Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup admitted his side didn’t deserve to beat Norwich City as they lost 4-3 in an entertaining game at the Liberty Stadium.
The Swans boss warned his players before the game that it was one that they could lose ‘easily’ if they lost their focus following a good run of results – and unfortunately that’s exactly what happened. The Canaries stormed into a 3-goal lead before the break, and Laudrup’s side had a mountain to climb in the second half.
With goals from Michu and de Guzman, they got the scores back to 3-2, but their hopes of getting a point were over when Snodgrass curled in an unstoppable free-kick to kill off the home side’s excellent second half momentum.
The hosts also had a goal ruled out, as Shechter’s goal following a corner was disallowed with Michu apparently committing a foul on the goalkeeper. That goal would have put the scores level at 3-3 but Ashley Williams conceded a free kick which the visitors converted brilliantly.
Laudrup, as honest as ever in his analysis of the game, admitted the first half performance was nowhere near good enough for this level:
‘I did not want to be right with my prediction,’
‘Sometimes you try and warn and say something before a game because it is no point saying it afterwards, but obviously we did not play well in the first half to say the least.
‘When you do really well suddenly the spot light is on you and everybody tells you that you are so good and you might start to believe it.
‘I knew there would be a (bad) reaction at some point after all the positive results and praise that we have had and it came in the first half.
‘I think everybody realised that you can’t play at 90% at this level. It’s a lesson for everyone that you have to be 100% all the time.
‘Going in three goals down was poor but when we came out for the second half there was a great reaction and it could have been 3-3 if the goal had not been disallowed.
‘But overall we did not deserve to win.’
Laudrup also felt his side could have won the game if they played the entire game the way they did in the second half.
“We were far too predictable in the first half and Norwich were very organised, they played with two lines of four and we made things very easy for them,”
“We have played Liverpool, West Brom, Arsenal and Chelsea recently and they all had very few chaces but Norwich had six in the opening 35 minutes.
“Then we had a lot of problems from set pieces. It was a very bad half but there was a great reaction.
“All of things that we did not do in the first half, no movement, no pace, we did in the second.
“This team has shown me more than once that is has lot of character.
“I am not going to criticise the team after one bad performance, everybody is allowed to play badly every now and then.
“It’s just a pity because I think if we had played just a little bit better in that first half I think we could have won the game.”
Laudrup was certainly correct that his side could have won the game if they did indeed play the entire game with the quality they showed in the second half. They dominated the entire second 45 minute period, pinned Norwich back into their own half, and created plenty of chances.
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