Vazquez.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Wisdom, Skrtel, Sakho, Enrique, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Moses, Sturridge. Subs: Jones, Toure, Alberto, Aspas, Sterling, Ibe, Kelly.

Carra and Nev have fired up the tactics board / air-hockey table. That means kick-off is getting close.

Jamie Carragher, while claiming no disrespect to Neville, says there are only “two kinds of fullbacks; failed wingers or failed centre backs.”

The humble number twos and threes of teams up and down the land really are the most under-appreciated breed of footballer.

Right, we’re almost ready for the off.

The teams are out and ready for kick-off. Will Liverpool continue their 100% start and return to the league’s summit or can Swansea show the form of last season.

We’ll find out in the next 90 odd minutes.

KICK-OFF: Liverpool get us under way and they play it back to an early Sakho touch. Something tells us this will be a nice antidote to Ireland v Sweden.

GOAL! Swansea 1 – 0 Liverpool  ( Jonjo Shelvey ’2)

GOAL! Swansea 1 – 1 Liverpool (Sturridge ’3)

60 seconds after his heroics at one end, Shelvey gifts Daniel Sturridge a one on one chance. And he doesn’t need a second invite.

What an incredible opening. Jonjo Shelvey was obviously at the heart of things, but that doesn’t go half way to describing his opening goal.

A cross was headed to the edge of the Liverpool box where he waited, he took a complete air-shot of a volley, but still managed to jump on the rebound and career haphazardly through the defence before coming up with a lovely left-footed finish.

Shelvey’s input at the other end brought equal disbelief from the home fans. He blindly poked a pass back to the keeper and Daniel Sturridge was able to race onto it and fire past Michel Vorm with his left.

Now that we’re all caught up, most of the players looked to be recovering from shock too, we can focus on the game as a whole.

Swansea have created the only real chance of note since the mad, mad opening. Bony firing a powerful low shot which was well save by Mignolet under pressure from Michu sniffing a rebound.

Daniel Sturridge has four goals in four to point to, but he has two very unhappy teammates right now. The Reds counter-attacked and created a three on three situation on the edge of the area.

Approaching the left of the box, Sturridge elected not to pass, instead cutting back outside to an acute angle where he would blast a shot into the stand.

Here’s Jonjo boxing himself in the head as a reaction to the second goal of the game.

He’s everywhere the lad, his latest contribution a curling shot from 2 yards that went about 25 yards wide.

Liverpool starting to get a little more joy now, stretching Swansea and creating some half chances.

Unfortunately for them, the best since Sturridge’s gift just came to Jordan Henderson’s left boot – blocked.

The chance came to the right man this time.

Terrific play from Moses on the left flank to create a cross out of nothing. Sturridge rose unmarked to meet it, but he directed it straight down where Vorm’s feet were able to scramble it away.

Livepool’s follow-up attack found the marking a little slack again, but this time Coutinho was the guilty party, attempting a bicycle kick which he never connected with properly.

Swansea are playing a dangerous game and almost gifted LIverpool another empty net, but at the other end they’re all-action.

First, Dyer nips a cross towards Bony and it takes every half inch of Sakho to flick it away from danger. Then, the striker attempted a one-two with Michu to set up another opening, but the shot was weak.

Good game this.

GOAL!  Swansea 1 – 2 Liverpool (Moses ‘ 35)

A brilliant debut finish from the offloaded Chelsea winger, but you’ll never guess who’s at fault… yep, Jonjo.

Under no pressure, Shelvey pinged the ball out from the back, but it flew into the path of Moses who gratefully dribbled at the defenders before firing a low drive into Vorm’s right-hand corner.

Swansea have responded well, with Michu drawing two saves from Mignolet, the second causing a scramble as Bony chased the rebound.

Life, or at least this game, would sure be a whole lot duller without Jonjo Shelvey.

We’re in two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the one of the maddest halves of football we’ve seen for quite some time.

HALF TIME: Swansea 1 – 2 Liverpool

I gave very serious consideration to changing the headline to read ‘Jonjo Shelvey v Swansea’. Absolutely amazing series of events at the Liberty.

So, it’s poll time. What will Jonjo do next?

