Date: 26th August 2012 at 10:22am
Written by:

Swansea City continued their impressive early form with a comfortable 3-0 home win against Premier League newcomers West Ham United.

The Swans sat proudly at the top of the English Premier League at around 3pm, before Chelsea won their third consecutive game to leap ahead.

Like last weekend at QPR, the Hammers were littered with defensive errors that gifted Swansea’s 2-goal lead, before they netted a third with no help from the opposition.

Unsurprisingly, Michael Laudrup named an unchanged side for this afternoon’s early kick off in front of the Sky cameras.

The Swans have been known for their slick and accurate passing, particularly at home, but today they were sloppy with their play in the early stages but thankfully the visitors were unable to take advantage.

Despite a rather stuttering start in terms of passing, the Swans found the lead almost mid-way through the opening 45 minutes thanks to a mistake from the goalkeeper – that I’m not attempting to spell (he used to play for Bolton). Dyer fed Rangel in space down the wing, and his cross went under and off the keeper before falling into the net for the first of three goals in front of a full house at the Liberty Stadium.

While the sides looked rather tightly matched in the early exchanges, the hosts added a second on the half hour mark, with the visitors making another huge, costly mistake. 

James Collins turned to make a back pass to his goalkeeper, but it lacked the pace to reach the shot stopper, and Michu raced on to the loose ball, just before the keeper could meet it, and he poked it past him to double Swansea’s advantage.

The visitors had new club record signing Matt Jarvis from Wolves and he went straight into Allardyce’s starting 11. He was the Hammers’ main source of attack and getting the ball into the danger area. They certainly weren’t free of chances, as they looked to cut the deficit before the break. Jarvis tested Vorm, who made a great save from his close range volley before he almost created their first of the game, as Carlton Cole’s header from his corner was cleared off the line by Leon Britton.

HALF TIME – Swansea City 2-0 West Ham United

Laudrup’s side were sloppy with their passing in the opening 45 minutes but thankfully they showed improvement in the second half, as they were able to maintain a clean sheet whilst scoring a goal without relying on a costly mistake from the opposition.

Time and time again, the Swans were able to thread through some perfectly timed passes, as Sam Allardyce must have watched on with a concerned look on his face. Graham should have at least scored one from the three opportunities he had in front of goal.

The striker could have wrapped the game up with a few goals in the early part of the second period. Wayne Routledge again was impressive, and almost made a couple of assists but Graham saw efforts go wide and saved by the home goalkeeper. Dyer also sent him through on goal but the assistant waved, in error, his offside flag.

Graham did, and finally got the goal he deserved. After the game he would have wondered how he didn’t score if he failed to net from Routledge’s cross. The left winger, made an excellent run down the right following good work from Rangel. He crossed it back from the byline and Graham was there to knock it in from about 8 yards out.

With the vital third goal scored with more than half an hour left to play, the 3 points looked comfortable as Vorm’s only other save to make was from Vaz Te’s low powerful free-kick, won after he was fouled by Chico – who picked up a yellow card – one which had been coming since the first half.

Sam Allardyce’s side were looking a good match for the Swans in the first 45 minutes, as the home side didn’t help their cause with their possession spells often being interrupted by a poor stray pass.

That improved in the second half, so much so that BBC’s Match of the Day had to speed up some of our possession play as it lasted for a solid two minutes.

The Hammers made two massive mistakes in the first half, whilst looking pretty solid, and they might have got a point – who knows – if they managed to go into the break without conceding.

However, as I didn’t expect, West Ham backed off us, and often gave us 10 yards to enter the final attacking third. Their centre halves also got it completely wrong with their offside ‘trap’. Graham could have netted a hatrick in a dozen or so minutes – having gone through on goal on three separate occasions. When you consider that, a 3-0 scoreline didn’t flatter us in the end, as the Swans’ confidence grew on the back of a 2-goal advantage, whilst the visitors struggled to cause many difficulties for Vorm in the home goal after the break.

Two games, two wins, two clean sheets, you just can’t have any complaints so far. The play is similar to that of Brendan Rodgers’ last season, but you can see slight differences. We seem to be a little bit more direct under Laudrup. There’s less passes being played amongst the back four, not to mention an improvement in terms of our chances to goals scored ratio.

Leon Britton said last week’s 5-0 win at QPR was a one-off, and he was right, but it was important that we could prove that it wasn’t just a case of playing well against a side riddled with defensive errors. You still have to take your chances, and they did again today. The opposition will improve, we haven’t faced anyone in the class of the Manchester sides, but you can only play against what’s in front of you, and it’s so far so good.

SWANSEA: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Chico Flores, Ashley Williams (capt), Neil Taylor (Ben Davies, 84), Leon Britton, Jonathan de Guzman (Kemy Agustien, 75), Michu, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge (Luke Moore, 81), Danny Graham.

Subs: Gerhard Tremmel, Alan Tate, Mark Gower, Stephen Dobbie.

WEST HAM: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Winston Reid, George McCartney, Kevin Nolan (capt), James Tomkins (Ricardo Vaz Te, ht), Matt Jarvis, Carlton Cole (Modibo Maiga, 62), Mark Noble, James Collins, Guy Demel, Mohamed Diame (Abou Diarra, 70).

Subs: Stephen Henderson, Nicky Maynard, Matthew Taylor, Joey O’Brien.