Swansea City are still looking for their first home League win of the season after they were held to a goalless draw by a solid and physical Bristol City side.
After suffering our third defeat in 6 games on Saturday against Preston, manager Paulo Sousa told his players than unless they perform to his expected standards, they’re ‘out the door’.
As expected, he made quite a few changes to his side. Gorka Pintado returned to start only his second game of the season, while Leon Britton was surprisingly dropped to the bench to allow the return of Joe Allen. New signing Cedric Van Der Gun made his home debut, replacing Mark Gower on the left wing and Fede Bessone started at left back as Marcos Painter was dropped to the bench.
Richards – Tate – Williams – Bessone
Dyer – Lopez – Allen – Orlandi – Van Der Gun
The Swans were quick out of the blocks and we made an encouraging start to the game. Joe Allen was showing his class and how much we’ve missed a player like him in midfield. He had a great chance after just 6 minutes to put us ahead, he went on a surging run forward but his shot was mis-kicked and he fired well wide of the target. Moments later, he had another opportunity as he ran through on goal, but he lost possession before he could get a shot on goal.
It was the same old story for Paulo Sousa’s Swans though, we couldn’t maintain that level of attacking play for long as mistakes started to creep in again. Our defence were doing a good enough job but Bristol City were finding into to easy to play through our midfield and into the final third.
The Robins looked dangerous from set pieces and Dorus De Vries had to make a desperate punch away, as a Bristol City player was unmarked at the back post waiting to head home from close range.
With our new zonal marking system at corners, we were looking vulnerable but the likes of Ashley Williams and Alan Tate looked solid throughout.
Bristol City were now enjoying their best spell following a good 10-minute start from the Swans. Evander Sno had a great chance to open the scoring for Gary Johnson’s side, he broke into the box down the left side, got onto his favoured right-foot but he fired a shot just inches past the far post – a wake up call for us.
Nathan Dyer had ouronly decent chance since Joe Allen’s early effort as he fired a low shot just wide from an acute angle. At the other end, the Robins had another chance to break the deadlock but Elliot’s header went just wide of the post.
After a promising start to the game from the Swans, where he looked quite confident in possession, it was frustrating to see how quickly simple mistakes crept back into our game, and all of a sudden we found ourselves on the back foot.
Cedric Van Der Gun was having a rather quiet evening on the left but he had our best goalscoring chance of the first half when his header hit the bar from Orlandi’s corner from the left.
HALF TIME – Swansea City 0 Bristol City 0
Swansea City started the second half like they started the first, and we created some good chances early on.
Sometimes our final ball was poor or the wrong decision, as Andrea Orlandi and Cedric Van Der Gun were nearly put through on goal but the strong Bristol City defence held firm.
Sousa then made his first change on 65 minutes as he replaced Gorka Pintado with Craig Beattie. I haven’t mentioned Pintado at all so far in this report yet but he didn’t have a bad game in the first half, but he did fade in the second. He’s still yet to show any quality that he score goals on a regular basis for us at this level.
4 minutes later, the fans were delighted to see the arrival of Dutch midfielder Ferrie Bodde who replaced Andrea Orlandi. He was unlucky to be taken off, he performed quite well, linked up with his fellow midfielders and if anyone should have gone off then it was Jordi Lopez.
Swansea City dominated the second half but we were finding it difficult to get into some decent goalscoring positions, and a goal from us looked unlikely.
Substitute Craig Beattie had a great chance to score his first goal for the club, Joe Allen sent the Scot through on goal but his shot was fired straight to the keeper who made a simple save.
We had another great chance, Bodde capitalised on some poor play from the opposition, Nathan Dyer was free and available to run through on goal, but the Dutchman rather selfishly went his own way and he dispossessed.
After a poor performance from Jordi Lopez, the Spaniard had the chance to redeem himself and grab the winner for the Swans late on. Jazz Richards sent him through on goal but Basso made a key save.
Johnson’s side then had a chance to nick all three points deep into injury time but thanks to another superb save from Dorus De Vries, the scores remained level at full time.