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EPL: Swansea dents Liverpool’s title hope

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EPL: Swansea dents Liverpool’s title hope

Gylfi Sigurdsson’s decisive goal boosted Swansea’s hopes of Premier League survival as they inflicted Liverpool’s first home defeat for almost a year with a 3-2 triumph at Anfield on Saturday.

Iceland international Sigurdsson, who has repeatedly been linked with a move away from the Welsh club, struck with 16 minutes left after Paul Clement’s side had let a two-goal lead slip against title-chasing Liverpool.

Fernando Llorente had scored twice in the first seven minutes of the second half for Swansea, but Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino responded with a double of his own.

Swansea showed great spirit to come back and earn both the Welsh club’s first-ever league win at Anfield and their first under Premier League victory under new manager Clement.

In doing so, they lifted themselves off the foot of the Premier League table and out of the bottom three, at least for a few hours.

Liverpool, playing their eighth match in 25 days, paid for sloppy defending, and missed the chance to put pressure on leaders Chelsea, losing at home for the first time since Stoke won the second leg of a League Cup semifinal at Anfield on January 26 last year.

Philippe Coutinho, now fully recovered from injury, made his first league start since November after playing for 65 minutes in Wednesday’s FA Cup win at Plymouth, but showed only occasional sparks of creativity during a tepid first half.

It was Swansea, for all the pressure they had to absorb, who came closest to scoring before the interval. Midfielder Tom Carroll, signed from Tottenham during the week, ran in from the left on to Sigurdsson’s pass infield and struck the outside of the near post from a tight angle, via a deflection off Dejan Lovren.

Both Carroll and fellow debutant Martin Olsson, brought in from Norwich, performed solidly, with the Swedish fullback making one positive attacking run that ended when he was bodychecked by Ragnar Klavan.

One excellent turn from Coutinho just after the half-hour mark allowed him to create a chance for Firmino, who would have scored but for Alfie Mawson’s block.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s frustration grew as Swansea went ahead with little more than two minutes of the second half played.

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