For the first time this season, Steven Gerrard didn’t appear in the lineup or off the bench for Liverpool. Is it a coincidence that they beat Swansea 4-1? The Reds did play well en route to a second consecutive win with Adam Lallana scoring twice, but a little bit of luck and mistakes by Lukasz Fabianski and Jonjo Shelvey helped shape the outcome.
Some fine passing led to Alberto Moreno scoring the opening goal in the 33rd minute, but it was more of a lucky bounce that put the Reds up by two goals in the second half, thanks to Fabianski clearing the ball poorly, hitting Lallana instead. The same word can be used on the Liverpool defending as Gylfi Sigurdsson was allowed to score after some comical mistakes inside the penalty box a minute later.
But that goal didn’t stop Liverpool from carrying on with a mostly successful game plan, which included Philippe Coutinho having his best match of the season. Lallana scored the second goal with a clever finish from inside the box into the corner, which got Anfield singing his name for a few minutes, followed by a Jordan Henderson corner kick slipping off the head of Shelvey and landing in the net.
The final minutes saw Mario Balotelli do everything in his power after coming in as a substitute to score his first league goal for the club, but as Liverpool won their second consecutive match and didn’t lose for a sixth time in seven matches since November 29, it’s quite clear that they’re better off without him on the pitch, and probably the same relates to the presence of Steven Gerrard in his current role and form.