Continuing the series where I look back at my five favourite wins the Liverpool’s next opponents. I wrote this before Liverpool travelled to the Liberty Stadium to meet Swansea City. Liverpool have only played there twice and are yet to win. Given the amount of time out of the top division for Swansea there are only two league encounters in this edition at the Vetch Field, so I have included an FA Cup match as well in this series.
2nd January 1982
SWANSEA CITY (0) 0
LIVERPOOL (2) 4 (Hansen 35, Rush 45, Lawrenson 73, Rush 88)
SWANSEA: Davies; Stanley, Irwin, Rajkovic, Marustik; Curtis, Mahoney, Stevenson; R. James, Latchford, L. James
LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Neal, Thompson, Hansen, Kennedy; McDermott, Lawrenson, Souness, Whelan; Rush, Dalglish
Swansea reached the old First Division for the first time in their history and had made good progress, 3rd in the table 1pt behind the leaders. Liverpool were sitting down in 12th having suffered 3 defeats at home already. They’d finished 5th the season before as Bob Paisley set about re-building his team with newcomers such as Grobbelaar, Lawrenson, Whelan and Rush. Swansea’s lofty position would certainly have given them hope of a decent cup run, but they were drawn in the Third Round against Liverpool, a competition Bob Paisley had never won.
The two teams had already met at Anfield in October when the visitors raced into a shock 2-goal lead before Liverpool grabbed a point. For this game Liverpool were lead for the first time by Graeme Souness. Paisley had made the decision to change his skipper from Phil Thompson to Souness after the Boxing Day defeat to Man City at Anfield. The improvement was instant as Liverpool were at their most fluent. After soaking up plenty of pressure from the home side, Liverpool took the lead 10 minutes when Alan Hansen scored. In the Swans defence that day was former Liverpool defender, Colin Irwin, who Swansea had paid a record £340,000 for. But Irwin was powerless to stop Ian Rush doubling the lead right on half-time.
Liverpool then made it 3-0 when Mark Lawrenson scored in the 73rd minute. Lawrenson was used quite often in midfield during this season as he illustrated his versatility. Then with just 2 minutes to go Ian Rush rounded off the scoring for a 4-0 win. Rush finished his first full season with 30 goals. Liverpool eventually went out in the Fifth Round, losing 0-2 at Chelsea.
18th September 1982
SWANSEA (0) 0
LIVERPOOL (2) 3 (Rush 15, 23, Johnston 84)
SWANSEA: Davies; Marustik (L. James), Irwin, Rajkovic, Hadziabdic; Curtis, Charles, Stevenson, R. Kennedy; R. James, Latchford
LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Neal, Thompson, Lawrenson, A. Kennedy; Lee, Souness, Johnston; Hodgson (McDermott), Rush, Dalglish
Liverpool had won the League title the previous season as well as the League Cup and had started the ’82-’83 season unbeaten after 6 matches. Swansea finished 6th in their first outing in England’s top division, but had found the going much tougher this time round, lying in 16th. Former Liverpool favourite, Ray Kennedy, was in the Swansea side that day but it was the visitors who were out of the traps first. Ian Rush scored in the 15th and 23rd minutes to give Liverpool a comfortable 2-goal advantage at the break.
Liverpool had just returned from a trip to Dundalk where they won 4-1 in the 1st leg of the European Cup First Round, but tiredness didn’t present itself as Craig Johnston rounded off the scoring to give them a comfortable 3-0 win. Liverpool went on to retain their title by a massive 11pts. Swansea’s dalliance with at English football’s top table came to an end as they were relegated without winning away all season.
That was Liverpool’s last win in South Wales, although they’ve only played there 3 times since. Will they taste success at the Liberty Stadium for the first time?
HEAD TO HEAD at Swansea
Liverpool win: 2
Swansea win: 7
Liverpool goals: 18
Swansea goals: 23