Expectations were high that Swansea would prove to be a well-organised and competent football team, particularly stingy at the back but a new-look forward line of Peter Lovenkrands and Marlon Harewood put paid to that theory within half an hour of the kick-off, and Swansea looked like just another fairly average Championship side. Eeh that Marlon Harewood, eh? I always knew he just needed time to settle in…
Harewood’s first came from a bouncing ball in the box and with the defence hesitant he headed the ball in the net to make it 1-0. After some good build up play on the left, Gutierrez finally managed to do what we have been crying out for him to do and delivered perfectly with his left, so that Lovenkrands had the simplest of headers to make it 2-0 with 21 minutes gone. And before we’d reached the thirty minute mark, more good work on the left and and an almost identical cross from Lovenkrands and a similar finish from Harewood and the game looked to be beyond the Welsh side at 3-0.
And so it proved to be as we saw out that lead, but not before some heroics in goal by particularly Harper and then his halftime replacement Tim Krul. And not before a slightly disappointing second half which Swansea arguably had the better of, having been allowed to get into their stride more than in the first half, which led to some desperate defending, including a goal line clearance from Danny Simpson. A second half which also included probably Alan Smith’s clearest chance yet to get that elusive first goal for the club. And a last twenty minutes or so which saw pleasing cameos for both Nile Ranger and Fabrice Pancrate.
Once again, the supporters were left thinking what might have happened had we really turned the screw, but the fact we didn’t led to frustrating spells of play and Swansea coming close to getting a foothold in the game. But nevertheless, it’s still hard to argue with a 3-0 win when you see it in the paper, alongside the league table which looks pretty healthy for us at the moment.
The Swansea fans sounded like they could make a bit of noise when it suited them but I think the wind went out of their sails quite early on, although like their team, they made a bit of a go at it in the second half. The home supporters and particularly the Level 7 gang were in good voice today and I expect to have a sort throat in the morning.
Unfortunately, I spent the last three hours in A&E, so I haven’t got round to a full report, as I need to try and enjoy the birthday dinner my good wife has put together for me, so I’ll try to add detail all in good time.
Us -Harper 8, Simpson 7, S Taylor 8, Coloccini 8, Jose Enrique 8, Guthrie 7, Smith 6, Nolan 7, Gutierrez 7, Harewood 8, Lovenkrands 8.
Subs – Krul 7, Khizanishvili, R Taylor, LuaLua, Kadar, Pancrate 7, Ranger 7.
Swansea – De Vries, Rangel, Williams, Tate, Bessone, Dyer, Orlandi, Pratley, Britton, Van der Gun, Beattie.
Subs – Cornell, Serran, Butler, Allen, Richards, Cotterill, Pintado.
Att – 42,000+ (including 2,700 Swansea fans)