Premier League
Swansea3Liverpool1

Swansea City 3-1 Liverpool

Ayew scores for Swansea
Liverpool conceded their 10th goal from a corner this season - only Swansea have let in more (13)

Swansea City dismantled a much-changed Liverpool side to make sure of their Premier League survival.

Andre Ayew's header and a sumptuous Jack Cork goal put the hosts in charge after a vibrant first-half display.

Christian Benteke nodded in to give the visitors hope, but Ayew's second goal swiftly ended those aspirations.

Brad Smith was then sent off for Liverpool, whose hopes of Champions League qualification now rest on winning the Europa League.

It is a victory which moves Swansea, who have two games remaining, to 13th in the table and opens an unassailable 11-point gap between them and third-from-bottom Sunderland.

With Liverpool playing their first league game since an inquest concluded the 96 fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed, the pre-match tributes at the Liberty Stadium made for a moving atmosphere.

Martin Skrtel (left), Ashley Williams
Captains Martin Skrtel and Ashley Williams carry flowers out on the pitch in memory of the Hillsborough victims

On the pitch, Swansea were as impressive against Liverpool as they were abject in their 4-0 capitulation at Leicester in their previous outing.

Young Reds come undone

With this match bookended by the two legs of their Europa League semi-final against Villarreal, Liverpool made eight changes as they named their youngest side of the Premier League era with an average age of 23.

This was not the first time Jurgen Klopp had selected an experimental team with European commitments in mind, as a similarly inexperienced line-up won comfortably at Bournemouth in April.

Sheyi Ojo
Liverpool fielded their youngest starting XI in the Premier League era with an average age of 23 years 218 days

However, against Swansea, Klopp's side unravelled as their youngsters were overwhelmed.

Midfielder Pedro Chirivella endured a torrid first league start, and the 18-year-old was replaced by the seasoned Lucas Leiva at half-time.

Chirivella's midfield colleague Kevin Stewart did not fare much better, while young left-back Smith was sent off after receiving two yellow cards.

Swans turn on the style for survival

Swansea were already all but guaranteed a sixth successive season in the Premier League, but knew a point against Liverpool would officially secure survival.

Soundly beaten by Leicester and Newcastle in their last two games, there was an onus on Francesco Guidolin's side to produce an improved performance - and they did so in style.

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Swansea are not on the beach - Guidolin

Cork embodied their dynamism with a thrusting display in midfield, crowned by his arcing shot from the edge of the penalty area which gave his side their second goal.

The Swans were given a fright when substitute Benteke headed in from a corner to halve Liverpool's deficit.

But the home side were never genuinely troubled and, two minutes later, Ayew fired into the bottom corner as Swansea scored three goals for the first time in the Premier League this season.

Man of the Match - Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew
The Ghana forward led the Swansea attack tirelessly and scored his ninth and 10th league goals of the season to cap a fine team display

Manager reaction

Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin: "It is an important result for me, for the players, for the club, because this was a complicated season. I'm happy for my players because today they've shown they're not on the beach but very focused on the job. I know my players and I'm proud of them.

"At Leicester, we played well in the first 30 minutes and they were a bit worried, but today we played well and we scored two times. At Leicester we conceded two goals and this is the difference.

"Today we are happy because we won and the table is very good. I played in my career many games in the Europa League and it's difficult to play Thursday and Sunday. This is not right and this is the reason Liverpool, I think, lost the match because it's impossible to be fresh and ready for another important match but we deserved to win."

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Liverpool deserved to lose - Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "We changed the line-up and with this line-up we can play much better football. We could explain a few things and it would sound like an excuse.

"This performance was not enough. We cannot be sure but if we don't concede the third one it's an open game. You can see there was not the body language you need for a comeback, though.

"We deserved to lose, they deserved to win, that's how football is on a bad day. I thought we lost a lot of easy balls, we weren't compact, there were a lot of things we could've done better. If we'd played a normal game, we could have won."

