Danny Graham scored a hatrick as Swansea City eased past Championship side Blackpool 4-2 in their first of two home pre-season friendlies.
New manager Michael Laudrup watched his first match in the Liberty Stadium stadium and he would have been encouraged by his side’s promising display against the Seasiders – who lost in last season’s Championship Play-Off Final against West Ham United.
|"We really need someone to compete with Graham for that striker role. Lita and Moore don’t come close."|
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While speculation of his Swansea City future continues to grow by the day, Joe Allen watched on from the stands as he prepares to have talks with manager Michael Laudrup on Wednesday to discuss Liverpool’s keen interest.
Also thought to be watching on was Itay Shechter – an Israel international striker who looks set to join on a season long loan from German side Kaiserslautern.
The Swans raced into the lead after just 45 seconds, as Danny Graham took advantage from a poor pass by Barry Ferguson to slot home an early opener. The lead was doubled quarter of an hour later when new midfield-signing Michu raced through thanks to Graham’s through ball to find the net.
Sylvestre went closest for the visitors – watched on by 11 die-hard travelling fans, as his 25-yard effort came back off the crossbar, but he went closer and scored to decrease the deficit to 2-1. Another defensive mistake, this time by Swansea youngster Ben Davies gifted the Seasiders a goal before half time.
Ian Holloway’s side continued to make costly mistakes at the back, and afterwards he said his team might as well have ‘passed the ball into the net’. This time, Stephen Crainey was left red-faced when his stray pass across the pitch was picked up by Nathan Dyer, who assisted Graham’s simple second from 6 yards.
HALF TIME – Swansea City 3-1 Blackpool
Nathan Dyer and Danny Graham linked up again on 64 minutes. Dyer went on one of his typical runs – starting from his own half before forcing a save from the goalkeeper, but the ball fell kindly to Graham to tap in from close range.
Ashley Williams then fouled Thomas Ince inside the box with 7 minutes to play and the midfielder beat Gerhard Tremmel from 12 yards to make the final score 4-2.
Swansea: Michel Vorm (Gerhard Tremmel, 61), Angel Rangel (Jazz Richards, 61), Chico Flores (Alan Tate, 80), Ashley Williams, Ben Davies (Fede Bessone, 85), Leon Britton (Kemy Agustien, 74), Jonathan de Guzman, Michu, Nathan Dyer (Leroy Lita, 80), Wayne Routledge (Gwion Edwards, 85), Danny Graham (Luke Moore, 67).
Subs: Gerhard Tremmel, Alan Tate, Jazz Richards, Fede Bessone, Kemy Agustien, Gwion Edwards, Leroy Lita, Luke Moore.
Blackpool: Matt Gilks, Stephen Crainey, Neal Eardley (James Caton, 77), Ian Evatt (Ashley Eastham, 77), Matt Phillips (Tom Barkhuizen, 62), Elliot Grandin, Gary Taylor-Fletcher (Gerardo Bruna, 67), Ludovic Sylvestre, Alex Baptiste, Barry Ferguson, Chris Basham (Thomas Ince, 40).
Subs: Jake Caprill, Scott Robertson, Tiago Gomes, Jamie Menagh, Thomas Ince, Mark Halstead, Angel Martinez, James Caton, Craig Cathcart, Ashley Eastham, Tom Barkhuizen, Gerardo Bruna, Adam Dodd.