Date: 20th March 2011 at 8:01pm
Written by:

Former Chelsea team-mates Scott Sinclair and debutant striker Fabio Borini helped Swansea City get back to winning ways this afternoon as they beat fellow promotion rivals Nottingham Forest 3-2 in front of 18,000 fans at the Liberty Stadium.

Fab-ulous Borini was the 19 year-old who grabbed all the headlines after the games, with two goals after being put straight into the first team after only arriving in the city 2 days earlier. Rodgers showed his faith and confidence in the Italian and he didn’t disappoint with a debut to remember.

Brendan Rodgers’ team were without a win in the previous 3 games and it was vital to our promotion push that we got 3 points against the Trees.

The Swans were back to their best on a sunny afternoon as they provided the Jack faithful with plenty of goals, entertainment and excitement throughout the 90 minutes.

Rodgers wanted his side “all guns blazing” today and they were started brightly and set their stall out to show plenty of pace, intensity and pressure going forward. The Swans kicked off, and after playing it back to the defence, a few neat passes on the halfway line gave Nathan Dyer the chance to race forward and win a free-kick.

Stephen Dobbie had our first decent opportunity within the opening few minutes, when a pass was deflected to himself via a Forest player. It gave the Scot the chance to move inside and get a left-footed shot on goal from 18 yards, but it was well blocked by a defender.

Moments later, Swansea City had shouts for a penalty when Alan Tate played a testing ball through to Nathan Dyer and Paul Konchesky to fight over. The Forest full back got goal-side of the ball but Dyer beat him for pace before getting caught by an outstretched leg near the goal-line. Dyer was never really in possession of the ball so it was hardly surprising that the referee didn’t point to the spot.

The Swans dominated early on in typical fashion, with quick passes – especially down the right flank with Nathan Dyer, and they showed excellent desire to win the ball back on the rare occasions they lost it.

Scott Sinclair then had the first chance to show how much of a handful he can be to opposition defenders on 7 minutes when the Swans went on the counter after winning the ball on the edge of their own penalty area. Taylor, Dobbie, Dyer and Borini were involved before Sinclair had it on the left. Cutting inside, he made his way to the 6-yard area but surrounded by 3 players, the ball rolled out of his reach as Camp claimed it before Dobbie had a chance to poke it in the net.

Forest didn’t have many chances and their first one on 12 minutes was barely a tester for De Vries who was mainly a spectator up until now. A cross from the left found Paul Anderson unmarked at the far post. The former Swansea loanee tried a spectacular first-time volley but it went across goal, off a Forest player and easily into the hands of our Dutch shot stopper.

Before that, Dobbie had another effort blocked on the edge of the box after some neat passing play. Swans fans were singing Depeche Mode’s “I Just Can’t Get Enough” again as they were enjoying an excellent start to this high tempo game between two strong sides.

Forest were then able to test the Swansea defence with a ere kick just inside the half. We’ve looked suspect at set pieces and didn’t deal with a great curling cross into the far post. Luckily a Forest player couldn’t make contact with the ball either as it ended up with de Vries.

Scott Sinclair didn’t have too much of the ball in the opening quarter of an hour but he has that quality to make the most of the few chances he does have in front of goal. Dobbie played a lovely ball through the middle for the winger to run onto before firing low at goal – a shot which Camp parried out for a corner.

De Vries then had his fingers stung for the first time on 20 minutes when Boyd fired low at goal from just outside the box which the goalkeeper palmed away.

Moments later Swansea City found the breakthrough, and it was Scott Sinclair who netted his 22nd goal of the campaign with an individual goal right out of the top draw. The quality of the goal cannot be exaggerated or be justified by words alone. You won’t see a better goal at the Liberty Stadium. The move started off with Neil Taylor sliding in on the left touch to win a tackle, and Sinclair has picked it up near the half way line. All that was on his mind was to get towards goal as quickly as possible, making his way into the middle whilst beating 2 players in his wake. With another 2 in front of him on the edge of the box, he cuts out to the right, beating the pair of them plus Konchesky before cutting a low shot right across goal to beat the goalkeeper. Selfish? No, he was on his own, just pure brilliance from the former Chelsea man.

The goal was nothing more than what we deserved after our dominance and attacking play, the Swans continued to get forward in search of a second before half time.

We didn’t have to wait long for a second goal. Swansea’s patient build up play paid off. Taylor was in the opposition’s half but played the ball all the way back to Williams and Tate for the latter to begin the move down the right side. He played ball down the wing for Rangel to chase on to. The Spaniard made an excellently timed run to get in behind the full back before cutting the ball back to Borini in the box. His initial shot was blocked, but it came just back to him, and before waiting for the right moment to strike again, he’s fired it to the left corner of the net and through a crowd of players to grab a goal on his debut. The Italian then races over towards the East Stand to celebrate in front of the fans, punching the air and enjoying the moment with his new team mates.

Borini then had a chance to get his second and Swansea’s third as the home side counter attacked once more. Dyer raced through the middle before giving it to Borini who fired a powerful shot that rattled the woodwork.

2 goals to nil, a scoreline that reflected Swansea’s first half showing – that was up until we shot ourselves in the foot just before half time. We didn’t have long to hold on to our 2-goal advantage going in at the break but the visitors got themselves back in the game from a rare opportunity. The Swans backed off, Anderson fed the ball to Tyson and Tate was slow to react. Tyson pulled it back to Boyd in the area, who was able to turn with his back to goal before firing it past de Vries. The Dutch keeper would have been disappointed to let the ball go past him at his near post.

Brendan Rodgers would have been delighted with his side’s first half showing as they created a number of good goal chances and showed great pace going forward, but he would have been disappointed to concede so late on in the half after going two goals up.

With just a goal separating the two sides, Forest were still in this and they too showed they could be a threat in the final third. They lacked the pace that we had, but they made up for it with strength and the extra ability in the air and the Swans had to go into the second half with the same attitude and intensity as they did in the first to get the 3 points we deserved up to now.

Swansea got forward almost instantly after the restart with Dyer, and he went down inside the box but again the referee ignored our penalty claims, while Chambers accused Dyer of diving.

Dobbie then test Camp in goal with a left footed shot from 20 yards that he directed out for a corner. Another bright start from Rodgers’ men as they looked for an early goal to restore their 2-goal advantage.

Forest were on the back foot once again as Mark Gower sent a low powerful shot across the face of goal from an acute angle and just past the far post.

If you were to bet on who was going to score next you’d put your money on the Swans, unless of course you’re an optimistic Forest fan. You would have been paid out as well as Scott Sinclair helped create our third of the game as Borini got his second. More trademark stopovers and dummy-moves from Sinclair saw him dance his way into the box, his shot was saved by the goalkeeper but it fell nicely for Borini to net with his left foot. Rodgers was delighted, and the loanee celebrated in similar fashion to his first – again with his lookalike Angel Rangel.

The 2-goal advantage was restored, and the Swans looked comfortable once again, and they had chances of making it 4 or 5, and giving Billy Davies’ team an embarrassing scoreline.

Forest didn’t have an answer yet as Swansea’s slick passing continued as the visitors had to carry on chasing shadows as they were made to work by the hosts. Borini saw a header at the front host deflected for a corner, before Dyer flashed a shot at goal which Camp got a hand to.

Brendan Rodgers then made his first substitute of the afternoon, bringing on Leon Britton to replace Stephen Dobbie who had another good game in the attacking midfield role. He had a few shots on goal, mostly parried by Camp as well as creating chances for his team mates.

Sinclair should have wrapped things up and made it 4-1 when he made his way into the box again with another trademark run. He was a bit selfish this time though, a fired wide of the target but he had Dyer in space 6 yards out to his right.

Cohen then had half a chance to get one back, he chased a ball forward as he got in behind the last defender but de Vries did well to come out quickly from his goal, narrowing the angle to save the shot.

Garry Monk then came on for Rangel to wear the captain’s armband for the first time since early January.

It was Borini’s turn, following Sinclair’s, to make miss a great opportunity to make it 4-1. Dyer blocked a clearance by a defender, Camp failed to deal with it which gave Borini the chance to pass the ball into an empty net, but under pressure, his shot went into the side netting.

Forest were getting more of the ball in the final 15 minutes as Swansea City went off the boil slightly in terms of getting forward.

Van Der Gun then came on to replace a tired Nathan Dyer, who ran his socks off.

With 4 minutes of injury time shown by the fourth official, it looked like the Swans would just play keep ball, but they gifted Forest an unlikely chance to get something from the game as they pulled the scores back to 3-2. It was the former Swansea loanee Paul Anderson to create a nervous end to a fantastic game. McCleary beat van deer Gun down the left, and played a low pass square to Anderon, who did well to direct it past de Vries, who could only get his finger tips to the ball as it went into the net.

Forest launched the ball forward at every opportunity to try and get a shock equaliser, and they very nearly got it as they hit the post. A testing cross in towards the far post was met by a Anderson’s head, but luckily for us it hit the outside of the post and Mark Gower was able to clear the danger.

A late scare and a nervous last few moments after what should have been a very comfortable victory against a good Forest side. We had a very late chance to make it 4-2 but Sinclair fired over the target with Borini in support.

The referee blew the full time whistle much to the joy of the Swansea fans, players and management staff. A relief in the end after a late goal from the visitors, but it was really was a much deserved win for Rodgers’ side who were back to their best to end their recent poor run of form.