Swansea stuns Liverpool 3-2 to climb off bottom of league

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Saturday January 21st, 2017

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Fernando Llorente scored twice as Swansea stunned title-chasing Liverpool 3-2 on Saturday, climbing off the bottom with a first Premier League win at Anfield.

Swansea inflicted Liverpool's first home defeat in a year the hard way. After Llorente sent the visitors into a surprise 2-0 lead just after halftime, Roberto Firmino scored two goals to tie the score but Gylfi Sigurdsson grabbed the winner in the 74th minute.

Llorente has scored seven times in the last 10 league games.

The ease with which he scored his two goals will be of concern to Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, whose third-place team has conceded more goals league than any of its top-seven rivals.

A minor positive for Klopp will have been the play of Firmino, who had scored just once in his last 10 matches. His dip coincided with the absence of fellow Brazilian Philippe Coutinho due to injury, and Coutinho's first league start since November appeared to re-energize Firmino as he returned to his preferred central role.

It still failed to enliven a lackluster first half that was memorable only for Adam Lallana's bicycle kick and Swansea debutant Tom Carroll hitting the post with a deflected shot.

New Swansea manager Paul Clement's plan of putting men behind the ball and stifling Liverpool's play succeeded in preventing the hosts from having a first-half shot on target for the first time in the league since November 2015.

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Things escalated quickly after the break with three goals in eight minutes.

Dejan Lovren carelessly headed behind, and from Sigurdsson's corner Llorente stabbed home in a goalmouth scramble in the 48th minute. Four minutes later, the Swansea striker outjumped Georginio Wijnaldum to power in a header from Carroll's cross.

Firmino's close-range header from James Milner's left-wing cross reduced the deficit soon after, and he bettered that with his second goal, brilliantly chesting down Wijnaldum's cross and sending a half-volley past goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Swansea did not back down, taking advantage when Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan inadvertently diverted the ball to the unmarked Sigurdsson.

The win may spring new life into Swansea, which hung on to record consecutive league away wins for the first time since May 2015 and continues its survival bid.

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