Poll Results:

Get sent off and verbally abuse Brendan Rodgers. (98)
Offer Liverpool another unexpected route to goal. (74)
Inspire a Swansea comeback. (33)

Here’s his magnificent air-volley/goal.

YouTube credit: Manchester United Club Fan

And here’s his tee-up for Dan Sturridge.

YouTube credit: DavidKizzo

Carragher targets his tactical ire at… Steven Gerrard.

For the initial Shelvey shot, ‘you can’t turn your back on that shot’.

Not sure we’ve seen Neville criticise a long-standing team-mate in that manner. His bother, maybe.

Swansea make a substitution!

Jonathan de Guzman is on in place of Nathan Dyer.

Are you ready for a rip-roaring second half?

Ashley Williams is communicating the frustration Swansea must feel. He’s sent Coutinho flying and picked up a yellow card.

From the free-kick, Steven Gerrard swings a dangerous cross down the corridor of uncertainty and Chico Flores does very well to divert it high and away for a corner. But the danger’s not over yet…

Liverpool won another free after the corner and the ball is flicked on to Henderson at the back post. He side foots his chance into a crowd in the six-yard box and the ball bobbles to Sakho whose reactive shot isn’t powerful enough to get past Vorm.

Substitution. A little worrying for Liverpool fans, Coutinho never looked comfortable since being fouled by Williams and he has no limped off to be replaced by Iago Aspas.

Both Shelvey and Lucas have been issued yellow cards, but I can’t quite see what the protagonist of this game has done to deserve his.

From the replay – though he’s obviously mouthing at the Brazilian – Lucas just charges up to Shelvey and shoves him and that’s what causes the minor scuffle.

Ashley Williams gets back to good wholesome defending now as Gerrard fires a rasping shot from the right after an over-hot cross. The defender gets his body in the way to send the ball high and wide of the nets.

GOAL! Swansea 2 – 2 Liverpool ( Michu ’64)

Ah, lads. Just as we think the game is about to peter out, just when we think Liverpool are beginning to assert their dominance; a ball is chipped to the edge of the Liverpool box where JONJO leaps to flick it down and into the path of Michu who guides in a gorgeous finish in an otherwise unorthodox match.

A long raking ball from Stevie G from right to the left wing where Sturridge is on the chase.

He’s flagged offside, but you can just tell he was itching to let fly on the volley from an impossible angle.

If you ticked the poll option ‘inspires Swansea comeback’ you’re foolish choice might well be proven right.

Shelvey has just thumped a long-range free-kick. It took a deflection and took an assured set of hands from Mignolet to extinguish the danger.

From a position where they could have started closing the game out, Liverpool now look the most likely to lose. Swansea have them penned in at present and each cross onto Sakho looks like an accident in waiting.

Offered a reprieve and a free-kick in an attacking area, Gerrard attempts an optimistic shot on goal from the right wing rather than continuing to fizz in crosses which have proved dangerous so far.

At the other end, De Guzman have the crowd gasping as his shot whistles by the uprights.

Seven minutes and change left in Wales. Will there be a winner?

A draw will put Liverpool back on top of the league and most of their players look like they’re happy enough to accept that outcome.

Ooh, terrific save from Mignolet as de Guzman bends a powerful free-kick towards the corner. The resulting free-kick brings a howl of a penalty claim as Pozuelo swings in a cross, but it’s clearly clattered off the legs of Enrique.

Swansea weave a pretty pattern on the edge of the area as we reach the 90th minute, but there is no outlet. Shelvey (for once) is standing still on the left wing trying to knock passes around, but with only Michu in the area, the move soon breaks down to nothing.

A very good point from commenter Dave O’Shaughnessy who charts Liverpool’s downturn in performance to Coutinho’s injury. A turning point for sure, Swansea were creaking at the time.

Swansea work a move down the left and it results in an opening for Michu at the edge of the area, but on his left foot he never finds the contact to get more than direction on the shot.

FULL TIME: Swansea 2 – 2 Liverpool

What a comparably sterile second half that was. Absolutely crazy football.

Liverpool concede their first goals of the season, lose their 100% record yet stay top of the Premier League pops.

Jonjo Shelvey… well, what more can we say. We owe him the four goals in tonight’s game as he can claim a goal and three assists.

He ought to replace Gareth Bale as the face of the Premier League.

About the author:

Sean Farrell