Liverpool players tried passing the ball for the full ninety minutes but were not very successful at it resulting in another loss, this time at the Liberty Stadium on a rain-soaked Sunday afternoon. Benteke’s goal was the only consolation in one of the most abject performances this season. Tough to hit a level below this.
This is how poorly the Reds fared.
Danny Ward (6) – Ward had a good game although the scoreline did not indicate anything close to that. Ward made a couple of excellent saves from Cork and Montero, but could not do much for any of the goals Liverpool conceded (except the opener maybe). One could say he did not make any outrageous mistakes which should be counted as a positive on a calamitous afternoon.
Nathaniel Clyne (5.5) – Had a very good battle with the very attacking and tricky Montero, with the Ecuadorian winning a fair share of his battles. His contribution in the attacking half was constrained by sloppy passing by Liverpool. Shifted to left-back once Smith was sent off.
Dejan Lovren (4.5) – A really torrid first-half as he repeatedly put his own team mates under pressure with some dodgy passing and was often caught out of position as Swansea totally dominated the centre-backs. Made a couple of solid blocks as the game wore on, but was troubled by Ayew during set-pieces.
Martin Skrtel (4.5) – A rare start for Skrtel as Liverpool chose to rest Kolo Toure, and his performance confirmed why starts are so rare for the Slovakian. He looks bereft of ideas when opponents run at him, and this has been the story for a very long time. There are rumours that Skrtel could leave in the summer and it would be the best decision for all parties involved, as Skrtel means disaster for Liverpool lately.
Brad Smith (4) – A torrid game for the left-back against a very aggressive Routledge. A couple of early fouls earned him a yellow card and meant he had to be careful for the rest of the game. He was repeatedly caught out of position and a clumsy foul meant that the Australian was sent off.
Pedro Chirivella (4.5) – Had a really slow start as the game passed the youngster by. The absolute inexperience in the midfield meant that Swansea easily overran the midfield. Chirivella repeatedly turned over possession which ultimately built pressure on Liverpool. Was taken off at half -time. The youngster will surely have better days ahead.
Kevin Stewart (5) – Fared slightly better than his young colleague in the midfield, but that was of no solace. The midfielder exposed his inexperience by repeatedly getting caught on the ball and made the wrong choices with the ball. Switched to right-back once Liverpool went down to ten men.
Jordon Ibe (5) – Started on the left-hand side of the attacking trident behind Sturridge, but struggled to be involved in the proceedings. Made poor decisions the few times he was on the ball and was left with no options to pass. Needs a huge step up in performance.
Sheyi Ojo (6) – Ojo did fare better than Ibe on the other flank as he used his upper body strength and pace to create something, but sadly nothing came of it. Was caught out for the third goal scored by Swansea.
Philippe Coutinho (5) – The Brazilian was way below-par today, rarely moving out of second gear. His creativity was non-existent and struggled to create anything worthwhile. He was also wasteful on a couple of occasions taking unwanted shots. Was substituted at half-time.
Daniel Sturridge (5.5) – Exhibited a couple of neat touches and an excellent chip almost paid off, but did nothing much else. Ayew breezed past him to score their first goal as Sturridge stood watching. Today was his chance to show the manager that he deserves to start on Thursday, but he did not take his chance.
Lucas Leiva (5) – Was brought in at half-time to add some experience to the midfield, but was robbed so easily for the third goal that questions need to be asked of his awareness. Tried to hit some direct passes into the forward line but nothing much came of it.
Christian Benteke (6) – Scored the consolation goal for Liverpool after being brought on at half-time. The Belgian exhibited his strength to score a well-taken header.
Cameron Brannagan (N/A) – Made his Premier League debut for last ten minutes when the game was done and dusted.