Swansea 0-0 Liverpool – as it happened

Swansea and Liverpool held each other to a goalless draw in a game of few chances but a fair amount of action


Well, that's about right. Liverpool had probably the clearer chances - Sterling's zetz against the bar - was easily the highlight - but Swansea had a similar amount of decent possession, and might have had a penalty. It's tedious to say, so you'll be expecting this - but Liverpool need more forward options, because if it's not happening for Suarez, then they're struggling.

Ah well - thanks for your emails, sorry I couldnae use them all - but John Ashdown is willing and able, so throw your cards on his table for Chelsea and Manchester City, right here.




90+5 min: Johnson sets off upon another sojourn downfield, but is robbed, Swansea piling forwards led by Dyer. He gains the penalty area, but none of his friends are close enough to help him, and that's pretty much the last of the action.


90+2 min: Suarez finagles a corner, which he takes himself, but it's cleared via diving header - I think it was Flores. But Liverpool build once more, and Shelvey, in space by the left corner of the box, has room to turn and absolutely pagga and drive towards Tremmel's near-post. But the keeper gets down well, smothering away - and that is very much drawing inexorably nearer to that.


90+1 min: With not much going on, Gerrard hits a hopeful one from thirty or so yards out and wide on the right. Shelvey, galumphing towards it, tried to divert it goalwards, for it was headed elsewhere, but cannot.


90 min: There shall be a minimum of four additional minutes of soccer.


89 min: It would restore my faith in humanity if someone could confirm that Raheem Sterling is known as Radio by his dressing room chumsies.


88 min: Ki finds himself wide on the right and finds Hernandez, who slides a ball into Michu just inside the box. He tries a Ronaldo trick, letting the ball hit his standing leg, but it goes to a Liverpool player and everybody laughs.


86 min: Ki receives the ball with his back to goal, takes his time to turn, assess his options, and then the obvious happens - (it is obvious? was it unavoidable? A fact?) - and Joe Allen brings him down. Hernandez takes the free-kick, left of centre, and curls it low around the wall, but Reina is in the right place to push it behind - though it was probably going wide. From the corner, Williams is again first to it, but again can't do anything useful with his header.


85 min: Agustien comes on for De Guzman, and he slots into Ki's position, with Ki moving further forward.


83 min: Liverpool break, Sterling and Suarez flying over the halfway line with not much between them and goal. Suarez sends it right to his man, advances waiting for the return - and there's proper margin for error here - but Sterling's ball is overhit, forcing him wide, so that once he's retrieved it and come back towards goal, there's still a shot on, but from distance and with defenders around. Tremmel saves easily.


81 min: Here's another rhyme from Kane Stratton, and it's a goodun - Gerardo Torrado, even better if said in a Liverpudlian accent. Swansea then break, and Michu thinks for a moment that hes found space in the box, before Enrique rushes in.


79 min: Seen 'em given, otherwise known as clear penalty dept: Michu jumps to reach a corner from the left, and Agger jumps too, pulling his away from the ball to make sure that he can't reach it. But the ref cannae be doing with the hassle of something that's easily avoidable,so he does without it. 


78 min: Downing and Henderson off, Shelvey and J. Cole on. "That's the hook right there," he said as the two touched hands.


76 min: Rhyming name Willie Crilley. He played for Celtic, so I'm told by Pete Harmer. Sterling, who's had a quiet second half - maybe that's something he needs to learn not to do - takes possession wide on the right, and Williams launches himself into a block. From the corner, Gerrard finds Enrique on the edge of the box, but he miscontrols. Oh dear.


73 min: Downing dawdles and Dyer sneaks up on him, pinching the ball and racing away, forcing Reina to come out and dive at him. There's studs and bodies and faces, Dyer catching Reina firmly in the coupon, and a short break as the trainer comes on and cliches are exchanged about how he had to go for it and my you have to be brave and mad to be a keeper.


72 min: Ah, that's why he's here. Gerrard zips a lovely ball inside Davies for Johnson, and his cross eventually finds its way to Suarez, who shoots but has his effort blocked.


70 min: Suarez does that tricky-turny thing, helping himself around Flores with more absurd liquidity, so Flores hauls him back, for which he is booked. Gerrard outswings the consequent free-kick at Agger, and he reaches the ball first, but is too far out to mither Tremmel.


69 min: Swansea force consecutive corners, the second of which is again met by Ashley Williams, who heads over. Meanwhile, we have our first rhyming footballer, courtesy of Onder Susam, who nominates Turkish midfielder Gökdeniz Karadeniz.


66 min: More on the OK - ok debate with Phil Thorp. "Surely if you favour a lower case ok it should be spelt 'okay', OK?"

I'd say that ok has become a word in itself, so can be used as 'okay'.

Nathan Dyer replaces Machzor Routledge, which might help Swansea - in my unfeasibly humble, he's a better player. Elsewhere, a replay shows us that Liverpool might have had a penalty after Skrtel was fouled post-clever backheel.


63 min: More fouling from Joe Allen - om whom, I submit I did not see - and neither did the referee, who allows play to continue. Swansea stick at it, but, and Rangel fires in a shot that's blocked behind. From the corner, Ashley Williams escapes his zone and gets a firm, erudite forehead on the ball, only for Enrique to kick it off the line. At least, I think that it was Enrique, but any which way, the line is what it was it was kicked off.


60 min: Swansea rouse from their slumber, Ki and Machzor exchanging passes down the left before accomplishing nothing. But Liverpool can't clear, and Davies finds Hernandez racing by Johnson. Collecting his pass at the by-line, he picks out Michu with a cross but he can't contort his neck to generate the kind of power that's likely - likely - to trouble Reina, and he doesn't.


58 min: Slowly, like a creeping red tractor made of metaphor, Liverpool are taking charge of this game, and Suarez moseys in off the right and thuds a shot that Tremmel saves at his near-post.


58 min: Other than Angel Rangel, are there any other footballers with rhyming names? I'll take half-rhymes and para-rhymes if I have to.


56 min: Suarez ambles in off the left and eventually locates Gerrard hanging around outside the box - where he seems to have spent the majority of the afternoon thus far. He adjusts his feet and bothers a tame shot into Tremmel's arms.


54 min: With not all that much going on in the game, Scott Oliver faceplants into the 'philosophy' pseudery. "Should Liverpool come quickly out of the blocks here, I imagine Alan Parry will roll out the classic post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy: "I don't know what Brendan Rodgers has said in there, but it's worked". Only, we do know what he will have said: "OK. Come in, nice and tight, ok? OK, does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? I don't know, OK? But all I ask is two things: you give better than your best, you trust the journey we're on, and you represent the philosophy of the shirt, ok?"

I've always been a lower case ok-er myself, the rest I'm not so sure about.


52 min: This is rather like the first half, starting with lots of earnest scurrying but not much else. But then, Hernandez wriggles away from Allen, who responds by bringing him down - giving Swansea a free-kick about thirty yards from goal and marginally right of centre. Hernandez takes it himself - what would Thierry Henry say - and wafts it over the bar.


51 min: Ki is brought down by Allen in centrefield just as Mark McGrath sends a video of the crew of the Starship Enterprise singing Common People.


49 min: Michu - who, contrary to rumour, was not conceived on the Inca trail - gives the ball away to Johnson, who swings around several challenges before being crowded out. He's still not nailed the defending part of being a defender, but there aren't many who go forward with greater skill and purpose.


47 min: Ah, this is more like it. Nick Smith knocks theoretical conjecture into the trashcan with this pearl of philosophical samurai. "I'm not sure you can say that something was always going to happen" - I think Stewart Downing coming forward to no effect disproves that assertion."

Res ipsa loquitur, QED, ipso facto and end of.


46 min: Ki replaces Shechter for Swansea, and he'll play in midfield alongside Britton, with De Guzman and Michu shuffling forwards.


For those asking of Wayne 'Machzor' Routledge, a machzor is a Jewish festival prayerbook, of which Routledge is a classic, but now-dated publisher. What do you mean, niche?


And there's mo! But it's complicated. "As a student of physics," confessbrags Aditya PK, "I have to warn you" consider me warned "that you're reckoning without quantum mechanics. I wonder how much the uncertainty inherent in quantum mechanics influences our lives. Of course, it doesn't give us 'free will' of any sort - but I'm not sure you can say that something was always going to happen.

Well, that's that sorted then. I don't think I can go on.


Fizziks an dat. Here's Nick Whitnell: "I would venture that that a wet ball and playing surface will result in the ball moving quicker when played along the ground, due to the lubricating effect of the water reducing friction, but that the ball would move slower when played off the ground... due to the extra drag caused by the moisture in the air... No?"

Anyone? Adams? Ademowski? I've no idea, I'm afraid, but my guess would be that to a certain degree the ball travels more quickly, but then the drag takes effect.


HALF-TIME ENTERTAINMENT: He-Man sings 4 Non Blondes. Which, given that he's blonde, might be illegal, or at least ironical.


Well, after some tedium, that was fairly ok. Both sides are properly trying to win, and looking particularly dangerous in wide areas. Suarez is drifting out to gang up on Davies with Sterling and Johnson, the problem being that when the ball arrives in the box, there's no one there to meet it. For Swansea, Hernandez has been the most likely, but Shechter and Michu in particular will be wanting to give him options when he cuts inside.




45 min: There will be a solitary minute of added time. Like command and Brendan Caesar, it is lonely.


44 min: I don't think I've ever seen a footballer as snakily dextrous and dextrously snakish in small spaces as Luis Suarez, and he diddles Davies along the right by-line, but can't progress from there. Elsewhere, it appears as though Enrique has accidentally, traversed Flores's body, and he's upset.


41 min: After a slow start, this has picked up. I'm unsure whether or not that constitutes a good thing, but Suarez has won a corner after Sterling found him on the right. Opinion time: I think Sterling is better on the right than on the left. Anyway, the corner comes over and again no one bothers marking Johnson, who jumps a little early and send a header over the bar. Which, as Simon McMahon will tell you, was inevitable.


39 min: Just as the game's livening up, here's Simon McMahon to lower the tone. "Afternoon Daniel. I'm picking up a distinct philosophical slant in today's MBM. But that was always going to be the case, wasn't it? Just like I was always going to send this email."

Agreed - but because it was definitely going to happen, or because or uncontrollable chemical reactions in our brains that we pretend constitute a personality?


37 min: Hernandez nutmegs Johnson and isolates Skrtel again, again turning inside onto his right foot but not bothering to take him on, this time pasting a shot with his laces that zoots over the bar.


34 min: Johnson forages inside the Swansea box close to its right edge and backheels to Suarez. Without looking, he drills a low cross towards the back post, where it's slid into the net by Enrique. But the linesman has spotted that he was offside, and the goal is disallowed.


33 min: From the corner, the clearance drops to Sterling, lurking on the right edge of the box. He takes a touch to control, the ball sits up nicely, and he flings his entire body into a half-volley that screeches against the bar and bounces clear. I wasn't quite sure whether he was worth the fuss after his first ten or so games, or at least that it was premature - but in the last five or so, it's begun to look as though he knows something proper.


32 min: Sterling cleverly pulls onto the touchline, then back inside Davies, where he's found by Johnson. His cross is good, but there's no one attacking it - but with Suarez lurking, Tremmel dives to push it behind.


30 min: Oh Steve-ie! Gerrard backheels an attempted pass that's intercepted - by Brittain I think - and De Guzman punces on the loose ball. With men either side, well-placed and beseeching him for his service, he instead lames a shot that dribbles nowhere. That was not at all guz, man.


28 min: Closest to a goal so far. Hernandez, who has been Swansea's biggest threat, takes possession on the left, drifting infield like so much flotsam and jetsam. Then, using Skrtel as a screen, he curls a Whiteside-type shot that looks for the world like it's going wide - which it is, but only just.


27 min: Back to Ashley Steinbeck, here's Ryan Dunne: "Given that footballers are usually seen rockin' the hip-hop look, with Beats and Jordans, does anyone else think that Williams should have called his memoirs "Ashley: Blunt", punning on this, for example? I'm disappointed also that there's been no JT memoir called "Captain, Leader, Legend - Author", featuring Terry holding a quill and looking intellectual on the cover.

I'm going to have to shame myself here, and point out that Jordans are not the hip-hop trainer, rather Air Force 1s.


24 min: Johnson takes possession in space and is permitted to advance without molestation. He's eventually shuttled away from goal, but stays forward and wanders into the middle, regaining possession, turning, and exchanging passes with Enrique, who does a very good job of digging it out from behind him and excluding Swansea's defence from the move. Johnson picks it up again and shoots low and hard from inside the box, but it's too close to Tremmel to cause him any undue mither. but that's the best chance so far.


22 min: "As the first half reaches its midway point". I've always wanted to say that. It does, and Swansea try to inject some pace into an attack via De Guzman and Flores, but it's not quite working for anyone at the moment. Childhood humiliations please!


18 min: Hernandez revolves his body around the ball to escape Henderson and Downing forty-or-so yards from goal lofts an instapass for Routledge, on the left. He turns into a first-time cross, but Shechter can't quite kill it. That was pleasant, though.


17 min: Glen Johnson arcs a delectable cross in from the right, Enrique all bustling towards it, but he gets ahead of it and can only body the ball towards Tremmel.


15 min: Reina shows off some tricky feet, and everyone cheers. Then Enrique - who's looking a threat cutting in from the left - delays before inserting Suarez, who'd been keen on a pass for some seconds previous. By the time it arrives, he's offside, and consternation is duly experiences.


12 min: Routledge - known in the dressing room as Machzor, I believe - scoots around Skrtel and fires low and hard towards Reina's near-post. He gets down well to thunk it away, for a corner that leads to little.


12 min: Liverpool win a corner on the right, which Gerrard flights well to Johnson, who climbs well and unaccompanied, but his header is over the top.


11 min: Raheem Sterling tracks Davies all the way to the byline, wins a goalkick, and is informed by Davie Provan that this behaviour is something that he needs to learn. Similarly, Davie Provan needs to learn how to dispense unececessary advice.


9 mins: Rangel loses the ball and Suarez glances one way and nips past Flores the other, finding Sterling in space on the right-hand side of the area. With time to consider how best to shoot well, he drags a snapshot that Tremmel fields easily.


8 min: "Good to see Downing and Enrique playing a game of Celebrity Position Swap" begins Matt Dony. Reckon we'll leave it right about there, eh?


7 mins: Ashley Williams has written a book. What's it called? The Unbearable Lightness of Being Ashley Williams? Chico, encouraged to do so by the crowd, has a dig from distance, which is blocked. They've not created owt, but Swansea are well on top here.


6 mins: Passing physicists: does a wet pitch make sharp passing sharper, by allowing the ball to zip across the turf, or does it increase drag?


4 min: Rangel frees Hernandez, racing into the space Downing ought to be guarding, and the left-back - the left-back - does well to block his attempted cross. This brings a pair or corners that come to nowt.


3 mins: Enrique and Suarez exchange passes down the Liverpool left, before a cross - hit in the way of a Sander Westerveld goalkick - is drilled across and cleared.


2 min: Possession has been exchanged several times, without anything of note happening. Liverpool won a throw deep inside their own half, Downing took it, it was ok.


1 min: Off we go. Rev me up,rev me up, my little buttercup.


Swansea are huddling. There is simply nae excuse for that. Shame on yourselves.


I'm gawn. Swansea are actually playing a version of 4-5-1/4-3-3 hybrid. Until the game kicks off, at which point the players will all run around a bit.


However did we cope without the ball parachuting into the stratosphere from Uranus, accompanied by various members of the military? I for one considered football an unimportant diversion until the advent of this wondrous innovation.


Umbrage department: Stuart Brookes has sprung to the defence of Jon Moss. "If you've never heard of Jon Moss, how do you know he's a poor referee? (I am obviously just trying to stir up trouble there, but it's interesting to see how his career has developed since leaving Culture Club!)

Ah, one of the remaining members still a man without conviction. Here he is on Israeli television in 1985.


Here's Laurie Huggett-Wilde with another question. "What's with the casual in your email? Do all guardian journalists now have a description of themselves in their email addresses?"

I can but cringe and contemplate self-harm at the mere thought.


