A thoroughly entertaining match, that, and not only because JONJO SHELVEY. Mainly, mind. The point puts Liverpool top of the table again, the performance, particularly in the second half, gives Swansea a different sort of lift. Thanks for joining me this evening, apologies to all those who sent emails that I didn't have time to use. Night.
And that's the final whistle. Shelvey rolls his socks down and pulls up his shinpads, a heavy day's work done.
94 min: Michu tries to put the ball in with a first time swipe of the boot, but it's an easy save for Mignolet. Swansea are really pushing here, though, opening things up for Liverpool on the counter. Sit and say "Och" every five seconds, and you can feel what it's like to be part of the crowd.
92 min: Shelvey goes on a run with the ball, the angle taking him away from the goal but he doesn't really care, embracing the sense of inevitability about his involvement in the key moments of this match.
90 min: The board says five minutes of stoppage time. Brendan tastes his bottom lip and pushes his shoulders back.
89 min: It's attack versus defence: Swansea sense a win here. De Guzman is shooting on sight. "Wouldn't be surprised to see Shelvey finish the game in goal," says Jim Morrish. "Or as ref. He's basically done everything else already." You may say this horse is dead, but I say: raise the whip again.
87 min: Just as I'm about to say it'll take just one decent ball into the box for Swansea, Rangel wins a free kick off Sterling 30 yards out. Cor! De Guzman teases it round the wall and it looks to be heading in at the far post, but Mignolet pushes it out!
86 min: Shelvey finds Routledge out wide, and Swansea have a corner in the final minutes. Andrew Culligan emails: "This isn't Swansea vs. Liverpool. It's Shelvey vs. Shelvey. Evokes so much Dustin Hoffmann effing up the French toast only to finally triumph and win custody of the brat... will Jonjo though?"
83 min: Oof, de Guzman hits a first time shot from the edge of the area having been played in by Pozuelo, but it skews high and wide on its way.
82 min: Sterling is tripped to give Liverpool a free kick on the left, but Gerrard goes for goal and can only put the ball over the crossbar. Vorm is kind enough to bounce and raise a hand, but it's merely a courtesy.
80 min: A strange corner from Swansea, hit low and flat to no one, and giving Liverpool the chance to replace Moses with Sterling.
78 min: Moses buys a foul off Rangel, and Liverpool try to build something from the back. Their earlier fluency is faltering, however, and after Enrique does well to keep the ball in on the left, Aspas can't keep after his own first touch to stop it crossing the byline. Raheem Sterling is being readied. We're now moving well past ma bed time.
75 min: This is looking increasingly like Swansea's game to grab; Liverpool players are starting to wear that world-is-against-us look. Michu heads well wide, though.
72 min: Lucas brings down de Guzman, setting up a free kick that - who else? - Shelvey insists he's taking. It's about 30 yards out, to the left of centre. Shelvey hits it along the ground and under the wall, but Mignolet is down to save it.
69 min: "He’s almost at Chris Nicholl levels now," says Adam Hirst. "Has to be Shelvey as Man of the Match doesn’t it? Not only for pure Entertainment Value, but he’s kept going well after a shocker. Time for him to get a winner still as well. Not sure which end though." Swansea have got their tails up at the moment, but it's all pretty ragged as the adrenaline from the goal works its way through systems on both sides. Wisdom is subbed off for Kolo Toure.
66 min: Wisdom is booked for a hefty challenge on Davies. Meanwhile Bony is replaced by Pozeulo.
64 min: Michu equalises for Swansea! And Shelvey set it up! He goes off to celebrate alone, having made a ruddy good run through Liverpool and nodded the ball down delightfully for Michu to stroke into the net.
63 min: The ball is being chucked back and forth like a hot potato. "Third season syndrome for Swansea? They can't play as open as this all season can they? And they won't have much time to practise with European football to play." You're getting dangerously close to proper football talk, there, Gary Naylor. It's Shelvey gags or nowt, you know that.
60 min: Back to end-to-end harem-scarem for a moment there! First Skrtel plays a soft backpass that almost invites Michu in, then Sakho lumps the ball upfield and Aspas turns it in to a decent chance of Liverpool, Rangel, I think, the man to block his cut-back.
