Liverpool beats Swansea 4-3, maintains title push
By Jack Bezants ,AP
February 25, 2014, 12:51 am TWN
LONDON -- Liverpool kept up its Premier League title challenge with a 4-3 win against Swansea in an entertaining game at Anfield on Sunday.
The victory strengthened Liverpool's position in the top four after Tottenham lost 1-0 at Norwich in the day's late kickoff, cutting the north London club six points adrift of fourth place and the final Champions League slot for next season.
The result means Liverpool is still only four points behind leader Chelsea, which has 60 points after beating Everton 1-0 on Saturday. Arsenal is a point behind in second after thrashing Sunderland 4-1 and third-place Manchester City has 57 and a game in hand.
A fast start saw Liverpool lead 2-0 after 20 minutes against manager Brendan Rodgers' former club. Daniel Sturridge took the ball past Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm to open the scoring before setting up Jordan Henderson to curl a shot into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.
But former Liverpool player Jonjo Shelvey pulled a goal back on 23 minutes from long range before Wilfried Bony scored with a header four minutes later to bring Swansea back to level terms.
Sturridge headed home his second in the 36th minute after being picked out by an accurate delivery from Luis Suarez — but Swansea leveled again soon after halftime, with Bony scoring a penalty after being fouled by Martin Skrtel.
Both sides then went close to taking the lead. Suarez brought a good stop from Vorm and Jonathan de Guzman went near with a free kick but it was Henderson who secured the three points for Liverpool, finding the net with his second attempt after Vorm saved his initial shot.
"Today we were not quite at our best but we scored four goals and won the game," Rodgers said. "It was a very, very important performance for us."
Rodgers was also pleased to see Henderson getting on the scoresheet.
"The first goal was outstanding, and we've been talking to him about getting up there because in training his finishing is sublime," Rodgers said.
Norwich moved four points away from the relegation zone with its much-needed victory at Carrow Road.
After a quiet first half, Robert Snodgrass scored early in the second with a neat finish to beat Hugo Lloris.
"Everybody at this football club is pushing in the right direction," Norwich manager Chris Hughton said. "We only want results. We have 11 more games to get as many points as we can."
Tottenham failed to properly challenge the Norwich defense and a second goal from the home side looked more likely. Midfielder Bradley Johnson hit the underside of the crossbar with a long range free kick and Nathan Redmond saw his effort well saved by Lloris.
Elsewhere, Newcastle secured a late 1-0 victory at home to Aston Villa thanks to Loic Remy's 12th goal of the season in the final minute of stoppage time.