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)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
i100
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

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed