Date:Sunday August 5 2007
5th August 2007
Swansea City completed their pre-season friendlies with a superb 2-0 victory at home against La Liga side Levante. Goals from Andy Robinson and Jason Scotland gave us the win while an impressive defence and goalkeeper kept a clean sheet.
Roberto Martinez's side, who were up against their toughest competitors by far, showed a huge amount of promise to the Swansea faithful for what could well be the season where we finally get promotion.
It's early days yet of course, but after today's showing the signs look good for success this year.
With no changes up until around the hour mark, Martinez fielded his probable starting-11 that will face Oldham on August 11th.
Dorus De Vries started in goal as Gueret is currently on loan at MK Dons. The Dutch shot stopper was incredibly vocal throughout the game and seemed to have an understanding with the defence in front of him, unlike Willy. He made a number of excellent saves to keep a clean sheet and looked solid and calm all game.
Tate moved into the centre with Lawrence as Rangel started at right back while Painter occupied the opposite flank.
In midfield, I thought Robinson was a surprise choice ahead of Anderson on the left wing, who has been excellent during the pre-season period.
As you'd expect with a friendly, the game started off at a relatively slow pace with most of the opening 15-20 minutes being played in the middle third. Ferrie Bodde was quickly looking impressive early on alongside Pratley, spraying some excellent passes to switch the play.
Duffy and Scotland weren't really in the game at the start as we struggled to get them involved. The wingers were doing well later on to thread some through balls to the strikers but they were getting caught offside.
We had our first real chance after 17 minutes when Britton went through on the right but his shot was blocked for a corner.
Three minutes later and we should have taken the lead. A good bit of skill from Robinson got him away from his marker and into the box, his pass across the face of the goal was somehow missed by both Duffy and Britton.
The game started to pick up with both sides creating goal opportunities as on 22 minutes De Vries was forced into make 2 saves within a minute. His first, he tipped a long range over the bar as the defence gave the Lavente player too much time and space to have a shot at goal. His second save he palmed away shot for a corner.
10 minutes later and Swansea get the ball in the back of the net from a corner. Alan Tate flicked the ball on as Scotland was totally unmarked to head home at the far post. The referee disallowed the goal though for offside.
De Vries was forced into making another good save a few minutes later. Lawrence was far too static defending a Lavente corner. He missed a chance to head the ball clear as the ball fell to an opposing player, but De Vries did well to keep out his powerful drive.
De Vries was forced into more action with 11 minutes of the first half remaining to make a good save from a Lavante free-kick about 25 yards out.
Both sides were attacking well. Swansea started to get their passing game flowing and Duffy and Scotland were both getting into the game more and more as time progressed. Despite De Vries being the more busy of the two keepers, it was the Swans that took the lead. Duffy did well to pass to Robinson who did a neat little one-two with Scotland to put him through on goal. With only the keeper to beat he slotted the ball home into the bottom left hand corner. The duo did brilliantly as there must have been about 4 defenders in such a small space on the edge of the box.
It could have been two just 2 minutes later as Duffy netted after being put through on goal, the ref disallowed though for offside.
Swansea began the second half like they ended the first as three minutes in we doubled our lead. We took a quick free kick on the edge of the area, Scotland received a pass and with Levante's defence half asleep, the striker turned, got ahead of his marker and struck a low shot into the bottom right hand corner.
We were really in our stride at this point as the visitors resented to fouling, especially Andy Robinson who was a threat all game.
Half way through the second half Martinez began to make changes. Painter was the first to go off with Austin replacing him before Pratley and Robinson made way for Anderson and O'Leary later on.
Anderson nearly made an instant impact as his attempted lob struck the bar with around 15 minutes remaining.
De Vries was far less untroubled in the second half as it wasn't until 81 minutes that they looked like getting a goal back. Ettien got the better of Austin to get a shot at goal from wide angle which hit the side netting.
We remained strong at the back as Tate and Rangel were particularly impressive.
Today's performance was excellent and I thought we looked good in all departments. We finally have a goalkeeper that looks strong in all situations who seems to have an understanding with his defence. He continually gave out strong verbal orders and made some top class saves. In midfield, Bodde was impressive and Robinson was a threat all afternoon.
In attack, we seem to have two players who are both excellent finishers. Duffy was unlucky not to score with a goal disallowed while Scotland took his very well.
It's early days but the signs look good so far!
Match Photos here (by sbrjack)
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Date:Sunday August 5 2007
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