An email, and it's only Hubert O'Hearn! "Are we going through a bit of an existential crisis, Daniel?" he worries. Are there any other kinds? Isn't everyone? "The humiliations of youth, the poor referees never heard of? Have you been banished from Guardian Towers and forced to do the MBM from some Parisian garrote at the wrong end of a one-way alley, where the sound of the scrambling cockroaches are the only semblance of meaningless, ultimately absurd life? Suggest Gitanes and house wine..
Cheers! Literally!"

If that garrote/garret malapropism is indeed a malapropism, then it's an all-time classic. If not, then I think it's a Sicilian weapon. Either way, please feel free to send your favourites this way, along with your favourite humiliations of youth, to your caring, sharing, Guardian. Thanks!


BREAKING NEWS: Downing will play left-back, with Enrique ahead of him.


I think it was me who said that "command can be lonely". You should see me here now, sat at my throne-desk, minions chattering one to the other, me bereft of company and fellowship. But it was a phrase first made famous by Brendan Caesar, and not wanting to suffer the same fate, he has invited a helper. "I would stress it is not a psychologist. It is neurology." Aha! Now I see!


Digestion: For Swansea, Chico Flores returns, Routledge takes Dyer's place, and the rest is as expected. Liverpool, on the other hand, are not as expected. Henderson starts, reward for his performance against Wigan, and Downing does too, reward for his continued existence; whether he'll be at left-back or left-wing is unclear. Otherwise, it's the usuals, with Pepe Grobbelaar back as first choice, despite a midweek ricket.


Teams are here!

Swansea (4-4-2ish): Tremmel; Rangel, Williams, Chico, Davies; Routledge, Britton, de Guzman, Hernandez; Michu, Shechter.

Subs: Cornell, Monk, Tiendalli, Agustien, Ki, Dyer, Lita.

Liverpool (4-3-3ish): Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Allen, Henderson, Gerrard; Downing, Sterling, Suarez.

Subs: Jones, Carragher, Coates, Suso, Shelvey, Cole, Sahin.

One of many poor referees of whom I've never heard: Jon Moss


Preamble Swansea City Football Club versus Liverpool Football Club: the game for which every helicopter and its view, every man and his friend who went to Harvard, has been waiting. Or the Brendan Derby as it's known by all but the myth himself, to whom, of course, it's the Myself Derby. And himself hopes that ourselves all learn something about ourselves from himself, from a football match that has been conceived, invented, prepared, calculated and theorised for ourselves's betterment.

But you can bet that this is a strange old to-do for Brendan himself. Embarrassment takes many forms, to wit: lighting the wrong end of a cigarette talking to a pretty girl, calling your teacher Mum, pulling your pants down getting ready for your first ever PE lesson, being caught mooning your girlfriend by her mum, concern over your appearance, life in general, death, facetious preambles, self-aware facetious preambles, facetious preambles that are self-aware about being self-aware, facetious preambles that are facetiously self-aware about being self-aware, being an only child - many forms. But none compare, so I'm told, to the peculiar embarrassment of taking one in the eye off your little brother. You tutored him in the ways of righteousness, told him everything you knew - and here he is, telling you what's up! Ouch for you!

And yet, hidden amongst the embarrassment - probably not all that well - is the ego that tells you yeah, this is all me really. I did this, me, I did it to myself, it's like myself playing chess against myself, which makes it me, which means I win. No, Brendan it does not - though knowing him, he'll probably feel more like God had Abel offed Cain.

And then there's Swansea. Michael Laudrup's tenure began with all the frolicking fun that you'd expect of a honeymoon period, otherwise known as a game against QPR, continuing for a few weeks until over-indulgence prompted what seemed worryingly like a bout of honeymoon cystitis.

But recently, things have been going pretty well. His signings have come off, he's still absurdly handsome, he's still absurdly handsome, and he's perfected perfection. His version of tiki-taffy is a little less ergonomic than Brendan's - unsurprising, given the expropriation of chief passer Andres Hernandez Allen - but then this is football, not a CDT project, so that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Either way, both teams are in decent form, playing decent stuff, defending indecently, so this should be good. But then it should be a good life, too.

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