Swansea City 1-0 Leicester
16th January 2010
Swansea City got revenge over Leicester City this afternoon with a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium.
Nigel Pearson's side have already beaten us twice this season at the Walkers Stadium but they found things a bit more difficult against Paulo Sousa's team away from home.
The Swans had a promising first half where they dominated large periods, and Striker Gorka Pintado must have been thrilled to score his first goal of the season after good build up play from Darren Pratley and Nathan Dyer.
Sousa's side struggled to keep the momentum going in the second half though, as errors continually crept into our play, and we gave the Foxes far too many opportunities to attack as they looked for an equaliser.
Paulo Sousa made more changes to his team from our last game - away at Leicester City in the FA Cup third round. Van Der Gun was sidelined with a hamstring injury and Williams was on the bench as Monk returned to captain the side.
Beattie also made a return from injury but he had to be content with a place on the bench.
Rangel - Monk - Tate - Bessone
Dyer - Pratley - Britton - Allen - Cotterill
Nigel Pearson's side visited the Liberty Stadium with plenty of confidence, having achieved two victories over us already this season and midfielder Paul Gallagher said that they'd go into the game with a psychological advantage.
It hardly showed though in the opening 45 minutes, they lost possession immediately from kick off as Pintado intercepted a pass and from then on most of the football was played in front of the 900 visiting supporters.
The Swans were comfortable at the back when Leicester did attack, and fortunately we were able to keep their dangerman Matty Fryatt quiet until he was substituted early in the second half.
We were working the flanks particularly well early on with Fede Bessone and David Cotterill linking up on the left side. However, not enough balls were being delivered into the box and we were always looking for that through ball in the middle.
Darren Pratley was his usual energetic self and he was having a much better game compared to some of his recent performances, and Britton alongside him was excellent and helped us maintain possession in the first half, and win it back in the second.
Swansea's dominance and persistence going forward paid off after 32 minutes after excellent work in midfield from Darren Pratley. Turning to avoid a Leicester player, he sprayed the ball out wide to Nathan Dyer who set the ball up nicely from Pintado to finish easily from 6 yards.
The first half couldn't have gone much better really, but it followed the exact same pattern as our previous two meetings with Leicester, dominating and going a goal up at half time, only to lose 2-1. So there was a feeling of deja vu at the break with the scores 1-0 to the Swans, and those feelings continued up until the final whistle as we struggled to cope as Leicester upped the pressure.
While we looked confident and composed in possession in the first half, we were the complete opposite in the second as Leicester frustrated us as they upped their game, closing us down far quicker and attacking with better quality.
We were gifting them possession in dangerous areas in our own half but thanks to some dreadful finishing at times, we were able to hang on for the vital win.
N'Guessan should have netted an equaliser when he was unmarked at the far post, with the goal open for him, he put the ball straight to goalkeeper Dorus De Vries.
We rode our luck far too often and loanee Martyn Waghorn also had a good chance and doing well to cut in and beat 2 players but he let himself down with a poor shot on goal.
We were showing no interest and enthusiasm to get forward to double our lead and with Leicester's constant pressure and missed chances, it was becoming increasingly frustrating for the fans.
Sousa's conservative approach meant he brought on two defenders to cope with protecting our one-goal lead. Albert Serran and Ashley Williams replaced Joe Allen and Fede Bessone.
It was encouraging to see the later arrival of Craig Beattie, who returned from injury to play the final 12 minutes, plus 6 in injury time.
We held on, just, for a big win as our play-off push continues and the three points takes us above Cardiff City and Leicester into 4th.