Report - Swansea City 0-3 Villareal
9th August 2014
Swansea City ended their pre-season campaign with a disappointing 3-0 home defeat against Villareal - giving manager Garry Monk plenty of food for thought ahead of next Saturday's season opener at Manchester United.
As expected, the La Liga outfit proved to be, by far, Swansea's toughest test of the Summer, but Manchester United next weekend will be an even bigger challenge - and there's plenty for the team to work on this week.
At the end of the day, it was still only a friendly, but with just 5 days left of training before the another tough Premier League season kicks off, you don't want to be making such basic errors as they did this afternoon at the Liberty Stadium.
The shape of the team lacked balance, but hopefully that will be improved when Monk has Routledge or Dyer available again to offer width on the right flank. Montero and Taylor had working partnership down the left flank, but right back Angel Rangel was left to attack the right side by himself, as Gylfi Sigurdsson always moved inside - as you can see in our attacking setup below.
Swansea's attacking formation:
Villareal opened the scoring in less than 3 minutes thanks to a well worked move, but helped by Swansea backing off, inviting them in and the goalscorer having time and space to fire past Fabianski.
The Swans struggled early on to get into any flow of possession, but after 15-20 minutes, they started to settle and created a few chances. Montero was the host's brightest attacking player while on the opposite flank - there was an obvious need for another out-and-out winger to support Rangel.
Gomis did look a handful in the centre though - just behind Bony and you can see that the pair definitely have the potential to form a good partnership, but Villareal were often able to outnumber the Swans as they approached the final third - and their best hopes of scoring was when Montero was in possession.
Last season's defensive errors - and their poor shape which leaves too many gaps in their own first third were still very evident, and Villareal had the quality to expose.
But like I said, hopefully the game can prove as a 'blessing in disguise' for Monk and his management team to really concentrate on getting rid of some worrying errors on display.
An excellent left-footed curling free-kick doubled the visitor's lead shortly after the break, before a third was added, with a header from close range after the ball had come back off the bar.
Swansea City: Fabianski, Rangel, Bartley (Amat, 60), Williams (capt), Ki Sung-Yueng, Shelvey, Sigurdsson, Montero, Gomis, Bony.
Subs: Tremmel, Richards, Tiendalli, Kingsley, Sheehan, King, Bray.
Villareal: Asenjo (Carlos, ht), Gaspar (Rukavina, 33), Uche (Cheryshev, ht), Giovanni Dos Santos (Moreno, 52), Cani, Trigueros, Antonio Dorado, Costa (Jokic, ht), Paulista, Soriano (capt), Espinosa.
Subs: Nahuel, Jonathan Dos Santos, Vietto, Puerto, Marcos.