• Liverpool midfielder James Milner scores from the penalty spot to earn Reds 1-0 victory over Swansea
  • The win was manager Jurgen Klopp’s third straight victory after previously beating Manchester City and Bordeaux
  • Daniel Sturridge, who has struggled with injury problems this season, replaced Christian Benteke in the second half 

Chris Wheeler for the Daily Mail

Liverpool’s remarkable revival under Jurgen Klopp continues, a James Milner penalty sufficient to give the German his sixth win in seven games over battling Swansea.

It wasn’t pretty in the gusting wind at Anfield, but a week after brushing aside Manchester City in style, Klopp’s side showed that they can win ugly as well.

Swansea were a tough nut to crack, and may have left Merseyside with a point had Neil Taylor not raised his arms to connect with Jordon Ibe’s cross midway through the second half. 

James Milner jumps and punches the air with Roberto Firmino and Jordon Ibe close by after firing Liverpool ahead against Swansea

James Milner jumps and punches the air with Roberto Firmino and Jordon Ibe close by after firing Liverpool ahead against Swansea

The Liverpool midfielder confidently scored from the penalty spot to give the home side the lead after Neil Taylor’s handball in the area

Milner raises an arm to the home crowd with Emre Can close behind after sealing Liverpool's third straight victory in eight days

Milner raises an arm to the home crowd with Emre Can close behind after sealing Liverpool’s third straight victory in eight days

Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski kicks the post and stands dejected as Liverpool players celebrate going ahead at Anfiel

Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski kicks the post and stands dejected as Liverpool players celebrate going ahead at Anfiel

PLAYER RATINGS, PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE BY DOMINIC KING AT ANFIELD 

 

LIVERPOOL (4-1-4-1): Mignolet 6.5; Clyne 6, Skrtel 6.5, Lovren 6, Moreno 6; Can 8; Ibe 7 (Tore 90+2), Milner 7, Lallana 6.5, Firmino 6.5 (Henderson 64, 6); Benteke 5 (Sturridge 71, 6). 

Subs not used: Bogdan, Allen, Origi, Randall.

Scorer: Milner, (pen) 62

Booked: Milner, Skrtel

 

SWANSEA (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 6.5; Naughton 6.5, Bartley 7, Williams 7, Taylor 5.5; Sigurdsson 5.5, Britton 6 (Cork 65, 6), Sung-Yeung 6; Routledge 6, Eder 5 (Gomis 69, 6), Ayew 6.5. 

Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Montero, Grimes, Rangel, Fernandez.

Booked: Bartley

 

Referee: Anthony Taylor, 7

Attendance: 43, 905 

Star man: Emre Can

 

James Milner scored the winning goal and also covered plenty of ground  - CLICK HERE for more from our brilliant Match Zone

James Milner scored the winning goal and also covered plenty of ground – CLICK HERE for more from our brilliant Match Zone

 

Instead they were left to reflect on a sixth defeat in 10 league games, with manager Gary Monk’s job prospects looking no brighter.

Klopp’s impact, on the other hand, cannot be underestimated. He continues to play down any title talk but Liverpool are now up to sixth place just six points behind leaders City. The win was Klopp’s first home victory in the Premier League.

There was an added bonus for the Anfield boss with Jordan Henderson making his first appearance since mid-August and even fragile striker Daniel Sturridge managing 20 minutes off the bench.

Klopp had told Sturridge that he needs to learn how to play through the pain following his latest injury absence, but he was not prepared to gamble on Philippe Coutinho’s hamstring problem, leaving the Brazilian playmaker out of the squad altogether.

It was still a strong Liverpool line-up, and one looking to build on last weekend’s thumping win at City and the Europa League success over Bordeaux on Thursday night that secured a place in the last 32.

The pattern of the game was set very early on; Liverpool on the front foot and Swansea happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. The best of the goalmouth action was restricted to the opening 20 minutes, with only desperate Swansea defending denying Liverpool the lead. 

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was in attendance at Anfield and looked delighted to see former team-mate Jon Flanagan in the stands

Liverpool wideman Adam Lallana takes a powerful aim at goal but his shocked is blocked by the outstretched leg of Kyle Bartley

Liverpool wideman Adam Lallana takes a powerful aim at goal but his shocked is blocked by the outstretched leg of Kyle Bartley

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp jumps high on the touchline in an attempt to catch the ball as it flew out for a throw-in

Liverpool's Spanish defender Alberto Moreno attempts to curl a free-kick into the back of the net during the first half of Sunday's clash

Liverpool’s Spanish defender Alberto Moreno attempts to curl a free-kick into the back of the net during the first half of Sunday’s clash

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel makes his presence known as the Swansea wall jumps high in a bid to stop Moreno's curling free-kick

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel makes his presence known as the Swansea wall jumps high in a bid to stop Moreno’s curling free-kick

Swansea's South Korea international Ki Sung Yeung is felled under the challenge of Liverpool striker Christian Benteke on Sunday

Swansea’s South Korea international Ki Sung Yeung is felled under the challenge of Liverpool striker Christian Benteke on Sunday

Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana combined to create the first chance for Ibe. The youngster broke through on goal and looked odds-on to score before Kyle Bartley got a foot in, diverting the ball against his own post before it was cleared to safety.

