Swans Claim 3rd Place After 4-0 Win
7th May 2011
Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers got exactly what he wanted from his team in the last game of the season, 'a few goals and a clean sheet' as Stephen Dobbie, Scott Sinclair and Leon Britton scored the goals to give us a comfortable 4-0 win against relegated Sheffield United.
The Swans dominated the match for long periods and after a good opening spell, Stephen Dobbie finally opened the scoring after the hour mark with a superb free-kick - curling the ball in from an acute angle to give us a deserved lead.
Brendan Rodgers made another two changes to his starting line-up, Fabio Borini and Scott Sinclair replaced Luke Moore and Darren Pratley who were dropped to the bench.
Swansea City knew that a play-off place was guaranteed before today's game but they were still looking for a confidence-boosting win, plus we had to finish as high as possible to get an away leg first. Not only that, but there was an outside chance that we could still compete for automatic promotion, but news came in not long before kick off that QPR were not going to be deducted any points, a ridiculous decision but we had to settle out for a play-off shootout.
Sheffield United gave the Swans far too much space and time to play their passing football style in complete control, as goalkeeper Dorus De Vries was mainly a spectator as his team-mates in front of him enjoyed about 65% possession in this game.
The Swans were playing some neat football and the only thing letting them down in the early minutes was the final ball, as Sheffield United were doing well collectively to cut out that killer pass.
Nathan Dyer, who won the Player of the Year award, went close to celebrating that success with a goal today, but the opposing 'keeper pulled off a great save to deny him the opener.
Dorus de Vries' only important save of the match really came in the first half when United had a rare counter attack which had the Swans players back-pedalling. Williamson had a clear shot on goal but the Dutchman did well to keep it out and concede a corner.
After a number of attacks and near breakthroughs into the penalty area, Swansea finally opened the scoring after 30 minutes when Scott Sinclair won a penalty area just outside the box. Stephen Dobbie stepped up and from an acute angle, he curled in an excellent shot into the top far corner that the goalkeeper couldn't do much about.
Scott Sinclair had a shot blocked, and Dobbie went close to getting his second of the half before the referee signalled the end of a very pleasing 45 minutes of football from the home side.
Within 9 minutes, Swansea City doubled their lead when Scott Sinclair had a shot which was obviously handled - and as a result a Sheffield United player was shown a straight red card. The winger stepped up and as he's done all season, he cooly slotted the ball past the keeper from the spot to give us a 2-goal advantage, and he netted his 24th goal of the season.
Sheffield United continued to struggle with Swansea's attacking momentum and the continued pressure they put on their players to try and get the ball back whenever they lost it. The 17,000 fans didn't have to wait long for a third goal as Dobbie netted again - the Scot did well to create space to shoot past Long.
Then came some confusion as most of us thought Ashley Williams had scored an unbelievable strike from about 40 yards. The scoreboard momentarily showed a 4-0 scoreline, the goal music began playing and the players ran back to their half as if we'd scored, but it was actually a goal kick as the defender saw his effort go just wide and hit the net.
Swansea City still managed to find a fourth goal though, and it was Leon Britton of all players to score against his former club in the final minute of the game. The midfielder is not famous for finding the back of the net but it was a great low shot from outside the box that rounded off a superb win and performance.
Despite an announcement not to invade the pitch after the full time whistle, some fans felt they had to but they were soon shown to return to the stands to allow the players back out for a lap of honour.
Swansea City: Dorus de Vries, Angel Rangel, Neil Taylor,Ashley Williams, Alan Tate ©, Leon Britton, Joe Allen,Stephen Dobbie, Nathan Dyer, Fabio Borini, Scott Sinclair. Subs: Darren Pratley, Andrea Orlandi, Garry Monk, Luke Moore, Yves Ma-Kalambay, Mark Gower, Lee Lucas.
Sheff Utd: George Long, Jordan Slew, Harry Maguire, Michael Doyle, Matthew Lowton, Joe Mattock, Nick Montgomery, Shane Lowry, Stephen Quinn, Lee Williamson, Rob Kozluk. Subs: T Kennedy, Mihkel Aksalu, Matthew Harriott, Erik Tonne, K Lukberg, M Warren, Danny Philliskirk.
Ref: E L Ilderton