SWANSEA, UK: James Milner propelled Liverpool to second place in the Premier League as his late penalty secured a 2-1 win against Swansea City on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Milner’s spot-kick sealed an impressive comeback for Jurgen Klopp’s team and enabled the Reds to move to within two points of Premier League leaders Manchester City, who face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Liverpool trailed to an early Leroy Fer goal at the Liberty Stadium and looked second-best before Roberto Firmino took control to inspire his side’s fourth successive league victory.
“We showed a reaction, were more organized, clear in all situations and we deserved to win,” said Klopp.
“The performance was not perfect, but it was good enough today.”
Brazil forward Firmino scored Liverpool’s equalizer early in the second half and won the crucial penalty that Milner converted in the final minutes.
Struggling Swansea’s fifth defeat in seven league games will increase the pressure on manager Francesco Guidolin, who has had to deal with speculation he is set to lose his job.
Ryan Giggs and Bob Bradley are among the names reportedly lined up as potential replacements for Guidolin.
“I don’t know. It’s not my decision,” Guidolin said when asked about the reports.
“It’s just for me to prepare for the game and the team. I know the situation. It’s a possibility. The important thing is to prepare with patience.”
Klopp made one change to the side that thrashed Hull City 5-1 at Anfield a week ago, with Dejan Lovren returning to the starting line-up at center-back in place of Ragnar Klavan.
There was a solitary change, too, in the Swansea team following their 3-1 defeat by Manchester City as striker Borja Baston started a league game for the first time in place of the injured Fernando Llorente.
Former Atletico Madrid forward Borja was in the thick of the action, but wasted an early chance to endear himself to the locals by heading over from Wayne Routledge’s fine cross.
Liverpool’s defense was looking surprisingly fragile despite Lovren’s return to action and Fer made the most of the instability to put the home side ahead.