• Liverpool end 2014 with back-to-back wins
  • Reds score four for the first time this season
  • Rodgers' team up to eighth
  • Swansea suffer first defeat in three games

Liverpool moved to within five points of the top four as their recent upturn in form continued with an emphatic victory over Swansea at Anfield.

The home side took the lead through Alberto Moreno's close-range finish.

Adam Lallana made it 2-0 when Lukasz Fabianski's attempted clearance struck him and found the net before Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson hit back immediately.

But Lallana struck again with a low finish and Jonjo Shelvey's headed own goal from a corner sealed the rout.

It could have been worse for Swansea, with Raheem Sterling striking the post with a shot from an angle and substitute Mario Balotelli drawing a good save from Fabianski with a low drive.

It has been a year of two halves for Liverpool, who began 2014 with drive, purpose and a 16-game unbeaten run to take them to within a whisker of an unexpected Premier League title, but in the last few months have been characterised by doubt and inconsistency.

Aptly, this was a game of two very different halves, with a slow-paced and unmemorable first period giving way to a dynamic and entertaining one after the break.

Liverpool were the better side in both - especially the second - to ensure they end the year with back-to-back victories that lift them up to eighth in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Southampton.

Without the injured Daniel Sturridge, the Reds still lack strength up front, which was most apparent in the stale 33 minutes before Moreno darted into the box to finish Jordan Henderson's low cross to give them the lead.

But, in spreading three of his quickest and most skilful players - Lallana, Sterling and Philippe Coutinho - across the forward line, manager Brendan Rodgers has at least discovered an effective alternative.

And with Henderson and Lucas putting in the hard yards behind them, Rodgers was vindicated in his decision to leave out captain Steven Gerrard, who had started all seven of their previous fixtures this month.

The pick of the bunch was Lallana, who put a poor first-half miss behind him to assert himself decisively on the game.

His first goal owed a lot to fortune, with Fabianski's kick deflecting off him and looping into the net, but it also illustrated his desire through his willingness to close the keeper down in the first place.

In contrast, his second - a decisive blow after Swansea had gained a foot-hold in the game through Sigurdsson's close-range finish to make it 2-1 - was chiefly down to his ability as he collected a neat flick from Coutinho, beat two men and finished low.

The Reds were assisted by Swansea, who have practised the high-tempo, high-pressing game Rodgers is trying to rediscover at Anfield to superb effect this year but were uncharacteristically limp and wasteful in possession.

The visitors' biggest crime was a failure to regularly test home goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who had been dropped "indefinitely" by Rodgers due to his poor form but was brought back following an injury to his replacement Brad Jones.

Bafetimbi Gomis did strike the bar with an 18-yard shot late on but by then they had already gifted the hosts an unassailable lead through former Liverpool midfielder Shelvey's near-post header into his own net from Henderson's corner.

Shelvey was also involved in an incident earlier in the game when he caught Liverpool's Emre Can with a flailing arm.

Afterwards, the 22-year-old tweeted  to say that the contact was "unintentional" and that he had apologised to Can.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "It was a great performance against a very good side. I felt for the big part of the game we dominated.

"We gave away a poor goal and it goes to 2-1 and they almost score again straight after so that is a frustration. But apart from that spell the work-rate was outstanding and we were really exciting going forward.

"For me it was about getting back to performing well and getting ideas that will help the players play how we want to play. Tonight we were convincing. We have to keep that intensity and work-rate."

Swansea manager Garry Monk: "I think we played OK. We had the most possession, we created chances, but the mistakes we made cost us the game.

"You get punished at this level. We performed OK but those mistakes cost us.

"Lukasz Fabiasnki has been fantastic this season but every player makes a mistake. You lose as a collective."

Martin Skrtel heads towards goal

Martin Skrtel was denied a headed goal from a corner by Swansea keeper Lukasz Fabianski

Alberto Moreno opens the scoring

Moreno's goal was his second for Liverpool

Adam Lallana fires over for Liverpool

Lallana has scored just two goals this season since joining Liverpool from Southampton

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Sigurdsson scored his second in as many games for Swansea

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Liverpool

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 23 Can
  • 37 Skrtel Booked
  • 17 Sakho
  • 19 Manquillo
  • 21 Lucas
  • 14 Henderson
  • 18 Moreno
  • 20 Lallana (Markovic - 77' )
  • 31 Sterling (Balotelli - 83' )
  • 10 Coutinho (Borini - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 04 K Touré
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 09 Lambert
  • 29 Borini
  • 45 Balotelli
  • 50 Markovic
  • 52 Ward

