Swansea City 2-1 Crewe
Swansea City extend their lead at the top to 8 points after tonight's 2-1 home win against Crewe.
It wasn't a scoreline that reflected Swansea's dominant performance but it was the 3 points that counted - especially with 2 tough games ahead of us at Doncaster and Nottingham Forest.
Roberto Martinez made 3 more changes to his side as he continues to rest his key players. After being left out on Saturday, Dennis Lawrence was back in defence in place of Tate. Bauza replaced Scotland and Robinson was back in the side to replace Paul Anderson.
Rangel - Monk - Lawrence - Painter
Butler - Britton - Bodde - Pratley - Robinson
The hosts kicked off and started the game off well and at a fast pace, we continued to dominate possession as Crewe found it difficult to compete with our free-flowing passing play.
We had a few decent chances on goal and it was a case or when not if we'd score. We broke the deadlock inside of 15 minutes thanks to Butler's strike. Andy Robinson made his way inside, laid off to Bodde, his powerful strike was blocked but it fell nicely into Butler's path who finished from an acute angle.
Just like we were on Saturday against Port Vale, we were always quick to close the opposition down when we were out of possession. Crewe didn't have the quality and struggled to maintain the ball long enough to create anything to test De Vries in goal.
9 minutes after our goal, it was nearly 2 as Bauza's shot was cleared off the line. Then 5 minutes later Garry Monk was angry with himself after heading Robinson's corner over the bar. Monk went close again moments later but Crewe's Patrick Boyle made another important goal-line clearance.
Britton, Pratley and Bodde were controlling the game and Crewe had no answer for our impression play. A lot of our attacking moves involved the link-up of Butler and Rangel on the right hand side, though on some occasions his crosses were useless with nobody getting forward into the box.
Despite all of our efforts, possession and chances, we were only a goal up and although our defence and goalkeeper were put under no pressure in the opening 45 minutes, you had the feeling Crewe could nick something if we failed to increase our lead in the second half.
The Swans continued to dominate possession, but again we struggled to create anything clear cut in front of goal. We seemed to want to walk the ball and nobody was willing to have strike from 18 yards or more.
Leon Britton had a great chance to finally double our lead but his shot flew just wide of the post. Dennis Lawrence showed an improved performance today, dealing with headers that came his way but he was disappointing from corners, heading over twice.
We seemed to take our feet off the gas a little as Crewe finally started to compete and create a few chances of their own. They were finally able to create some space in the wide areas and Painter in particular seemed to struggle and was our weak link today.
As the hour mark passed, our 1-goal lead was looking as comfortable and changes needed to be made. Roberto made the first as he brought off Butler and replaced him with Paul Anderson.
10 minutes later and he made another change. Bauza struggled all game up front on his own and he went off for Scotland. He instantly made an impact, surging forward and getting a few shots on goal from outside the box, something no one else was bothering to do.
Swansea finally got that second goal that we were all looking for and it was substitute Anderson that got it. Pratley picked out Anderson well, he surged forward, outrunning his defender and slotting the ball past the keeper and into the bottom left hand corner, it was nothing more than we deserved.
With 9 minutes to play, Brandy came on to replace Robinson.
Our defence angered De Vries in injury time though as we failed again to keep a clean sheet. It was a soft goal to concede, we failed to clear our lines as Pope netted from close range.
It was dominant performance from us, but we'll need to create more clear cut chances and improve our finishing when we visit Doncaster and Nottingham Forest.
De Vries - 7
Rangel - 7
Lawrence - 7
Monk - 7
Painter - 6
Butler - 8
Bodde - 7
Pratley - 7
Britton - 7
Robinson - 7
Bauza - 6