Report - Swansea City 1-0 Burnley
23rd August 2014
Swansea City maintained their 100% record at home but they made it hard work for themselves as Nathan Dyer's first half goal was enough to give Monk's side all 3 points in front of a sell out crowd at the Liberty Stadium.
As expected, Monk named an unchanged side to the one that beat Manchester United last weekend, whilst new signings Tom Carroll and Federico Fernandez were introduced to the crowd before kick off but were left out of the 18-man match squad.
The Swans made a good start to the game - playing some quick, one touch passing moves as they looked to switch the ball from side to side as Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge both offered excellent width. Ki kept things ticking nicely for Swansea in the centre of the pitch, getting the ball into key areas while Shelvey was more of a hinderance than anything in the early exchanges. The young Englishman was conceding free kicks again, as he did at Old Trafford, and his passing was inconsistent.
After good early chances for Wilfried Bony and Gylfi Sigurdsson, the opening goal for Swansea was soon on it's way. Bony headed Routledge's cross towards the top corner but a Burnley defender covered well to head the ball away from danger. Sigurdsson probably should have done better as he side footed a shot that was saved by the keeper, but he proved influential again by creating the vital winner mid-way through the half.
The wingers were able to get in behind the full backs far too often for Dyche's liking. His side allowed the likes of Shelvey and Sigurdsson far too much time and space on the ball as the latter played a first time ball for Dyer. He raced towards goal and had Routledge and Bony as options to pass to but he finished well with a low shot that beat the goalkeeper at his near post.
Burnley got forward a couple of times very early on in the game but when Swansea settled into their rhythm, they found it difficult to force Fabianski into making any saves before the half time whistle. Long balls were directed out to the flanks but they were inaccurate, unlike Williams or Shelvey who started to ping some impressive balls to the wingers.
The second half was a totally different affair to the first as Burnley got a grip on the game and pinged Swansea back in their own half. The Clarets didn't back off their opponents like they did in the first, there was far less time and space for the Swans to work the ball into good areas as Dyer and Routledge could no longer trouble the visitors.
Bony worked very hard throughout, held the ball up well as he did last week but he never looked like getting on the scoresheet after his header in the first half. He showed some excellent touches but he was replaced on 64 minutes as Monk looked to give his side something different up front following the introduction of Gomis.
Montero was also added a few moments later as he replaced goalscorer Nathan Dyer as the wingers were unable to get forward like they did in the first half. Montero injected some pace back into Swansea's attacking play but for the majority of the time, Burnley were on the ball and the defence had their work cut out.
Like the Swans in the first half, Burnley had extra width - particularly on the left flank as Rangel was often forced to move outside to close down the wide men.
In the middle, Burnley's players were having too space to work the ball in and around the penalty area but Swansea's defence held on - although some of their clearances and tackles were desperate as Burnley piled on the pressure.
Jones worked the ball well into the penalty area but his low shot across the face of goal was palmed away by Fabianski. Other than that, Swansea's defenders made key interceptions and tackles when they were needed but they could count themselves lucky as Burnley lacked a clinical edge.
Ki had a great chance to wrap things up and end Burnley's hopes of a point. The ball came back towards him as the goalkeeper could only parry the ball away, but Ki volleyed over from just inside the box.
It was disappointing that Swansea City couldn't build on an impressive first half performance. They should have added to their lead following their dominance and chances, but they allowed Burnley right back into the game after the break. Fortunately, the Swans' defence look a stronger, more organised and united unit this season and worked hard together to hold onto the 3 points.