Swansea City

  • 01 Fabianski
  • 29 Richards (Rangel - 45' )
  • 33 Fernández
  • 06 Williams
  • 03 Taylor
  • 07 Britton (Ki Sung-yueng - 67' )
  • 08 Shelvey
  • 12 Dyer
  • 23 Sigurdsson
  • 15 Routledge
  • 10 Bony (Gomis - 62' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Ki Sung-yueng
  • 11 Emnes
  • 14 Carroll
  • 18 Gomis
  • 22 Rangel
  • 25 Tremmel
  • 27 Bartley
Ref: Andre Marriner
Att: 44,714

Match Stats

Possession

44 56

Shots

21 11

On target

11 4

Corners

6 3

Fouls

8 5

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Liverpool 4, Swansea City 1.

90:00 +3:04 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Liverpool 4, Swansea City 1.

90:00 +2:00

Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +2:00

Foul by Alberto Moreno (Liverpool).

90:00 +0:54

Attempt missed. Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Angel Rangel.

89:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Fabio Borini replaces Philippe Coutinho.

88:48

Attempt saved. Mario Balotelli (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lazar Markovic.

87:50

Attempt missed. Wayne Routledge (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ki Sung-Yueng.

87:00

Attempt missed. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lazar Markovic.

84:05

Attempt missed. Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Angel Rangel with a cross.

83:57

Attempt blocked. Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

82:31 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Mario Balotelli replaces Raheem Sterling.

81:57

Offside, Swansea City. Nathan Dyer tries a through ball, but Bafétimbi Gomis is caught offside.

79:10

Foul by Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea City).

79:10

Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:57

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

76:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Lazar Markovic replaces Adam Lallana.

75:32

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Emre Can.

75:26

Attempt blocked. Ashley Williams (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross.

75:07

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

73:35

Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

73:01

Offside, Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho tries a through ball, but Raheem Sterling is caught offside.

71:46

Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:46

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

70:11

Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:11

Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).

68:03 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Jonjo Shelvey, Swansea City. Liverpool 4, Swansea City 1.

67:28

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Neil Taylor.

67:27

Attempt blocked. Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

67:24

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

66:31

Foul by Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City).

66:31

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Swansea City. Ki Sung-Yueng replaces Leon Britton.

63:34

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) hits the left post with a left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left. Assisted by Adam Lallana.

61:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Swansea City. Bafétimbi Gomis replaces Wilfried Bony.

60:48 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Liverpool 3, Swansea City 1. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

59:47

Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lucas Leiva.

58:46

Federico Fernández (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:46

Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

57:29

Foul by Angel Rangel (Swansea City).

57:29

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:00

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) hits the right post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross following a fast break.

52:24

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Mamadou Sakho.

52:15

Attempt saved. Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

51:40 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Liverpool 2, Swansea City 1. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner.

50:13 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Liverpool 2, Swansea City 0. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) with an attempt from outside the box to the centre of the goal.

49:36

Attempt saved. Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross.

49:23

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

49:13

Delay in match (Swansea City).

48:23 Booking

Booking Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

48:16

Wayne Routledge (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

48:16

Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).

47:40

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Neil Taylor.

46:15

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

45:00

Second Half begins Liverpool 1, Swansea City 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Swansea City. Angel Rangel replaces Ashley Richards.

45:00 +1:13 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Liverpool 1, Swansea City 0.

45:00 +1:06

Attempt blocked. Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross.

45:00 +0:42

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Wayne Routledge.

44:54

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Lukasz Fabianski.

44:52

Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mamadou Sakho.

44:05

Attempt missed. Nathan Dyer (Swansea City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a set piece situation.

43:09

Nathan Dyer (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

43:09

Foul by Alberto Moreno (Liverpool).

35:55

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Lukasz Fabianski.

35:53

Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alberto Moreno.

32:38 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Liverpool 1, Swansea City 0. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

31:41

Attempt missed. Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

30:03

Attempt saved. Nathan Dyer (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Neil Taylor with a cross.

29:03

Foul by Ashley Williams (Swansea City).

29:03

Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:50

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from long range on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Mamadou Sakho.

16:40

Foul by Alberto Moreno (Liverpool).

16:40

Nathan Dyer (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:29

Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lucas Leiva.

12:29

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

12:24

Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alberto Moreno with a cross.

5:18

Attempt saved. Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross.

4:46

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Ashley Richards.

3:33

Offside, Liverpool. Jordan Henderson tries a through ball, but Javier Manquillo is caught offside.

2:52

Foul by Nathan Dyer (Swansea City).

2:52

Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:44

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

0:44

Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers