Swansea vs. Liverpool, Premier League 2012: Final score 0-0, Swans and Reds fight out drab stalemate

Stu Forster

Swansea and Liverpool fought to a rather dull draw at the Liberty Stadium on Brendan Rodgers' return to his former club.

Brendan Rodgers' return to Swansea City turned out to be a dull affair as his Liverpool side battled his former club to a dull scoreless draw.

Liverpool had made the surprise decision to hand starts to Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson, both of whom had been out of favour in recent weeks. Downing's position was an unusual one, being deployed at left-back while Jose Enrique was picked at left-wing. If it was an attempt by Rodgers to get more creativity out of his side, it failed - Liverpool were as they have been all season, flat, lacking mobility and reliant on the individual trickery of their forward players for penetration.

Fortunately, with Luis Suarez in the team, it's a strategy that can bear fruit. With 9 minutes gone, the Uruguayan made the most of Angel Rangel's error to dart into the penalty area and release Raheem Sterling, but with plenty of time, the youngster struck a tame effort straight at Gerhard Tremmel.

Swansea were largely controlling possession, but Liverpool were creating more chances with their time on the ball. Midway through the half, they came the closest when Raheem Sterling rattled the crossbar with a sweetly-struck half-volley after a half-cleared corner.

The second half continued in much the same manner as the first, with Swansea seeing more of the ball and Liverpool more of the goal, although neither side was able to create any clear chances. Liverpool came close with a pair of corners, from which Daniel Agger came the closest, but almost suffered disaster towards the end of the game when Stewart Downing tamely surrendered possession to Dyer, but Pepe Reina was alert to charge off his line to close the Swansea winger down, taking a blow to the face for his trouble.

Swansea were lucky to get the chance, and karma made them pay shortly afterwards as they probably should've had a penalty when Daniel Agger hauled down Michu in the area, but referee Jon Moss saw nothing untoward. Liverpool instead attempted to break, and had the opportunity to execute a fine sweeping move, but an overhit pass from Sterling wasted the opportunity, Suarez only able to send a poor shot at Tremmell.

An even game deserved an even result, but this was a largely disappointing encounter, flat and with few clear chances at either end. Liverpool's lack of firepower was laid bare once again, particularly with Suarez not enjoying the best of days, while Swansea battled away but lacked true creativity. In all, Rodgers' successor is likely to be the happier of the two managers. If, as Rodgers insists, he has money to spend, January can't come soon enough for Liverpool.

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