Goalkeeper Vorm exposes old Liverpool failing

Liverpool 0 Swansea City 0: Dutch goalkeeper's heroics preserve point for Swansea as Reds are again unable to see off a promoted side

Anfield

It was the new faces in the Premier League that were Liverpool's undoing last season, when they were beaten four times by newly promoted teams, thereby failing to gather points that, in their manager's estimation, might have cost them a Champions' League place.

On the evidence of this season, it is a malaise that still afflicts them. After Swansea followed the example of Norwich two weeks ago by leaving Anfield with a point, Liverpool's recent record against teams just up from the Championship stands at three wins in 11 matches.

Swansea, picking up only their second point in six away matches, were under the cosh for a considerable proportion of the action and Michel Vorm, their Dutch goalkeeper, had to make saves of the highest quality to keep a clean sheet, two of them inside the last two minutes of regulation time as even Glen Johnson, the right-back, threw himself into Liverpool's efforts to break the deadlock.

Yet their opponents, who played some good football, might on the other hand have gone away with a win had Mark Gower, set up by a deft header by Danny Graham with six minutes left, not blazed the ball into the Kop.

"We took a real step forward today," the Swansea manager, Brendan Rodgers, said. "It was a performance that shows we are growing into this League and it fills me with great pride. At Wolves in our last away game we were outstanding but we had a two-goal lead and did not manage to close out the game. We had a bit of luck but we proved we could come to a ground like this and withstand the pressure."

And pressure there was. Liverpool, without the injured Steven Gerrard had 17 attempts on goal. Luis Suarez was twice foiled by Vorm, who saved his most spectacular intervention until last, bending his back to tip Johnson's volley over the bar.

But, as Kenny Dalglish emphasised, it was not good enough. The Liverpool manager took off both the striker Andy Carroll and midfielder Jordan Henderson – collectively worth £51 million – in the second half and concluded that it was a performance that was "not acceptable".

"I was disappointed with the way we played," he said. "The things that we do well we did not do today. We are usually good at passing and moving but there was not a lot of that and when we did get the ball we gave it away. We have to realise that that level of performance is not acceptable."

Liverpool ought to have been ahead in the eighth minute. A one-two with Charlie Adam sent Stewart Downing into space on the left and the England winger's low cross found Carroll but the £35 million striker crashed the ball against the crossbar.

Yet when they were able to venture forward, Swansea looked dangerous themselves, with Gower and Joe Allen working the ball confidently in central midfield and the wide players, Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer, threatening with their pace on the flanks. It was from a clever pass from Routledge that Graham almost beat Jose Reina to the ball midway through the first half.

Liverpool did have the ball in the net once but Dirk Kuyt was correctly flagged offside. The last time Swansea were here, in 1990, they conceded eight in an FA Cup tie. On this showing, Liverpool might have needed another 90 minutes just to get one.

Liverpool (4-4-2): Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique; Henderson (Kuyt, h-t), Lucas, Adam, Downing; Suarez, Carroll (Bellamy, 75).

Swansea City (4-1-4-1): Vorm; Rangel, Monk, Williams, Taylor; Britton; Dyer, Gower (Agustien, 90), Allen, Routledge (Sinclair, 74); Graham.

Referee: Phil Dowd

Man of the match: Vorm (Swansea)

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea