Match Analysis - Swansea City 3-0 Norwich City
Swansea City got a much needed victory at home against Norwich City - their first ever in the Premier League, and Come On You Swans.com analyses the key moments in the game including tactics and detailed screenshots.
Finally, we can analyse the game without picking out errors within the Swansea City defence and a lack of attacking movement in the final third (just a few of the things we tend to pick out in every game in recent months).
However, thankfully, Garry Monk was able to inspire a much improved performance - one with far more fight and spirit. The team looked hungry again, they played with urgency and the desire to win back possession the moment it was lost, and all this combined proved far too much for a poor Norwich side to handle.
Jonathan de Guzman scored a first half brace from his right midfield position - which he kept from the previous game at Arsenal, while the impressive Routledge added a third in the second half to absolutely guarantee the three points.
Swansea's desire to regain possession
Swansea City's pressing game was impressive - in both halves. It's been lacking lately but it was back towards the standards shown in the win against Cardiff City.
Monk's side pushed high up, and showed excellent desire and hard work to win back possession as soon as they lost it, and the majority of the time they did.
The diagram below shows how the majority of their interceptions were made high up in their own half, and from here they were able to counter attack.
They were also made good tackles in good positions, making 6 successful tackles in Norwich's half which helped them catch out the opposition who were always vulnerable and unable to recover from making poor passes and being dis-possessed.
Swansea's space and freedom
Norwich looked slow early on and they were leaving gaps all over the pitch for the Swans to exploit. Angel Rangel was getting a lot of freedom on the far right, and the full back had the confidence to push up and provide an attacking outlet.
Within 3 minutes, Rangel (above) can get forward down the right, and send in a cross with the likes of Michu, Routledge and Bony in plenty of space in and around the penalty area.
4 minutes later, Rangel pushes up, and waits to receive the ball before breaking into the attacking third. Norwich are on the back foot once again and Bony and Michu can push forward in support.
Norwich lose out in midfield
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton's decision to field a 4-4-2 formation was a bold, and yet surprising one as everyone is aware of Swansea's midfield and their ability to boss a game in the middle third.
They did just that. They dominated the middle third, completely outnumbered the away side and throughout the game they had plenty of space to work the ball through and into the final third.
When Norwich did get forward, they lacked any support whatsoever, Swansea were always quick to recover in the rare occasions they lost possession.
Below shows Snodgrass getting forward, but he is crowded out by Swansea players and they can easily regain control. The home side showed much more desire and urgency to win the ball and this constant pressure frustrated Norwich and prevented them from offering any threat.
The screenshot below shows how Norwich were outnumbered in the middle third, with Swansea's line of 5 midfielders proving too much of a barrier for Norwich to get through.
Swansea's opening goal
It was always just a matter of when, not if Swansea would score and it was no surprise that it started with a ball from Rangel on the far right.
Again, Norwich were slow to react in these situations, they failed to spot late runs into the box and couldn't clear the loose balls.
Below, the cross comes in, Bony and Michu do well to try and win the ball and the latter helps it move towards the shaded area. De Guzman, who's not even in the picture, can run in - unmarked, to fire the ball home.
More gaps open up for Swansea
Norwich's lack of shape saw them leave large areas of space for the Swans to expose. Below shows the huge area that needs a runner into it. Rangel is causing more difficulty for the Canaries, and it's his 'give and go' that gets him into this free space.
Norwich are slow to react and follow Rangel's run into the box where there's more space for him as he looks for de Guzman's return pass.
Swansea double their lead
Swansea City's next two goals came from really awful passes from Norwich. The first is a basic squared pass which is picked up by the goalscorer de Guzman (below). The white lines also show the Swansea players all in space and in support. Michu is in acres of space in front of him but he picks out Bony who makes a move inside.
Below, de Guzman plays the ball into Bony who holds it up brilliantly, waits for the Dutchman to make a run into the box, back heels it through for the midfielder to finish brilliantly.
And again, it was a basic mistake, a giveaway pass, the failure to recover from it and the inability to follow an attacker's run.
Norwich's brief comeback attempt
Norwich look to come out following half time with a bit more belief and spirit in their performance after an awful first 45 minutes.
They catch out the Swans early on. Snodgrass is in space inside the box, the cross comes back to him but Ashley Williams is well placed to make the all-important block near the goal-line.
Norwich didn't really take enough confidence from that, as Swansea were able to gain control once more. Like de Guzman did for the first goal, Swansea were able to catch out the Canaries again with a late run into the box.
Below, Michu makes the diagonal run, but cutting the ball back inside. Shelvey, who's not in the picture below, can make a free run in despite Norwich seemingly having decent cover on the edge of the box. His shot goes ever so close and he almost made it 3-0.
Below shows another example of how Swansea continued to dominate the midfield with a line of five, while Norwich players are deep and always struggled to get in between the lines.
Rangel can win possession and instantly pass the ball up to Bony to start a counter attack.
Norwich made it far too easy for the Swans to create space and counter attack. if it wasn't for a poor pass inside their own half, it was failure to win the ball. Below, Leon Britton does well to play a ball through a group of Norwich players and into Rangel's path.
The Swans put 3 or 4 Norwich players out of the game to counter down the right flank and into a massive area of space.
Swan-seal the win
Another poor pass from Norwich leads to a goal. As previously shown, Norwich's combination of a mistake, followed by failure to recover and regroup, and failure to track an attacking run proved very costly as all these happened again in combination.
Bony plays in Shelvey who can push forward into space. Routledge makes a superb, long diagonal run right across from the left flank.
Shelvey has plenty of time and space to wait for the right moment to play in Routledge, and his angled finish rounds off a superb performance from Garry Monk's side.
Shelvey's all-round midfield performance
The wingers de Guzman and Routledge scored the goals to win the game, but Jonjo Shelvey and Ashley Williams also contributed to the win significantly.
Shelvey produced an excellent balanced performance of defence and attack. The heatmap below shows his activity throughout the game, and how he was active in various areas, mostly in the middle third, but also just outside the penalty area.
Below also shows his actions during the game, the amount of ball recoveries he made in his own half, as well as his range of passes in the opposition's half.
Ashley Williams' contribution should also be noted. He showed a big improvement from recent performances and put in a captain's display. Never troubled by the opposition's strikers, he made an important goal-line block early in the second half and the amount of tackles won and the times he helped regain possession was impressive and helped Swansea's cause.
Thanks to Come On You Swans.com for the Match Analysis.