Feb 23, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT
The visitors didn’t give in after falling behind 2-0 in the opening quarter of an hour, storming back to tie it up at 2-2 before being forced to come back again at 3-3.
But it was ultimately Henderson who would deny the visitors any fruit for their labors, scoring with 15 minutes remaining for just his third of the year.
Holding most of the opening possession, the visitors coughed up possession to Raheem Sterling, who immediately found a streaking Sturridge. The red-hot striker caught out Swansea’s back line and beat a helpless Michel Vorm giving Sturridge an empty net to calmly place the ball into.
With the score, Sturridge has goals in eight straight matches, dating back to before his injury spell.
Swansea continued to pass all over their half of the pitch, but offered nothing on the other end, and Liverpool soon capitalized again.
Sturridge turned creator, cutting in from the right flank on 20 minutes and dishing to Henderson in space at the top of the box. The Englishman decided to have a go from distance, leaving Vorm rooted to his spot and unable to keep out a second goal.
The visitors were in trouble but not discouraged. Finally they put together their first real attack, and got themselves right back into the game with a goal strikingly similar in nature to Liverpool’s second scored just minutes earlier.
Nathan Dyer cut in from the right – much like Sturridge did – and he dished to Jonjo Shelvey. The 21-year-old didn’t waste any time, chipping one-time into the top right corner, clattering the crossbar and ricocheting downwards over the line. Shelvey decided to mute his excitement, choosing not to celebrate at his former club and receiving a kind applause from the home crowd for his respect.
Swansea stunningly did not cease in their quest to restore order. Martin Skrtel committed a yellow card offense, giving the visitors a free kick midway into the attacking half. It was taken well, and found Wilfried Bony for a header in the box. The effort took a deflection off Skrtel’s shoulder and nestled past the near post in the back of the net.
Just like that, Swansea had broken under Liverpool’s early pressure like so many teams had before them, but mounted an instantaneous comeback to level things up once again. And all while a quarter of an hour had barely gone by.
It wouldn’t last long though. The combination of Liverpool strikers struck as they have come to so often, and it was Sturridge once again on the end product. Luis Suarez chipped in a cross from the left edge of the box, and it floated over defenders to Sturridge for a free header past Vorm.
The goal is now Sturridge’s 18th on the season in 19 matches, and marks his 10th in his last eight games.
Swansea continued to pass confidently, probing for space before Bony looked for another equalizer on 43 minutes but Simon Mignolet was up to the task for the first impressive display of goalkeeping in the match.
The first-half drama continued directly after the break, as Skrtel was penalized for a foul in the box on Bony just a minute after the restart, and the Ivorian converted for another level score.
The dangerous build-up play continued for both sides, and after a few wasted chances Liverpool would find the winner. Steven Gerrard‘s long ball found Suarez at the top of the box, who fired a rocket on goal. It was blocked, but the ball fell to Henderson who rifled on goal. That was also saved, but on the third time Henderson found the back of the net with Vorm on the ground.
Gerrard would hit the post later on as Liverpool saw out the victory in another late gut-check in front of the home fans at Anfield.
The win again will give the top sides something to think about, as it would take a few stumbles but Liverpool maintain a reasonable shout as an outside title contender, just a point behind Manchester City.
Swansea will be hard done by to leave with nothing to show for their efforts, and they remain in a nervy position just four points above the drop.
Liverpool – Mignolet; Johnson, Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger (Toure 63′); Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling (Allen 58′), Coutinho; Suarez, Sturridge (Moses 79′).
Goals: Sturridge (3′, 36′), Henderson (21′, 74′)
Swansea – Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Taylor; Britton, de Guzman (Hernandez 73′), Shelvey (Canas 45′), Dyer (Ngog 78′), Routledge; Bony.
Goals: Shelvey (23′), Bony (27′, 46′)
Mar 29, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
Who’s on top of Groups D, F and I at the halfway point?
Mar 29, 2015, 2:55 PM EDT
Luis Suarez was candid as ever after Gerrard’s charity match, and he opened up the possibility of a Premier League return down the road.
Mar 29, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT
Thierry Henry showed off his sparkling passing skills at Steven Gerrard’s testimonial.
Mar 29, 2015, 10:43 AM EDT
The United States loses one of their goalscorers from Friday’s friendly, but now it’s a youngster’s turn to make a statement.
Mar 29, 2015, 10:14 AM EDT
A whopping turnaround, led by owner Katharina Liebherr, has taken place at St. Mary’s and the financial evidence is there.
Mar 29, 2015, 9:40 AM EDT
If Adnan Januzaj wants to make a return to the Belgium squad, he must focus on earning playing time at his club first.
Mar 29, 2015, 8:13 AM EDT
An agreement has reportedly been reached between the current American owner and a domestic ownership group.
Mar 29, 2015, 7:34 AM EDT
Gareth Bale knows what people are saying about his recent play at Real Madrid, but he’s not listening.
Mar 28, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT
Catch up on all the action from Week 4 of the MLS season.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:41 PM EDT
A disappointing result for FCD, given Seattle’s lack of Dempsey and Martins, but a great one considering their early red card.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:06 PM EDT
Three more points for Vancouver, who win it late on Robert Earnshaw’s Whitecaps debut. He scores for everyone.
Mar 28, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT
It was the late, late, late show at RFK Stadium, and despite being thoroughly outplayed, D.C. United go home with three points.
Mar 28, 2015, 9:04 PM EDT
Sporting KC get their first victory of the season, while NYCFC suffer their first defeat of the year — and history.
Mar 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
It wasn’t a great day to be a traditional European giant, but it was a great day to be Gareth Bale and Wales.
Mar 28, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
A dominant performance — and the three points to match — from the Revs…finally.
Mar 28, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
Think that MLS playing through int’l windows isn’t a big deal? Let’s ask Orlando City what they think about it.
Mar 28, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT
Campbell was capped 73 times, and is England’s second-youngest captain. Clearly he knows that, too.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:39 PM EDT
The Canaries finished in 7th place last season in the Veikkausliiga, Finland’s top-flight.
- EURO 2016 qualifying roundup: Germany back on track; Portugal beat Serbia, go top 0
- Report: Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner set to sell team to UK group 0
- MLS roundup: Whitecaps, D.C. United win late ones; FCD, Sounders in disappointing draw 1
- MLS Snapshot: FC Dallas 0-0 Seattle Sounders 0
- MLS Snapshot: Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Portland Timbers 2
- MLS Snapshot: D.C. United 1-0 LA Galaxy 1