EPL: Liverpool thrash Swansea, but still not good enough

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Can Liverpool finish in the top-four?
Liverpool, Feb 18: Liverpool came back to winning ways after the 5-0 victory over Swansea City at Anfield, putting an end to a four-match winless run in the Premier League.

Prior to the match, stats showed that Brendan Rodgers' side was only team in top five European leagues to have reached 500 shots this season and the 5-0 scoreline produced the highest number of shots, 35, in a single game by a Premier League team this campaign.

The Reds moved up to seventh place in the table, their higest position this term. But it has come too late for Liverpool in their bid to reach the top-four.

Michael Laudrup made seven changes to his side that thrashed QPR last time out, keeping in mind the Capital One Cup final clash against Bradford at Wembley on Saturday. Resting captain Ashley Williams and injury to Chico Flores meant Laudrup had to gamble with Garry Monk and Kyle Bartley.

The two central defenders had a torrid time containing strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Liverpool needed the three points after losing against Zenit St Petersburg in Europe and West Brom Albion at Anfield.

Rodgers, who left Swansea to manage Liverpool in June, will be happy with the performance of his side and also winning against a team above them in the table for the first time this season.

But the Northern Irishman should be concerned about the task ahead, first a Europa League second-leg tie against Zenit St Petersburg at Anfield on Thursday.

Liverpool have struggled in terms of consistency, though they prevented defeat at the Emirates and Etihad. The loss against West Brom at home was big blow for their top-four dreams but the Reds could still have a go at it if other results go in their favour.

Liverpool are out of the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup and their only chance for silverware this season is the Europa League but Rodgers is more determined to take Liverpool to the top-four.

If Rodgers' side can produce the same intensity they did against Swansea, a top-four finish sounds more realistic.


Story first published: Monday, February 18, 2013, 15:10 [IST]
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