The next opportunity fell to Christian Benteke when Emre Can picked him out with an excellent pass in the 14th minute but this time Kyle Naughton got back to make the interception.

And when Lallana’s neat turn gave him a clear sight of goal just 10 yards out, Ashley Williams made a brilliant block to keep it out.

That was not the limit of Swansea’s fighting spirit. When Benteke took out Bartley with a uncompromising shoulder to the head, the defender retaliated by upending his opponent as he went for Ibe’s throughball. Alberto Moreno floated the resulting freekick harmlessly into the Anfield Road End, rather summing up a first half that had petered out after that promising start.

It had at least allowed Swansea to settle and begin to assert themselves on the game a little more. After Eder had the last effort of the first half, albeit one hopelessly off target, Ki Sung-Yeung fired the first shot in anger of the second period as he blazed well over from the edge of the box. Simon Mignolet had yet to be tested up to that point but at least the visitors were giving it a go. 

Swansea attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson attempts to skip through the Liverpool midfield with James Milner and Emre Can in pursuit

Swansea attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson attempts to skip through the Liverpool midfield with James Milner and Emre Can in pursuit

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who has struggled with injuries for much of this season and last, replaced Benteke in the second half

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who has struggled with injuries for much of this season and last, replaced Benteke in the second half

Lallana is forced into the air as he races behind Swansea's Andre Ayew as the Liverpool man bids to regain possession for the home side

Lallana is forced into the air as he races behind Swansea’s Andre Ayew as the Liverpool man bids to regain possession for the home side

Ayew reacts as he falls to the ground under a fesity challenge from goalscorer Milner midway through the second half of Sunday's match

Ayew reacts as he falls to the ground under a fesity challenge from goalscorer Milner midway through the second half of Sunday’s match

Swansea captain Ashley Williams climbs  above Roberto Firmino to head the ball clear as Liverpool searched for an opening 

Swansea captain Ashley Williams climbs above Roberto Firmino to head the ball clear as Liverpool searched for an opening 

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe attempts to shield the ball away from Swansea defender Neil Tayolr as he turns with his left foot

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe attempts to shield the ball away from Swansea defender Neil Tayolr as he turns with his left foot

The frustration of the home fans was evident – never more so than when Benteke tried unsuccessfully to backheel Firmino’s pass into the path of Milner – but all was forgotten moments later when their team were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute.

Neil Taylor not only turned his back on Ibe’s cross from the right, he also raised his arms. When the ball struck him on the right hand, referee Anthony Taylor did not act immediately despite a universal appeal from the Kop but pointed to the spot on the advice of his assistant. Milner never looked like missing, guiding his penalty straight and high into the net.

Monk responded by sending on Bafetimbi Gomis, Jefferson Montero and Jack Cork to chase the game, while Klopp introduced Henderson and replaced Sturridge.

The England man was inches away from turning in Milner’s shot at the far post as it flew inches wide, but the flow of the game turned increasingly towards Liverpool’s goal in the dying minutes as Swansea fought for a point into five minutes of added time.

Klopp’s men held on and continue to rise. 

Lallana attempts to flick the ball away from  Eder with as Liverpool left back Moreno looks to stop the Swansea forward

Lallana attempts to flick the ball away from Eder with as Liverpool left back Moreno looks to stop the Swansea forward

Swansea winger Wayne Routledge attempts to stand his ground as Liverpool's Germany international Can challenges from behind

Swansea winger Wayne Routledge attempts to stand his ground as Liverpool’s Germany international Can challenges from behind

Benteke goes to ground as the Belgian Liverpool forward is crowded out by Ki and Swansea centre back Bartley on Merseyside

Benteke goes to ground as the Belgian Liverpool forward is crowded out by Ki and Swansea centre back Bartley on Merseyside

Liverpool manager Klopp barks orders to his side following successive victories over Manchester City and Bordeaux 

Liverpool manager Klopp barks orders to his side following successive victories over Manchester City and Bordeaux 

Swansea boss Garry Monk attempts to inspire his players from the Anfield touchline following a run of three games with a victory

Swansea boss Garry Monk attempts to inspire his players from the Anfield touchline following a run of three games with a victory

Former Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan donned a wig as he appeared on the Anfield pitch at half-time during Sunday's victory

Former Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan donned a wig as he appeared on the Anfield pitch at half-time during Sunday’s victory

Liverpool stand around the centre circle and hold a minute's applause for former defender Gerry Byrne who passed away on Saturday

Liverpool stand around the centre circle and hold a minute’s applause for former defender Gerry Byrne who passed away on Saturday

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