The stats you need to know

  • Swansea enjoyed their fourth home league win in a row, their best-ever run of home Premier League victories.
  • Christian Benteke netted his 50th goal in the Premier League.
  • Andre Ayew scored twice in a game for the first time for Swansea in any competition.
  • Swansea struck three goals in a Premier League game for the first time since 25 April, 2015 - the last time Jack Cork scored.
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson has been involved in 41 Premier League goals for Swansea overall (25 goals, 16 assists), 10 more than any other Swansea player (Wilfried Bony is next on 31).

What next?

Swansea can rest a little easier knowing their Premier League safety has been secured before next weekend's tough trip to West Ham and a home game with Manchester City on the final day of the season.

Liverpool must wipe out a 1-0 first-leg deficit in the Europa League semi-final against Villarreal at Anfield on Thursday to maintain their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Line-ups

Swansea

  • 1Fabianski
  • 22RangelBooked at 74mins
  • 2Amat
  • 6Williams
  • 3Taylor
  • 24CorkBooked at 41mins
  • 7BrittonSubstituted forFultonat 90+1'minutes
  • 15Routledge
  • 23Sigurdsson
  • 20MonteroSubstituted forNaughtonat 73'minutes
  • 10A Ayew

Substitutes

  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 18Gomis
  • 26Naughton
  • 33Fernandez
  • 56Fulton
  • 58Barrow

Liverpool

  • 52Ward
  • 2ClyneBooked at 39mins
  • 37SkrtelBooked at 77mins
  • 6Lovren
  • 44B SmithBooked at 76mins
  • 54Ojo
  • 68ChirivellaSubstituted forLucasat 45'minutes
  • 35Stewart
  • 33IbeSubstituted forBrannaganat 80'minutes
  • 10CoutinhoSubstituted forBentekeat 45'minutes
  • 15Sturridge

Substitutes

  • 9Benteke
  • 20Lallana
  • 21Lucas
  • 22Mignolet
  • 32Brannagan
  • 53J Teixeira
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
20,972

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home18
Away11
Shots on Target
Home9
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Swansea City 3, Liverpool 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Swansea City 3, Liverpool 1.

Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jay Fulton (Swansea City).

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Jay Fulton replaces Leon Britton.

Attempt missed. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kyle Naughton.

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Liverpool).

André Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jack Cork.

Foul by Christian Benteke (Liverpool).

Wayne Routledge (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Wayne Routledge.

Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Neil Taylor (Swansea City).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Cameron Brannagan replaces Jordon Ibe.

Attempt missed. Angel Rangel (Swansea City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

Booking

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Brad Smith (Liverpool) for a bad foul.

Foul by Brad Smith (Liverpool).

Kyle Naughton (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Leon Britton.

Attempt blocked. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Angel Rangel.

Booking

Angel Rangel (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Angel Rangel (Swansea City).

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Kyle Naughton replaces Jefferson Montero.

Attempt blocked. Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Cork.

Goal!

Goal! Swansea City 3, Liverpool 1. André Ayew (Swansea City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Jack Cork (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Goal!

Goal! Swansea City 2, Liverpool 1. Christian Benteke (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sheyi Ojo with a cross following a corner.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City) because of an injury.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Neil Taylor.

Attempt blocked. Kevin Stewart (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne.

Attempt blocked. Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin Stewart.

Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester362211364343077
2Tottenham351912465263969
3Arsenal361910759342567
4Man City361971068383064
5Man Utd35179943311260
6West Ham351514660431759
7Southampton361691153391457
8Liverpool3515101059481155
9Stoke36139143852-1448
10Chelsea341211115346747
11Everton351014115549644
12Watford35128153642-644
13Swansea361110153750-1343
14West Brom361011153246-1441
15Bournemouth36118174363-2041
16Crystal Palace36109173646-1039
17Newcastle3689193964-2533
18Sunderland35711174058-1832
19Norwich3587203561-2631
20Aston Villa3637262772-4516
View full Premier League table

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