Swansea City began their home account with a fantastic 4-0 win this afternoon as they swept aside a poor Preston side in front of 14,010 fans at the Liberty Stadium.
Stephen Dobbie opened the scoring mid-way through the first half and from then on Rodgers side eased to victory as Darren Pratley, Nathan Dyer and David Cotterill also got on the scoresheet.
Preston North End boss Darren Ferguson said his side was much better than the one that lost 2-0 at Swansea last term, but there was no evidence of those claims today, if anything they were worse as they struggled to cope with the threat of the likes of Nathan Dyer and new signing Scott Sinclair.
Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers welcomed back Welsh internationals Ashley Williams and David Cotterill, who both scored in Wales` 5-1 win against Luxembourg on Wednesday night. Scott Sinclair was handed his debut out on the left wing and Dobbie was back up front to score his first goal of the season. Angel Rangel was also available again and started at right back after missing last week`s game at Hull City with a thigh problem.
|Rangel||Monk – Williams||Tate|
|Cotterill – Pratley – Gower|
Prior to kick off, an excellent display was held for the memory of the late Besian Idrizaj, who sadly passed away in May this year. Around 2,500 fans in the East Stand help up black and white paper to show his shirt number, while thousands of other supporters held up scarfs during a one minute`s silence.
Swansea got off to a slow start to the game, as our defence struggled with Preston`s early counter-attacks and the visitors had a few good chances to open the lead themselves. Thankfully it only took around 10 minutes for the Swans to get into their stride as from then on as we completely dominated possession.
PNE went close early on in front of their own fans as Chris Brown shot just wide of the post, before Dorus De Vries had to cut out a decent low cross from the right wing. That was most of their chances for the whole as Swansea City were the team to produce the attacking play. Scott Sinclair didn`t take too long to prove his quality after 18 minutes. He beat 3 players to cut inside before firing a long range shot just inches over the bar.
The new signing, a £500,000 buy from Chelsea continued to impress as he was involved in another decent chance from Rodgers` side. He helped David Cotterill with a goalscoring opportunity but the midfielder`s shot hit the post.
Moments later though, and the hosts got the opening goal that they attacking play deserved. Good pressure from Alan Tate forced a Preston North End defender into an error, and he lost the ball which fell to Stephen Dobbie. The Scot did well to turn on the edge of the area to give himself a yard of space of slotting the ball home low into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
The striker looked thrilled to get his first League goal for the club, and for the remainder of the game he looked desperate to get on the scoresheet once again.
Swansea City fans weren`t used to this type of attacking play after watching a slow, defensive approach from Paulo Sousa last season. Our passing was far from fluent, there was much more pace going forward and we always looked threatening in the final third.
We doubled our lead as Darren Pratley found the net from close range after some poor defensive work from Preston following a corner.
A third was added before half time as Cotterill picked out Dobbie down the left, and his left-footed cross found Nathan Dyer at the far post who had the simple job of tapping the ball in at the far post.
3-0 at half-time, not a scoreline we`re used to at the Liberty Stadium and we were all thrilled to see some entertainment again. The Swans were looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at Hull City last weekend and it didn`t take long for Brendan Rodgers to impress the fans on home soil. He delivered exactly what we`ve all been asking for, good attacking play and goals to show for it.
We had the potential to come out for the second half and to get another 2 or 3 goals, but after our fourth from David Cotterill, we seemed happy just to maintain possession and enjoy a further 45 minutes of domination in midfield.
We only had to wait 11 minutes after the restart for Swansea City to make it 4-0, as Nathan Dyer continued to cause plenty of problems as he was brought down inside the penalty area. Cotterill stepped up to take the spot-kick, and he had no problems from the spot – sending the goalkeeper the wrong way with a simple low finish into the bottom corner.
Brendan Rodgers then made his first substitutions as Angel Rangel made way for Albert Serran and Joe Allen came on to replace David Cotterill.
Scott Sinclair went close to scoring on his debut but despite converting Dyer`s cross from the right, his effort was ruled out for offside.
Swansea City fans` chants of “You couldn`t score in a brothel” summed up Preston`s performance really. After missing some great chances early on, they struggled to get a consolation goal late on as Keith Treacy hit the post after De Vries parried his initial shot.
It was a fantastic day for Swansea City fans as we were all thrilled to see some superb attacking play again at the Liberty Stadium. We missed it when Roberto Martinez left to join Wigan Athletic a year ago but it now seems to be back, and hopefully we can continue to play like that for the rest of the season.
Match stats and photos to follow.