Report - Swansea City 3-0 West Brom
17th September 2011
Swansea City avoid setting a new Premier League record this afternoon as they finally ended their 4-match goalless run as they won their first game of the season at home to West Bromwich Albion.
Scott Sinclair set us on our way in front of a record 20,341 crowd at the Liberty Stadium. He cooly netted from the penalty spot after Joe Allen was hacked down in the area. Leroy Lita, replacing Danny Graham who failed a fitness test, showed his delighted to score our second, before he assisted Nathan Dyer's strike early in the second half.
It's been a sad and emotional weak for the city and manager Brendan Rodgers. Before kick off, we paid our respect with a minute's silence to the four miners who lost their lives recently. We also showed our respect towards Brendan Rodgers' father, who passed away last Saturday, and thirdly, to a young West Brom player Blake Melbourne who also lost his life.
Despite the tributes which related to both sets of fans in different ways, a small section of West Brom fans ruined it for everyone as they shamed themselves as well as their club. It appeared that a few latecomers run into the stadium and made a disrespectful noise to disrupt the silence.
Three changes were made to the team that lost narrowly to Arsenal last weekend. Skipper Garry Monk was back to replace Spurs loanee Steven Caulker. Kemy Agustien suffered a hamstring injury at the Emirates saw Mark Gower start, while Leroy Lita started his first match of the season as Danny Graham failed a fitness test.
To the game then, and Swansea City got off to a great start as they dominated early on with their quick passing play. Joe Allen had an early chance when he show low inside the box that the goalkeeper saved, but the young Welshman was causing more problems moments later inside the penalty area and he was brought down by Paul Scharner.
Scott Sinclair stepped up to the penalty kick, and as cool as ever, he sent former Manchester United shot stopper Ben Foster the wrong way to score our first ever Premier League goal as we took a 1-0 lead after just 14 minutes.
After taking an early lead following a dominant start, the Swans almost gifted West Brom the chance to score a quick equaliser. Neil Taylor's awful pass fell straight to Shane Long, but he fired well over the target - a let off for the home team.
Ten minutes after opening the scoring, Swansea City found themselves 2 goals in front after a well-worked corner kick. Gower picked out the unmarked Scott Sinclair who headed goalwards, and Lita was there to easily head home from a few yards out.
Lita looked absolutely delighted to score in the Premier League but he was soon booked after taking his shirt off in the celebrations.
The visitors had to step up their game now and finally start creating some chances of their town to avoid a defeat after conceding two early goals. Michel Vorm was back on top form in the Swansea goal after a rare mistake last week that cost us a point at Arsenal. He denied Shane Long - tipping his shot over the bar, before making a wonderful save from an excellent free kick after we took a 3-goal lead in the second half.
That killer goal came early on in the second half, as Swansea City started to take their chances. Brendan Rodgers' side had been creating them in every game they've played in so far in the top flight, but their finishing had continually let them down until this afternoon.
Unlike Swansea's usual attacking ways, the third goal was pure route one. Vorm launched a ball up towards Lita who did well to flick a header into the path of Dyer's forward run. He kept his composure to fire a low strike through the keeper's legs to make it 3-0.
Surely the match was won at this point, but you can never rule anything out in a league like the Premiership.
Roy Hodgson admitted after the game that the better team had obviously won, but the positive that he could take was that his players never gave up - which they didn't - as they continued to create opportunities in front of goal.
West Brom did find the net as Brunt headed into the corner, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
As previously mentioned, Vorm was forced into a fantastic save from Dorrans' free kick, which appeared to curling right into the top corner before the Dutchman dived over to palm the ball away at full stretch.
It would have been fair to before kick off that Swansea City could expect their toughest home game of the season against a side that was bound to be well-organised under an experienced manager like Roy Hodgson. However, West Brom looked like no better than of the decent Championship sides that we saw at the Liberty Stadium last season.
The Swansea City defence were rarely troubled throughout the 90 minutes as they targeted a third home clean sheet out of three.
As the Swans headed for a win, and with the fans in full voice as they got to see some Premier League goals being scored, they were frustrated for a moment when Neil Taylor suffered a terrible head injury when Odemwingie made an awful attempt to challenge him for an aerial ball.
The foul - which he was lucky to still stay on the pitch for - held up the game for a long period as later 9 minutes of injury time were played. It looked very serious at one stage when a number of medical staff attended the scene with a stretcher and oxygen. He later regained consciousness and news suggests that he looks to be ok.
Apart from that incident late on, Swansea City's day couldn't have gone any better. Another strong defensive performance, another clean sheet, and three goals to end doubts about our ability to put the ball in the net.
Bring on Chelsea!
Swansea: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Garry Monk(capt), Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor (Fede Bessone, 86), Leon Britton, Mark Gower, Joe Allen, Nathan Dyer (Wayne Routledge, 70), Scott Sinclair, Leroy Lita (Luke Moore, 70).
Unused subs: Stephen Dobbie, Gerhard Tremmel, Jazz Richards, Lee Lucas.
West Brom: Ben Foster, Steven Reid, Nicky Shorey, Jonas Olsson (capt), Craig Dawson, Jerome Thomas (Chris Brunt, ht), James Morrison, Yosouff Mulumbu (Graham Dorrans, ht), Paul Scharner (Simon Cox, 63), Shane Long, Peter Odemwingie.
Unused subs: Marton Fulop, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley.
Referee: Martin Atkinson