58 min: Another hold up as Mignolet flattens Bony in the process of punching clear. "In the midst of all the Jonjo Shelvey," begins Paul Southcott, "I was just wondering if Joe Allen still exists?"
56 min: Shelvey and Lucas get a stern talking to after an off-the-ball argument. Lucas is the only one who starts shoving, mind.
54 min: Coutinho is down again, clutching his right shoulder and grimacing. Iago Aspas is coming on.
53 min: Gerrard carves a gorgeous free kick into the Swansea penalty box once Coutinho is helped off the pitch for treatment, but Flores is alert to head it out. Liverpool have another chance after a foul on Leiva ("you don't know what you're doing!" shout the home fans), and Henderson is free at the back post but can only shape his pass back into the six yard box. Eventually it pings to Wisdom, but Vorm holds the ball at his right hand post.
50 min: Williams is booked for deliberately leaving his leg in on Coutinho, and his boot is high, too. That's a wincer. "Georgina: not sure you are free to give betting tips, but 10-11 means that we are expecting Jonjo to score or assist 21 times," Andy B advises. Probably going over the top there." Arf!
48 min: Swansea start the second half well, but Bony is a bit untidy, forced to lunge after his own first touch and lumping a ball well beyond the run of Routledge.
46 min: Nathan Dyer is replaced by de Guzman, while Jonjo Shelvey watches the restart from the foetal position having been left on.
AN ADMINISTRATIVE REMINDER: you need to manually refresh for descriptions of the goals.
"Interesting night for Shelvey so far, a goal and two pin-point assists. Pretty shocking," says Łukasz Markiewicz. "Having said that, Sakho should thank Jonjo because the Frenchman has been all at sea so far. Lost when Shelvey scored and five minutes before the end of the half a wild two footed lunge which missed the ball by a good half a metre. He was lucky he didn't clatter into his opponent, a straight red card if I ever saw one. So far he has been showing why PSG were willing to sell him."
"Not sure why no one has mentioned it, but Coutinho has played quite poorly the past three matches," says Bryan Tisinger. "He's holding on to the ball too long, making the wrong decisions (shooting when he should pass, trying to dribble by someone when he should pass, etc), and in general just not playing that well. With that being said, I wonder if we could see Suarez take his place in the middle behind Sturridge when he comes back. Or is Coutinho already untouchable?"
No one has mentioned it because JONJO SHELVEY.
Some admin: "Help me out," says Don, easing open a can of sarcasm. "I'm following the match on mbm and would love to have the goals described, please. That'd be really great. Thank you!!" Now, you can have news of a goal straight away and then do me the favour of refreshing the page for a fuller description a moment or two later, or you can wait until I've typed the full description before you know a goal has been scored. I've opted for the former, with apologies to your F5 button.
Half-time: That was a bit of fun, wasn't it? Shelvey is being applauded for the simplest things now, and looks as if he would really rather not have a camera shoved down his throat as he walks off the pitch for the interval.
45 min: Two minutes of added time signalled as Bony puts the ball safely in to Mignolet's hands once again.
43 min: Rangel flashes a ball across the goal from wide on the right, but it's too hard for anybody to get on the end of it. "This is, in terms of assists, Shelvey's best game for Liverpool," boom-booms Dan Lucas.
42 min: Shelvey's skull is throbbing. He's overplaying everything, determined to make up for things but playing himself in to trouble more often than not.
38 min: That's 2-1 to Liverpool, now, for those struggling to keep count. Swansea almost respond immediately through Michu, and then Bony is kept out by selfless last-ditch defending by Skrtel, who is now laid out on the turf wincing.
36 min: Moses scores! Oh Jonjo. A dreadful square pass across the midfield is cut out by Moses - correction, it's virtually played precisely to Moses - and he gets within about 20 yards of goal before unleashing a low shot. "In the vacuum of space, particle pairs briefly pop into existence before being destroyed almost instantaneously in a process known as quantum fluctuations," says Anthony Clifford. "The positive energy destroyed by its negative reaction. This shall now be known as The Shelvey Principle."
34 min: Michu flicks a backheel towards Bony, but he can't get around Wisdom to collect it, and he's called offside anyway.
32 min: This is starting to feel like a more even contest after a long spell of Liverpool possession, but, although Sakho isn't looking quite the monster he's been described as in training, Swansea are having a tougher time breaking Liverpool's resistance in the final third. Bony shoots wildly trying to hit Davies's cross first time.
