Swansea City will pay a hefty price for Tuesday night’s Carling Cup second round defeat at home to Scunthorpe United after having three players sent off in an incredible match in front of just of 7,000 fans at the Liberty Stadium.
Not only will we receive fines from the FAW, who incidentally are never keen to help us out, but possibly extentions to the bans received by Garry Monk and Angel Rangel (3 matches) and Gorka Pintado (1 match).
Even before the madness towards the end when Pintado and Rangel were shown red cards, the referee’s performance along with his officials were a disgrace. The officials were constantly giving the decisions the visitors way, he ignored fouls on the likes of Leon Britton and Nathan Dyer but he was quick to blow the whistle for the slightest knock on any players in blue.
The game ended in a complete farce and should have been abandoned as we only had 6 fit players on the pitch. Stephen Dobbie went off after injuring his ribs, Idrizaj was struggling with an injury and Monk, Pintado and Rangel had been sent off. However, the referee forced us to field Idrizaj, who simply had to stand just inside the touchline to avoid the game being abandoned.
I’ve never seen anything like it in such a short space of time on a football pitch. The fans were calling for Sousa to bring off his players in a protest towards a shocking display from the referee as cards were handed out like it was Christmas.
Before I continue, we didn’t lose because of the referee, I’m not for one moment blaming the referee for tonight’s defeat, but you just can’t ignore his shocking performance, along with his assistants.
Swansea City weren’t up to the standards in the first half. Our passing was poor and we failed to link up our play. We were usually using Rangel and Dyer to attack down the right flank but we weren’t really causing too much of a threat on goal.
As expected, Paulo Sousa made a number of changes from Saturday’s side and he’ll need to make a lot more again on Saturday after losing possibly 5 players this evening.
In goal, David Cornell made his debut while Marcos Painter made a return at left back as Tate moved inside to centre alongside Garry Monk. In midfield, Kerry Morgan was back on the left wing along with Jordi Lopez who’s recovered from a dead leg. Chad Bond kept his place while Pintado returned up front.
Rangel – Monk – Tate – Painter
Dyer – Britton – Bond – Lopez – Morgan
The Swans got off to a poor and very disappointing start as again we can’t seem to sort out our defence at set pieces, particularly corners. Zonal marking doesn’t seem to be the answer, at all. Cornell made a great finger-tip save to keep out Hayes’ low drive but The Iron opened the scoring from the resulting corner. Josh Wright sent in an inswinging cross and Canavan was free to head home from close range.
We gifted them the lead as they didn’t see much of the ball in the opening 13 minutes. We did but we were finding it difficult to create any openings going forward. Our play was far too predictable and our only chances was Pintado’s looping header which was tipped round the bar and Morgan’s long range effort which flew just over the crossbar.
Jordi Lopez is still not at his best but he did improve in the second half but Leon Britton and Nathan Dyer were again impressive in midfield.
As the game went on, we started getting forward more often with Rangel and Dyer doing well down the right flank. It was encouraging to see a better performance from the Spaniard tonight after a slow start to the season for him. I don’t want to praise him too much though after he completely lost it at the end, elbowing a player for a deserved red card.
The Swans started the second half like they should have started the first. We were far quicker to close down the opposition, our passing was precise and quicker and we were finding it easier to create chances.
Stephen Dobbie came on to replace Chad Bond as he and Pintado played together in a 4-4-2 for the first time this season. It was an unlucky replacement for Bond, he was no worse than the ineffective Pintado and he did a decent job of holding the ball up and finding a team mate with a decent pass.
Dobbie made an instant impact and after a few shots at goal, he came closest when his 20-yard shot hit the bar.
It was all Swansea now as we looked for the equaliser.
And it came thanks to superb link up play with subsitutes Idrizaj and Dobbie. The new Austrian signing made a great flick to provide Dobbie, and he fired the ball in from outside the box to prove what a clinical finisher he can be. The scores were level now and from here there was only one team in the tie.
So you’d thought, but as we approached the final 5 minutes Scunthorpe United got a lifeline as Swansea City were down to 10 men. O’Connor dived past Monk, the referee was aware of O’Connor’s cheating and Monk was furious with him. The two players came head to head behind the referee’s back but the assistant saw Monk butting O’Connor and he was shown his marching orders. O’Connor didn’t even get a yellow card, after diving, now you can see the sort of things their players were getting away with, not to mention all the flying tackles beforehand.
The match went to extra time but we were dealt another blow when Stephen Dobbie had to go off injured after injuring his ribs, we were down to 9 men now as we had used all our subs, but we still seemed to cope ok and had more of the possession.
The visitors were given a superb chance to win the tie after yet another controversial decision by the referee who awarded Scunthorpe a penalty on 113 minutes. Tate was accused of handballing Hayes shot at goal but it looked like it came off his shoulder. Hopper fired the ball into to the top corner giving young Cornell no chance to being a penalty-saving hero.
There was plenty more drama and controversy to come in the second half of extra time. Gorka Pintado was the second Swansea player to be shown a red card, after picking up his second booking after a tackle on O’Connor, his first booking was seemed harsh at the time. Moments later, Rangel got a straight red card for elbowing a player, no excuses for the Spaniard, it was a stupid thing to do.
Idrizaj, who previously suffered knocks in the game beforehand, continued to struggle with an injury and it was obvious he had to come off the pitch, but to avoid the match being abandoned for not having a minimum of 7 players on the pitch, the referee forced Paulo Sousa into putting him back on, as the new signing simply stood on the touchline for the remainder of the game – an eventful debut to say the least!
Cornell – 6
Little to do but made a few good saves. Kicking on a few occasions was a bit poor.
Rangel – 5
It was a good performance from Rangel, his best of the season probably up until his mad moment at the end, no excuses – disgraceful behaviour. He’d have got a 7 if he stayed on the pitch.
Tate – 8
See star player.
Monk – 5
A poor performance from the captain. Conceded possession far too often and got himself sent off for a stupid headbutt.
Painter – 7
An excellent and solid job considering he’s been out injured for so long.
Morgan – 5
Nowhere near as good as he was on his debut against Reading, shame.
Dyer – 7
Another typical Dyer performance, caused problems throughout and showed excellent effort and determination from start to finish.
Britton – 8
A contender for man of the match. Won back possession for us throughout and picked up the loose balls in midfield.
Lopez – 6
A poor first half but improved vastly in the second. Calm in possession and helped us create more chances.
Bond – 5
He was no worse than Pintado and was probably unlucky not to get another 15 minutes before being replaced, but he didn’t do enough in the game. Held the ball up well though.
Pintado – 4
An awful performance which he capped off with a sending off, although a controversial decision, his reaction at the end might get him in more trouble.
Dobbie – 7
Made an instant impact and scored a superb goal.
Gower – 6
Offered more down the left wing than Morgan but nothing special.
Picked up an injury early on and struggled with fitness. Showed glimpses of potential, a good flick to provide Dobbie for the goal but you can’t judge him after that.