Kenny Dalglish dismisses exit talk as Liverpool stumble over Premier League line
Swansea 1 Liverpool 0
The Liberty Stadium
Monday 14 May 2012
Kenny Dalglish scoffed at suggestions he will be pushed aside as Liverpool ended their season with a whimper.
Danny Graham increased the pressure on the under-fire Reds manager with an 86th-minute winner to complete a stunning debut Premier League season for Swansea.
Dalglish will face a crunch meeting with the club's American investors in the coming days to deliver his end-of-season report, but the Kop idol flatly rejected rumours he will lose the manager's job. A tetchy Dalglish said: "I expect the owners to have more dignity and integrity than to believe a newspaper story. We won't run away from the points tally or hide, or say the points tally is satisfactory to anyone who works for or supports Liverpool Football Club. We will face up to reality. The performances have been excellent in a lot of cases but not the points tally so we will try our best to correct that."
This miserable result left Liverpool behind Merseyside rivals Everton – for the first time since 2005 – in eighth place and sealed their worst top-flight finish since 1963.
Yet Dalglish's men deserved little more here than to slump to a 10th away loss of a disappointing season which has yielded just a Carling Cup triumph.
But the Scot insisted only a slice of fortune is required to lift the gloom clouds gathering around Anfield.
Dalglish added: "We deserved at least a point for our second-half performance. Maybe next year the luck will change for us."
Euro 2012 hopeful Andy Carroll had hoped to impress new England manager Roy Hodgson. But the £35m striker cut a frustrated figure at the Liberty Stadium aside from one superb overhead kick which was expertly saved by Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm in the second period.
For 11th-placed Swansea, this was party time after overcoming all the odds to remain in the top flight for a second season.
And Graham added the gloss on a fine term with a close-range finish from Angel Rangel's right-wing cross past Alexander Doni.
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard should hand England a major Euro 2012 fitness boost. The Liverpool midfielder missed the defeat with a back injury but Hodgson, who names his squad on Wednesday, should be able to select him. When asked if Gerrard would be fit, Dalglish said: "Not my concern. But I wouldn't think he'll be a problem."
Swansea: VORM, RANGEL, CAULKER, WILLIAMS, TAYLOR, BRITTON, ALLEN, SIGURDSSON, DYER, GRAHAM SINCLAIR
Liverpool: DONI, KELLY, AGGER, CARRAGHER, JOHNSON, RODRIGUEZ, SHELVEY, HENDERSON, DOWNING, CARROLL, SUAREZ
Scorer. Swansea: Graham 86
Substitutes: Swansea Routledge (Dyer, 79), Gower (Sigurdsson, 88). Liverpool Bellamy (Downing, 60), Kuyt (Rodriguez, 73), Booked: Swansea Williams . Liverpool Carroll. Man of the match Britton. Match rating 7/10. Possession: Swansea 44% Liverpool 56%.
Attempts on target: Swansea 8 Liverpool 9.
Referee M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).
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