Report - Another Red Card But Swans Get a Point
Stadium of Light
27th September 2014
Swansea City suffered another sending off at the Stadium of Light as Garry Monk's side were made to dig deep to claim a point against Sunderland.
It was a game lacking in excitement and goalmouth action but given how the 90 minutes were played out and how the Black Cats looked more threatening inside the penalty area, the Swans will go home pleased they've left Tyneside with a point.
Rather surprisingly, Garry Monk kept Gomis up front despite him playing on Tuesday night and Wilfried Bony available again after missing that match due to a one-match ban.
Following Bony's second yellow during the 1-0 home defeat against Southampton last Saturday, Angel Rangel will miss next weekend's game at the Liberty Stadium against Newcastle United. Unlike Bony, the Spaniard can count himself very unfortunate to get sent off with about ten minutes left to play. His former team-mate and substitute Jordi Gomez knocked the ball on and he simply ran straight into the full back, who couldn't do anything but concede the foul and see red.
Fortunately it came late on in the game and Sunderland couldn't take advantage of the extra man. The Swans simply defended well as they've done all season to hold on for a valuable point.
Sunderland may not be a side that is blessed with technical ability, but they battled well and it made very difficult for the visitors to get into any decent passing rhythm. Sigurdsson and Bony both struggled up front and it soon became obvious that Bony was needed to hold the ball up and help get other players into play.
The wingers Routledge and Dyer were also very quiet thanks to the work from Poyet's men. They kept the play narrow and neither of them could operate as true wingers as the pair were often forced inside to see the ball. Dyer wasted chances by firing high and wide of the target and Ki also did the same.
That proved to be the story of the game in terms of the visitor's attacking play, with not a single shot on goal coming from inside the penalty area as Sunderland restricted them to great effect.
Fabianski was called into action on various occasions, and apart from two important saves at his near post, most of his action was from crosses and set pieces.
Gomis failed to impose himself on the game too. He couldn't cope and hold the ball up against strong opposition players, but even further up the pitch he didn't get any service to offer a real threat.
The second half didn't offer much more than the first either, there was still a lack of clear chances from either side, but it was the hosts who looked most likely to getting a winner, as only one goal was required for the win in this dour encounter.
The Swans got plenty of numbers inside the box to clear loose balls and to block shots, they were strong at corners - Sunderland had plenty of them whilst Fabianski was the visitor's man of the match.
Fernandez and Williams deserved great credit again in the centre of defence and their partnership looks to be improving game by game. It looked like the former might have had to go off very early after a 50-50 challenge with Rodwell but fortunately he was able to play the full game.
Montero came on after 66 minutes and impressed once again after a man of the match performance against Everton in midweek. He was able to make a few forward runs down the left but couldn't quite create enough inside the box. Bony also replaced Gomis for the remaining 20 minutes but Sunderland's tails were up and the Swans couldn't get into good positions often enough.
It was probably Swansea's worst performance of the season, but a point is a point away from home and you'd have probably settled for that before kick off. It's another clean sheet and the Swans will want really want to get their first win in 4 games next Saturday when they take on a struggling Newcastle United side.