30 min: For those whinging about the score not being visible on the page, I've asked someone to look at it. I don't have control of the top part of the page. It's 1-1, by the way, staying that way because Bony miscues a shot after Michu turns Sakho.
28 min: An audible intake of breath as Flores passes the ball beyond his own keeper and has to chase the ball to keep it from Moses. At least I think that's what happened.
25 min: Vorm does well to react to a point-blank Sturridge header, which is a shame if only because Moses's work on the left, skipping through two defenders before digging out a perfectly measured ball for the striker, deserved to be an assist.
23 min: Henderson denied by a Davies block! Moses made a powerful run in from the left to set that up. "I just thought I'd mention that, having just done a bit of a Green Wing-fest this weekend, your photo at the top of the MBM, set against white on the white background of the page, gave me a weird flashback to the moment when they keep seeing the face of Jesus outside the windows of the hospital, held up on a stick," says Wilson Beuys. Don't tell a jetlagged person they're Jesus, Wilson. Next thing you know I'll be shouting out of my window at hospital staff and passersby.
21 min: Only a Liverpool corner, headed over by Wisdom, to report, but it's worth noting for the wonderful shimmy that allowed Henderson to turn Davies in the first place.
18 min: Those concerns about Wisdom's mobility: he's playing so far forward I had to stop and think about which direction Liverpool were playing in, but when Swansea countered it took forever for him to appear in the screen. It all ended with Shelvey shooting off target, incidentally.
16 min: Faced down by Rangel, Sturridge shifts his weight this way and that, head down to signal his disinterest in Coutinho and Henderson running in to the box, then blazes over the bar.
14 min: See the 11th minute. Except the bit about Bony.
11 min: Neither side is getting the final ball right. In the end Bony decides to shoot from distance rather than risk Swansea giving up possession again, and it's low and hard enough to work Mignolet, but he holds it without too much discomfort.
8 min: Coutinho and Henderson combine to work a path to the edge of the area, but Coutinho's shot is held by Vorm.
7 min: We have successfully gone a few minutes without a goal. Liverpool are enjoying the better of the territory though.
6 min: "Bald Karma," says Christopher Silvey.
4 min: Sturridge equalises! It's all go here! And this is not a goal that Shelvey will want to see again. Under little pressure in front of his own defence, he tapped the faintest of back passes to Vorm, but Sturridge was lurking behind the Swansea defence and was given an easy fourth goal in four games.
2 min: Shelvey scores! That's not a goal Liverpool fans will want to see again. It started with an embarrassing air kick as Shelvey tried to make something of a weak headed clearance from Henderson, but he was able to follow the ball and saunter past Sakho, who offered only jazz hands. His second shot was then blocked by Skrtel but Shelvey shaped the rebound into the net.
1st min: Liverpool kick off, immediately taking the opportunity to pass back to Sakho. He even initiates Liverpool's first attack, but it's snuffed out on the edge of the area. "Shouldn't you give us time to absorb the fact that a woman is running the Washington DC police force AND a woman may be about to run the Fed before launching a woman on the MBM?!" yelps Philip, who I imagine is clutching his crotch so as to be alerted early to any changes.
The teams are out and shaking hands. Last chance to have a wee and get a drink. I'll wait here.
"I empathise with the jetlag," writes Phil Sawyer, interrupting my pre-match minute-by-minute caffeine-supping. "Last Thursday I was so strung out after a trip to Singapore I couldn't even make it through Wreck-It Ralph before finding it all a bit confusing and having to retire to bed half way through. Anyway, that Liverpool back four. Yikes! There goes our unbeaten record this season. Just getting the pessimism in early doors. It'll save time later on."
Much mirth in the MNF studio. "No one grows up wanting to be a full back. No one grows up wanting to be Gary Neville. They're either failed wingers or failed centre backs." Carra, thou hast redeemed thyself.
Anyway, back to tonight's game. Much of the pre-match talk is, naturally, focused on Liverpool's back four: on top of questions about Sakho's readiness, is Wisdom mobile enough to cope at right back, given Swansea's front four? And on a serious note about Shelvey, it's interesting that Steven Gerrard apparently asked him to stay at Liverpool and not at all surprising that Shelvey decided to take his chances elsewhere rather than wait for Gerrard to shuffle off. When given the scruff-of-the-neck role for England's Under 21s, Shelvey has done really well.
