Sports

ATTACK: TERRIFIC, DEFENCE:CHAOTIC

Daniel Sturridge now has 18 goals in 19 EPL games. He is only the second player in EPL history (after Ruud van Nistelrooy) to score 
in eight EPL games in a row.

LIVERPOOL 4

(Daniel Sturridge 3, 36, 
Jordan Henderson 20, 74)

SWANSEA 3

(Jonjo Shelvey 23, Wilfried Bony 27, 47-pen)

Nirvana beckons for Liverpool.

Or perhaps a nightmare the Reds will struggle to wake up from.

Their campaign might finish at the summit, all dressed in silver.

Or it may end in the brown stuff.

There is no middle ground. Liverpool can only do or die.

Last night against Swansea City, they achieved both in a scintillating 4-3 win.

Teams often veer from the fabulous to the farcical from game to game.

Liverpool manage it from minute to minute.

Jordan Henderson knocked in the winner at the second attempt in the 74th minute to keep his side's Premier League dream very much alive, but the Anfield faithful might need further convincing.

Rarely have a side been so breathtaking and so brittle in the same contest.

Liverpool's attacking quartet now merit been mentioned alongside Europe's best. Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and the remarkable Daniel Sturridge boast the tools to manufacture a title.

Liverpool's defence could blow the club's chances of finishing in the top four.

Despite taking the lead three times, Liverpool's calamitous culprits at the back somehow conspired to allow a distinctly mediocre Swansea City to mount a succession of comebacks.

Reds fans' fingernails must be gnawed down to the bone. If this erratic fare continues, they'll be down to their bloody stump.

From now to May, Liverpool games should come with public health warnings.

Anyone pregnant or suffering from a heart condition should avoid all strenuous activity and watching the Reds' defence.

They also avoided all strenuous activity against Swansea.

The back four did everything wrong that the front four did right.

When Liverpool took a 2-0 lead, fractionally against the run of play, a repeat of Arsenal's demolition at Anfield looked likely.

The unstoppable Sturridge became the first Englishman to score in eight consecutive EPL games, thanks to a defence-splitting, jaw-dropping curled pass from Sterling inside his own half.

Sturridge then released Henderson for a peach into the top corner, underlining the pivotal role that the Reds striker must play in a Three Lions jersey at this summer's World Cup.

Then Liverpool proceeded to defend as if they belonged at Wycombe Wanderers.

JONJO'S GEM

Jonjo Shelvey's strike was wondrous - even if his non-celebration against his former club was preposterous - but he still wasn't picked up.

Minutes later, Martin Skrtel needlessly gave away a free-kick, Wilfried Bony drifted away in the box and his header was deflected in - off Skrtel's shoulder.

Suarez's flicked cross found an unmarked Sturridge to restore the home side's advantage, but Bony levelled from the spot early in the second half when he was clumsily pulled down by Skrtel.

The Slovakian centre back wasn't the only culprit. His partner Daniel Agger was worryingly tentative, eventually replaced by Kolo Toure in the second half, and Glen Johnson was caught out of position more often than Olivier Giroud in a London hotel room.

Steven Gerrard took his broom deeper and deeper into his own half, constantly sweeping up in front of his lacklustre teammates. At times he played as both an extra centre half and a fullback, often berating teammates for not covering.

Indeed, his back-tracking created space between himself and Henderson, which Swansea exploited in the second half, forcing a couple of smart saves from Simon Mignolet.

Henderson was notable for his lack of defensive support, but he made amends with his second goal in the 74th minute, following up on Suarez's blocked shot to earn the Reds an unlikely win after another schizophrenic performance.

At the moment, Liverpool's football is as captivating as it is chaotic. Their attacking exhilarated. Their defending was an eczema itch that couldn't be scratched - utterly infuriating.

The SAS (plus Henderson) can't always be relied on to rescue the Reds.

Rodgers must fix his defence quickly or risk Liverpool's season ending in bitter disappointment.

CONTENTIOUS:

Luis Suarez (No. 7) falling in the box after being challenged by Swansea's Jose Canas. But no penalty was given.

PHOTOS: REUTERS