Midfielder Adam Lallana scored twice as Liverpool finally rediscovered their goalscoring form as they beat Swansea 4-1 at Anfield.
After just nine goals in as many home Premier League matches this season, the Reds scored four – the first time they had done so since 30 March – in the space of 36 minutes either side of half-time.
Recalled defender Alberto Moreno opened the scoring before Lallana got his two, one with a little help from goalkeeper Lucasz Fabianski, early in the second half. The last side to concede two in the same match to the England international were Barnsley in the Championship in March 2012 but his second strike was pivotal as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal had threatened to make a game of it.
An own goal from former Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who escaped punishment after appearing to throw an elbow into Emre Can’s face, put the gloss on the victory.
Moreno’s energy created the opening goal – becoming Liverpool’s tenth different scorer in the league at Anfield this season – as having started the move on the left, he charged into the box to turn a cross from Jordan Henderson, fed by Lallana, into the goal despite Fabianski getting a hand to it.
Swansea could have been reduced to ten men six minutes before the interval, when Shelvey seemed to elbow Can in the area, but despite referee Andre Marriner seemingly having a decent view of the incident, the midfielder went unpunished.
After his erratic substitute performance at Turf Moor, Simon Mignolet – back in for the injured Brad Jones – would have been favourite to make a mistake but it was his opposite number who gifted Liverpool their second when his clearance cannoned into Lallana and back into the empty goal.
But Brendan Rodgers’ side have been masters of their own downfall many times already this season and within a minute Swansea were level when weak headers by Manquillo and Mamadou Sakho allowed Sigurdsson to pull one back.
A manic three-minute period ended with Sterling, who became more of a threat as the match wore on, hitting the post at the other end from an immediate counter-attack.
Despite that the momentum briefly seemed to be with the visitors but when Philippe Coutinho’s backheel allowed Lallana to dance his way through the defence to fire past Fabianski Anfield could relax. Shelvey’s header past his own goalkeeper from Henderson’s corner had an element of karma about it after his earlier indiscretion.
Sterling’s flap at the head of Federico Fernandez down in front of the Kop was not as potentially serious as Shelvey’s elbow but could equally have been punished with a red card, although his withdrawal soon after was more to protect his legs more than anything else.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Manquillo, Lucas, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana (Markovic 77), Sterling (Balotelli 83), Coutinho (Borini 90).
Swansea City: Fabianski, Richards (Rangel 45), Fernández, Williams, Taylor, Britton (Ki Sung-yueng 67), Shelvey, Dyer, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Bony (Gomis 62).