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville are discussing the centre back role as played by English/British players compared to
Johnny Foreigner David Luiz. Neville's a big fan of the way they do things elsewhere. Carragher is getting increasingly flustered as he defends the proper home way of doing things. This is quite an interesting head to head; Carragher often seems a bit out of his depth in live studio debate (I say this knowing I would embarrass myself to the extinguishing of my career within the first five minutes), but Neville is fantastically generous in the way that he argues.
Another 1-0? Think of the Premier League's goals tally!
"You seemed to have missed the real important question," says Luke Crane: "Shelvey to get sent off first or second half? Or in the tunnel? Or during the walk onto the pitch? Or the car park?" I'm just checking to see if Sky are running Jonjo-Cam this evening.
Laudrup on his changes:
"Pablo has a small injury, [he'll be out] maybe a week or two, and Canas has got a problem with his ankle. He should be OK now but Leon Britton cannot play on Thursday, so you have to think about today and tomorrow."
And on playing Michu and Bony together:
"I'm looking forward and I hope they can give us some goals."
Jamie Carragher on Agger's injury-enforced absence:
"It's not ideal, especially with the international break. How much have they trained together as a back four? Agger's the best centre back there so it's a big blow to lose him, but it's a chance to see how Sakho adapts."
Brendan Rodgers responds:
"It was unfortunate, Daniel Agger was only yesterday and we've tried to give him as long as possible, but we've done some work, Sakho's been in for a couple of weeks now and has looked very good. It hasn't been perfect preparation but... we're looking forward to seeing them work."
Liverpool look much as expected, with Victor Moses making his first start in the three behind Daniel Sturridge, but the backline isn't quite what had been imagined since it appears Daniel Agger has picked up a knock and isn't even in the squad. Instead the debutant Mamadou Sakho comes in to partner Martin Skrtel in central defence, with Jose Enrique and Andre Wisdom at full back.
They will have to contend with both Michu and Bony, plus the slippery duo of Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge; Vazquez waits on the bench for his debut. At the base of the Swansea midfield, Leon Britton partners the former Liverpool man Jonjo Shelvey, with Jose Canas on the bench.
Swansea: Vorm; Rangel, Flores, Williams, Davies; Britton, Shelvey; Michu, Dyer, Routledge; Bony.
Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Tiendalli, de Guzman, Canas, Pozuelo, Vazquez.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Wisdom, Skrtel, Sakho, Enrique; Lucas, Gerrard; Henderson, Coutinho, Moses; Sturridge.
Subs: Jones, Toure, Alberto, Aspas, Sterling, Ibe, Kelly.
Hello folks, and, why not, let's yelp a small "hurrah!", for this is one of those occasions upon which few of us need feign interest, as Liverpool take their 100 per cent record, Daz-white sheets and all, to the Liberty Stadium, where Swansea City lost only two matches to top-half opposition last season. Against Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers returning as the away manager for the first time, the Swans managed a draw that was, in spite of the lack of (allowed) goals, a rather good watch. Then, Luis Suarez wasn't at his best for Liverpool and Swansea had to be content with Pablo Hernandez potshots; now, Liverpool have Daniel Sturridge in goal-a-game form and Swansea have added Alvaro Vázquez to the mix with Michu and Wilfried Bony. A belter for tonight, please! Especially because your MBMer this evening is fending off jet lag and hasn't been later than 9.30pm to bed since Thursday; if this is as poor a game as we watched yesterday afternoon it'll be half-time lullabies and checking the score in the morning. A good game may also excuse the fact that this keyboard is so sensitive it needs only to sense the aura of a fingertip before asddimng akll sdorts ofg xsuplerflkjuouys chjartactyersa.
The all-important* quotes
“We've jumped three barriers already this season that were tough games but how we've done in those games bears no resemblance to the game on Monday," says Rogers. "It will be a tough game but we've got belief and confidence. It's important to maintain that." Michael Laudrup, meanwhile, had this to say: "We’ve had a tough start, with some difficult games. We just need to keep in there at this part of the season. We will then come to play a lot of the teams consecutively in what I call ‘our league’. That is why it was important to get the three points at West Brom.”
*Yep, playing fast and loose with that one