Liverpool deals short Swansea side 5-0 drubbing

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Liverpool deals short Swansea side 5-0 drubbing

LIVERPOOL, England - Liverpool cruised to a 5-0 victory in the Premier League on Sunday against an understrength Swansea side preparing for the League Cup final, halting a five-game winless run in all competitions.

Philippe Coutinho marked his first start by scoring the second goal at Anfield after the break following captain Steven Gerrard’s first-half penalty kick.

In a lopsided second half, Jose Enrique and Luis Suarez followed Coutinho with goals before Daniel Sturridge completed the rout by scoring Liverpool’s second spot kick.

The victory came at a cost, with forward Fabio Borini feared to have dislocated a shoulder and now likely to miss the rest of the season, according to manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Italian fell awkwardly shortly after replacing Suarez in the 78th as Liverpool’s third and final substitute. His departure meant the hosts finished the match with 10 men.

But Liverpool easily secured its first win over a top-10 side all season, lifting the team above Swansea into seventh place and giving Rodgers a resounding victory against his former team.

With his thoughts on next Sunday’s final against Bradford, Swansea manager Michael Laudrup did his predecessor a huge favor by naming a weakened side. Only four players who beat Queens Park Rangers 4-1 last weekend started, with top-scorer Michu among those on the bench.

Victory at Wembley would qualify Swansea for the Europa League.

Liverpool’s hopes of success in Europe’s second-tier knockout competition were put in jeopardy on Thursday by a 2-0 loss at Zenit St. Petersburg in the first leg of the last-32.

The failure to put away their chances proved costly for the Reds in Russia, and it initially looked like being a similar story in the only Premier League match of the weekend.

Referee Howard Webb was unconvinced by a Kemy Agustien challenge on Suarez close to the touchline, but fortunately for Liverpool assistant Mike Mularkey saw it differently and immediately flagged for a penalty.

Gerrard went for the opposite corner and succeeded in beating Michel Vorm for Liverpool’s first goal in the 34th minute.

AP

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