Mark Gower scored his first ever goal for Swansea City to help us beat 9-man QPR 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium.
After a disappointing start for Paulo Sousa and his side, things are beginning to improve after claiming our second home win in 7 days.
The Swans boss made more changes to his team as he welcomed back four players to his starting line-up.
Nathan Dyer returned after a one-match ban whilst Jordi Lopez would have been disappointed to be on the bench for the visit of his former club. Leon Britton and Darren Pratley started in midfield following their injuries. Gorka Pintado served a one-match suspension as Stephen Dobbie returned from a rib injury to play the lone striker role.
Rangel – Monk – Williams – Tate
Dyer – Pratley – Britton – Gower – Butler
QPR arrived in South Wales as the League’s second most in-form team behind leaders Newcastle United, and early on they were impressive with some excellent free-flowing attacking football in a good opening 20-minute spell for Magilton’s team.
Former Cardiff City midfielder Wayne Routledge was the dangerman for Rangers and his pace and skill were causing some problems early on, but thankfully his finishing was poor as he dragged a lot shot wide of the target.
Once Swansea City had finally managed to settle the game down after starting the game on the back-foot, we were able to get forward on a few occasions. As usual, most of our attacking movement was via Nathan Dyer on the right flank but we were never getting enough players in the box to attack the crosses.
Ashley Williams had our first chance but he headered well over the bar from Mark Gower’s out-swinging cross.
Stephen Dobbie, who was having a quiet game up until now, mainly because the midfield couldn’t get him into goalscoring positions, had a weak shot go well wide of the target before a shot frome close range was deflected just wide, and that’s about as good as it got in terms of chances for us inh
The first half came to an end and QPR would have gone into the dressing room the happier of the two teams. They were playing the more attractive football and were creating far better chances than we were, but it all changed in the second half.
Swansea City have shown a lack of discipline on more than one occasion this season. We had three players sent off in a Cup game against Scunthorpe, and last week two more got shown red cards but today a lack of discipline benefited us as QPR threw away this game.
Dorus De Vries made two world-class saves when it looked absolutely certain that they’d score. QPR started the second half like they started the first but they were unable to finish and together with a lack of discipline, we later punished them with 2 goals to win the game.
QPR captain Rowlands was the first to be shown his second yellow card of the game after 52 minutes. Shortly afterwards Paulo Sousa changed things by bringing on Lee Trundle to replace Tom Butler.
Butler and Gower had shots on goal before we took the lead on 73 minutes. Angel Rangel found Gower at the far post who volleyed home from inside the box. The long wait for his first competitive goal was over and he was absolutely delighted as you’d expect, running over to the fans to celebrate his strike, but it cost him a booking.
Despite being a man short, QPR still looked threatening and we needed a second goal to guarantee the three points.
The visitors helped us again to put the game beyond doubt as they saw another player get sent off for a second booking. Watson was off after 77 minutes, and 8 minutes later we wrapped the game up.
With 2 men down QPR were leaving space at the back as Beattie and Trundle waited unmarked in the box to convert Dyer’s cross. Trundle was there at the near post and he had the easy task to finish from close range.
The Swans didn’t seem to bother looking for a third goal in the final 8 minutes as we took our foot off the pedal.
Again, a strong defence is helping us to pick up good results as we kept our 5th clean sheet of the season. With 2 wins and a draw in the last 3, the morale and confidence is looking up and hopefully we can put more misery on Roy Keane when we visit Ipswich next Saturday.
Dorus De Vries – 9
Angel Rangel – 7
He’s beginning to improve and he’s attacking more but he could still improve defensively at times.
Monk – 7
Not the best in the first half. He had a few dodgy and careless moments, one when he didn’t even look before passing it back to the goalkeeper when we were under pressure. Improved in the second half to helped us maintain a clean sheet.
Williams – 8
Slotted back into his defensive role and didn’t put a foot wrong. Was strong throughout, and cleared up the loose balls.
Tate – 7
He couldn’t handle Routledge’s pace and skill in the first half but along with Monk, he improved in the second half.
Dyer – 8
Most of our attacking play was through Nathan Dyer and he’s been a star so far this season. Superb effort and determination and caused problems with his pace and skill. Looks very confident, and created our second goal.
Pratley – 8
It was great to see Pratley back and you’d think he’d never been away. Very energetic as always, excellent in possession, and helped us maintain a more solid middle third.
Britton – 7
A better performance from Britton and he worked well alongside Pratley.
Butler – 7
Didn’t offer much on the left wing and it was no surprise he went off in the second half, though he did have one or two chances in the first half.
Gower – 7
He didn’t offer much during the game like Butler, but he scored his first goal with a great composed strike with his left foot and hopefully that will give him a big confidence boost.
Dobbie – 5
Struggled up front on his own. He couldn’t hold the ball up and seemed to lose possession whenever he got it.