Report - Swansea City 0-0 Sunderland
27th August 2011
It was another point, another clean sheet and again no goals from Swansea City as they were left ruing chances against a solid Sunderland side.
Both teams were looking for their first win in the Premier League this afternoon, and they both had excellent chances in front of goal to pick up their first 3 points of the campaign.
After an awful 3-1 defeat in the Carling Cup at Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday, Brendan Rodgers was looking for a big response from his players, as he reverted back to the line-up that also drew 0-0 at home to Wigan Athletic last Saturday.
The Swans were the only newly promoted club who picked up a point today, with Norwich City losing 3-1 at Chelsea, while in the earlier kick off, QPR lost 2-0 at Wigan Athletic.
Today's game got off to a quick and bright start, and it was the visitors who created the better chances early on, as they tested goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Craig Gardner had the first goal opportunity for Steve Bruce's side within the first two minutes. He robbed Leon Britton of possession near the half way line before breaking clear into the middle but his shot was deflected out for a corner kick.
From the resulting corner, former Manchester United defender John O'Shea caused further worry for the hosts as his header clipped the top of the crossbar.
Sunderland's third chance in a promising start for the visitors fell to Gyan this time. A pass through to him from Cattermole beat the offside trap but Vorm was quick to notice the danger, racing out off his line to narrow the gap and make a good save to concede a corner.
Those were the Black Cats' chances of the first half, as Swansea City finally got into their stride mid-way through the half. Early on, their passes weren't linking up well and their play seemed far too rushed.
Scott Sinclair almost opened the scoring with our first effort on goal. The winger found space in the centre to fire at goal but it came back off the crossbar.
The Swans were ending the half the better of the two sides after Sunderland were making the early breakthroughs.
Kemy Agustien was again impressive in midfield, while Leon Britton, who did find it difficult at times against a physical Sunderland side, looked comfortable in possession and made some vital passes and interceptions during the 90 minutes.
Britton did well to create a chance for Graham. He had his first of two chances, Wes Brown did well to block the first but he should have scored from the second. Agustien did well to pick the Scottish striker out with a cross from the bye-line. Graham was unmarked 7 yards out of goal but his header fell wide of the target. At this level, you've got to score those chances and when he was full of confidence as last year's top Championship goalscorer, you'd have fancied him to score that with ease.
After a good flurry of attacks from the Swans, they ended the opening 45 minutes the stronger of the two sides, but yet again they were still lacking that cutting edge in front of goal.
Sunderland were far more direct with their attacks which you'd expect, while the Swans sometimes over-worked as they looked to create an opening.
Like last Saturday at home to Wigan, you feared the opposition would come out stronger in the second half and Sunderland did, but their early possession didn't last long as Swansea City took over once again.
Gardner saw a header go over the bar after the ball looked like it went out of play, while Graham for the Swans had further chances to score his, and Swansea's first goal in the Premier League. He had further shots and headers saved and go wide, and you just felt that it wasn't going to be his afternoon again, especially after his first half miss from just 7 yards.
Leroy Lita then came on to replace Wayne Routledge.
Brendan Rodgers then made a double change, bringing on Joe Allen and Stephen Dobbie for Nathan Dyer and Kemy Agustien to try and give us a boost but Agustien especially was keeping us in good shape in the middle third. Dyer meanwhile, was having a tougher time of it down the right wing but he still battled hard and looked to make things happen for us.
Sunderland rarely threatened Vorm's goal and the point certainly looked safe but Rodgers' side battled on to get what appeared to be an unlikely late winner.
It didn't come, but it was another promising performance that saw us keep another clean sheet against an established Premier League side. Yes, we didn't score, but chances were made and it's up to the players, particularly Danny Graham, to put them away.
It's another point towards our tally and target towards safety, and it was good to see us go closer to the 20,000 attendance mark, with 19,938 at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.