Date:Saturday July 18 2009
18th July 2009
Paulo Sousa got the Swans off to winning ways in their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 victory at home to FC Twente this afternoon.
Goals from Gorka Pintado (2) and youngster Casey Thomas gave us a comfortable win in the end against last season's Eredivisie runners up in front of a good 7,304 crowd at the Liberty Stadium.
Prior to kick off, Paulo Sousa said he was using today's match to assess the squad as he looks to streamline it ahead of the new Championship campaign. His opposite number, former England manager Steve McClaren complimented the Swans and said we would provide them with perfect preparation ahead of their season which kicks off in 2 weeks, how right he was.
Sousa decided to go with a 4-5-1 line-up, with new signing Stephen Dobbie up front with Guillem Bauza just behind. In midfield, Britton was alongside Pratley with Dyer and Orlandi on the wings. Williams and Monk partnered each other in centre defence with Tate and Collins either side.
There wasn't much to talk about for the first 45 minutes, neither side were creating many chances on goal and possession was quite even with probably the Swans just edging it.
Our first decent chance came around the 15-minute work after a good run down the left from Tate gave Pratley a chance to shoot from distance but his effort flew just over the bar.
De Vries had a few saves to make then from the visiting Dutch side before Dobbie had his first and only chance of the game, firing a powerful low effort straight at the goalkeeper who could only parry the ball away.
Nathan Dyer was looking particularly lively down the left wing, his pace was creating a few problems and he showed great desire and fighting determination to win possession. On the opposite flank though, Andrea Orlandi failed to impress though and he looked uninterested at times, but he did improve in the second half.
The Swans were playing some neat passing at times and we weren't making careless errors like FC Twente were.
Paulo Sousa made his first of many subsitutions of the game just before the break, replacing skipper Garry Monk, who had a solid game at the back, with Albert Serran.
The Swans boss made another 2 changes before the start of the second half, bringing on Gorka Pintado and Shaun MacDonald for Stephen Dobbie and Guillem Bauza, who didn't really make an impact on the game.
After a quiet first half with few chances for either side, the game improved in the second half and the strong 7,000 home support had more to cheer about in the second period.
There were shouts for an early penalty when Andrea Orlandi looked to cut inside, he went past a defender and was brought down but the referee waved for play to continue. In all honesty the Spaniard did look like he went down a bit too easily.
Gorka Pintado was also impressive and looked in good shape, he covered a lot of ground and was even tracking again and helping out in defence. His first effort on goal was a long range shot that the goalkeeper failed to hold onto, but there was no Swans player close to follow up with the rebound.
The Spaniard then gave us the lead with a superb finish. He took advantage of some poor play from FC Twente who gifted us possession in their own half, he was through on goal and lifted the ball over the advancing keeper.
The lead didn't last long though as we gifted them an equaliser just moments later. A cross came in from the right which the defence failed to clear, Matty Collins miss hit his clearance at the back post and Rukavytsya had the simple task of slotting the ball past De Vries from close range.
Three more subs then came on for the hosts, all youngsters, Casey Thomas, goalkeeper David Cornell and Jazz Richards replacing Dorus De Vries, Matty Collins and Andrea Orlandi.
Casey Thomas had only been on a few minutes before he gave us the lead again, from a corner, something us Swans fans rarely see is a goal scored directly from a corner! Dyer sent in the cross from the left and Thomas headed home from around 6 yards.
Thomas' first senior game for the Swans got even better before the end as he set up our third goal. He used his pace to bomb down the right flank and was brought down in the box, Pintado stepped up and cooly slotted the ball into the right corner.
FC Twente were surprisingly very poor and they struggled to cause a threat on goal all game. Their season gets under way in just 2 week's time and they'll need a vast improvement before then to equal last season's 2nd place finish in Holland's top League.
Good performances today were from Darren Pratley, Garry Monk, Alan Tate, Nathan Dyer and Gorka Pintado. Matty Collins, Andrea Orlandi and Guillem Bauza failed to impress.
We'll also be publishing a detailed report from Joshua Clark as well as a quick exclusive word with FC Twente boss Steve McClaren on his thoughts on their defeat.
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Date:Saturday July 18 2009
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