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Nightmare for Rodgers as Swans on song

Michael Laudrup already has a place in Anfield history as the greatest player Liverpool nearly bought. Last night he belatedly enjoyed a career landmark in front of the Kop by masterminding Swansea's victory over the League Cup holders.

Nathan Dyer's and Jonathan de Guzman's second-half tap-ins, plus a late De Guzman goal, ensured Brendan Rodgers was undone by his former charges, despite a late home rally led by Luis Suarez.

For Laudrup, who almost joined Liverpool when Bob Paisley was in charge in 1983, this was his sweetest moment since replacing Rodgers last summer.

Joe Cole has been welcomed back from the wilderness more often than Bear Grylls and he was offered another chance to make an impression. His return lasted 45 dire minutes before his manager evidently lost patience again, summoning a cavalry charge from the bench earlier than anticipated.

At first it made for a sedate game but Nathan Dyer would have been granted a one-on-one with Brad Jones had he controlled Ashley Williams 20-yard, angled pass.

Dyer then turned provider for Jonathan de Guzman after an excellent Swansea move, but his attempted delicate chip over the advancing Jones drifted over.


The pressure on Jones' goal continued, with Ki Sung-Yueng forcing the Australian to push wide a 25-yard strike.

From De Guzman's resulting 34th-minute corner, Chico Flores rose to power his header home in front of the delirious Welsh fans, the least their side deserved for their increasing dominance.

Pablo Hernandez and Michu were relishing the grand stage, their one-touch football probably earning the admiration of the Liverpool manager were it not his side being exposed.

An equaliser almost immediately followed Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard's arrival as subs. Shelvey smashed over on 47 minutes after Joe Allen's midfield burst, and Suarez headed over from close range.

Swansea lost Flores after 58 minutes with a groin problem as they were increasingly forced into a rearguard action. But they still managed to counter-attack and Michu struck over. Their second goal arrived after 73 minutes, when the outstanding Hernandez fed Dyer to tap-in in front of the stunned Kop.

Suarez responded after 77 minutes, heading Gerrard's free-kick past Tremmel to keep Laudrup sweating.

Swansea, however, capitalised on Liverpool's commitment to attack in the fourth minute of injury time as Michu crossed the ball low into the box for the sliding Jonathan de Guzman to score.

Irish Independent