Swansea City 3-1 Barnsley
17th April 2010
Swansea City keep the momentum going in their for a play-off place thanks to yesterday's comfortable 3-1 win against Barnsley on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Stadium.
Ashley Williams and Shefki Kuqi put us 2-0 up before the visitors got a goal back before half time. Substitute Andrea Orlandi provided the cross for Pratley to get our third to prevent a nervous end to the match.
Paulo Sousa has been criticised lately by the fans and pundits for his constant team changes and today he made another 6, as he welcomed back Fede Bessone following his injury. Albert Serran replaced the injured Angel Rangel while in midfield Mark Gower, Leon Britton and Cedric Van Der Gun were back in midfield as Kuqi replaced Pintado up front.
The Swans started the game off at a good pace and we should have taken the lead after just 4 minutes when the goalkeeper completely missed a long ball by Garry Monk. The visitor's keeper raced out to clear the bouncing ball but he completely missed it, and this Kuqi a chance to score into an open goal, but his miss was even worse as his left-footed volley flew wide of the target. An absolutely terrible miss that left the 15,000 fans in disbelief.
The Swans were able to forget about that miss and that glorious chance to go in front as we did thanks to Williams' simple strike on 23 minutes. Van Der Gun's header from a corner was only parried as the Welsh international defender was there to thrash the ball home from close range.
We continued to get the ball moving forward quickly and 5 minutes later it was 2-0, and Shefki Kuqi must have been delighted to make up for that awful miss early on. Kuqi threw himself at Gower's low cross and his header found the corner of the net - his famous Swan Dive then followed.
We should have been comfortably ahead at the break but Barnsley were able to go into half time only a goal behind. 5 minutes after Kuqi's goal, De Vries failed to claim a corner and Darren Moore was free to header home past a crowd of players. It was a rare error from the Dutch goalkeeper but he made up for it when he denied Colace an equaliser, saving his shot well from close range.
Paulo Sousa's side were well in control of the first half but Barnsley's goal had given them a boost in confidence and you had the feeling that we had to get that 3rd goal to get a win. David Cotterill looked lively in the opening 45 minutes, as Fede Bessone did well to get the ball wide to the winger. He was creating all sorts of problems for their right back and as not afraid to cut it and have a shot on goal.
Cedric Van Der Gun became more involved in the second half and was beginning to create more of a threat going forward - winning a corner after his shot was well saved.
Andrea Orlandi then came on to replace Mark Gower and it proved to be a superb change by Paulo Sousa as it took the Spaniard just 2 minutes to make an impact. He raced forward, and after beating a few players he cut a cross back to the unmarked Pratley who was never going to miss from 10 yards as he placed the ball into the top corner. We haven't been used to the Swans killing teams off and getting that vital goal to extend our advantage but today we showed that we can attack and score goals - it's just a shame that our tactics are far more defensive on our travels.
The Swans maintained possession for the remainder of the match as Lee Trundle got a rare opportunity late on to impress manager Paulo Sousa, and he had a decent chance after donig well to get into the box but his shot on goal lacked any power.