Liverpool were dominant for the majority of the Barclays Premier League encounter at Anfield, moving their visitors from side to side, forward and backward to fashion the space in which to flex their scoring muscles.
The 3-4-3 formation that has helped the Reds rekindle their form during recent weeks blossomed further throughout a bitterly cold evening on Merseyside, with supporters in attendance warmed by Alberto Moreno’s opener.
Lallana chased down Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski early in the second half and turned a seemingly futile cause into a healthier advantage when the subsequent clearance clattered off him and into the Kop end net.
Gylfi Sigurdsson reduced the arrears almost immediately, but the No.20 grabbed a brace in the contest with a smart dribble and finish, while an own goal by Jonjo Shelvey capped a handsome result for Rodgers’ charges.
The manager told reporters after the final whistle: “That was what was missing from our way of working for the first period of this season. We’re a team that plays with big pressure [on the opponents].
“We’ve got technically-gifted players in the team, but that ability to press the ball allows them to go and get and create chances at the top end of the field. We asked the players at that end to go and press and work, and he got his reward.
“That might only happen a couple of times in your career when you go and get goals like that. He blocked it really well because if he doesn’t block the line tactically coming into the press, the goalkeeper probably rolls it out to the other centre-half.
“He blocked the line, that forced the ‘keeper to kick it, he got his body there and got tinsists there’s no panic over the transfer interest for Denis Zakaria.Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United are all following the Switzerland international.But Eberl told Sport Buzzer: “First of all, we have everything in hand, because there is nohe bit of luck his pressing deserved. I’m very pleased. I think he’s a wonderfully gifted player.
“It was a big move for him coming here from Southampton, where he was the captain. For all of the players coming in it is difficult. You come into a club this size with the expectancy, you never know it until you arrive here.
“But I think they’re now starting to adapt to that and starting to adapt to what we demand here and how far we want to go. You look at the team tonight and it was a very young team in terms of the average age of that side. I was very pleased with the overall performance of Adam and the team.”
The result racked up back-to-back festive victories for Liverpool following the Boxing Day win over Burnley, with a home clash against Leicester City the last of three quick-fire fixtures on New Year’s Day.
Three points lifted the Reds above Swansea into eighth place and closed the gap to the Premier League top four and Champions League qualification spots to five points at the halfway stage of the campaign.
Rodgers continued: “In the last two to three weeks the performance level has been much closer to what we were over the course of the last 18 months.
“There’s been a lot of work and hours going into the tactical idea that was going to allow us to get back to that. It wasn’t traditional because we’re having to play a young guy who is a winger as that striker, but the shape of the team causes other teams problems.
“When you have the players that want to go and press the ball, work as hard as they did tonight, and then have got the quality to back that up, you can be a really hard team to play against. That’s how it’s been for us.
“Apart from a ridiculous spell of seven or eight minutes when we scored the second goal, when we gave the ball away cheaply, conceded and then tried our best to give them another goal, it was a really dominant performance I felt.
“The structure of the team was very good in terms of how the players worked it. We asked the back three to open up the game when we had the ball and create the overload.
“The two guys on the side, the full-backs, allow you to drop into a shape that’s solid when you haven’t got the ball but when you have it they have the freedom to go really high and push on.
“We’ve got a box in midfield that gives you four players in there to dominate. Then you’ve got a central striker who can run, spin up the sides and get in between people. I thought how the team worked was very good.
“Tonight we came out and put that intensity and work-rate into the game and we got our reward for that. Creativity was very much there tonight but a solid base behind it as well – that is key for us if we are going to succeed.”
Emre Can, one of four players brought into the starting XI, began the game against Swansea in the same situation he found himself at the end of the tie at Turf Moor – operating as part of a back three alongside Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel.
The German U21 international – making only his eighth appearance in the league since arriving from Bayer Leverkusen – was poised and creative throughout, sitting in alongside his defensive partners and hished praise on Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk after the team’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United.Mourinho was a pundit for the game in England and offered his analysis on both teams.When asked about the qualities of Reds centre-back Van Dijk, Melping to keep the opposition at bay.
Can raked cross-field passes, controlled dangerous crosses with stunning composure and, in all, turned in a display that prompted Rodgers to offer a glowing appraisal of the youngster’s obvious talent.
“The idea tonight was that we had the flexibility to flip the system,” explained the Northern Irishman. “We had two full-backs who were attacking full-backs.
“If we had wanted to drop them two in and push [Can] into midfield, we could have done that. With him in that controlling role, it would have made our shape into a back four.
“It’s very important that we have players who are confident on the baenham defender.The 32 year-old Belgium international comes off contract in June and is yet to seriouslBabettey discuss new terms with Spurs.Agent Tim de Mul revealed: “We don’t have an agreement at the moment, but I don’t exclude anything. “We consider evll. When I watched Emre last year, one of the games that I travelled to, in Hamburg, he was playing as a centre-half in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
“You see his presence – he’s got size and he’s got a good leap. He’s quick and strong, so he can play anywhere on the field. He’s played at left-back, he plays in centre midfield. The only two positions that he has not played in when I’ve seen him was at centre-forward and in goal.
“He’s a wonderful player and at 20 years of age he’s got a big future ahead. He’s a player who is adapting into a way of working over in this country.
“It’s been a big move for him. In training over the last three or four weeks, he has stepped up to a new level. You can see that in his performances since he has come in.”