Swansea City gained revenge for their 4-0 defeat at the Majeski Stadium last year with a superb 2-0 victory this afternoon at the Liberty Stadium.
Roberto Martinez said before the game that his side have made massive progress since the last time they faced the Royals, and they certainly proved that today with yet another excellent dominant performance.
The Spaniard wanted his side to prove themselves at this level, and they did that and more and there’s no reason now why we can’t achieve a play-off birth this year.
Jason Scotland gave us the lead on the stroke of half time with a magnificent left footed drive on the edge of the area. Andrea Orlandi then came off the bench to kill the game late on with a simple tap in from close range.
Considering we had two of our star midfielders missing today – Leon Britton (1 match ban) and Ferrie Bodde (injured), we still controlled the entire game thanks to the likes of Darren Pratley and Joe Allen in particular.
With Leon serving a suspension, Martinez was forced to make the one change from the team that beat Burnley 2-0 last week as Dyer made his full debut on the right wing, which meant Gomez returned to the centre.
Rangel – Williams – Monk – Tate
Dyer – Pratley – Allen – Gomez – Gower
The visitors started off the better side and had a good opening 10-minute spell but after that the Swans were in control.
Kevin Doyle had 2 long range shots on target but they both rolled well wide of the target. De Vries was forced into a save at his near post but other than that his colleagues in front gave him a quiet afternoon.
Our first real clear cut chance came after 15 minutes. Angel Rangel got in a good position, Jordi Gomez headed square to Scotland in the box but his attempt was well saved by the goalkeeper.
On the half hour mark, Mark Gower went close again to scoring his first goal for the Swans. It was a superb passing move involving Gomez and Scotland before Gower struck a long range shot towards goal which was palmed away and cleared by the defence.
Gower had another excellent chance before that following good play from Dyer but the winger fired straight at the goalkeeper from inside the penalty area.
The Swans were in control at this stage and we were dominating possession. Joe Allen was impressive and was often spraying balls out wide to the wingers, Dyer in particular. The new loan signing from Southampton was causing all sorts of problems for their full back Anderson. Rangel also got forward more often in the second half to give us another threat down the right flank.
Jason Scotland had his second chance on goal to give us the lead. Alan Tate got forward and passed the ball to our top scorer. With his back to goal on the edge of the penalty area, he turned well before unleashing an unstoppable low left footed drive into the bottom corner.
It was what we deserved after an excellent opening half and it came at the best possible time.
Swansea City needed to maintain that level of performance in the second period and continue to keep Reading’s dangermen quiet, as Doyle and Hunt were hardly involved in the opening 45 minutes.
We did just that and as we went in search of a second goal to kill the game off. It didn’t come and the longer the match you went on you felt they could rob us of 2 points. Doyle headered wide early on but that was their only chance in the first 15 minutes of the restart.
At the other end, the Swans created some chances of their own with Scotland and Gower firing off target. Andrea Orlandi then replaced Mark Gower and he was instantly involved in an attack. He picked up possession just inside the Reading half and he had to space to run towards goal, the ball fell to Rangel who got himself into an excellent position but yet again he proved that he needs some shooting practise! From close range he fired over.
A second goal still hadn’t come and Reading counter-attacked with pace as they looked to grab an equaliser. Luckily it didn’t come but you sensed they were capable of scoring against the run of play.
We were then handed a big boost near the end of the game as Rosenoir picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Nathan Dyer. He received his first booking for throwing the ball down in temper.
The second goal finally came but the scoreline could have been different as Leroy Lita got himself in a good position. Doyle was free in space but he decided to selfishly go alone. Thankfully he was dispossessed and we double our lead. The defence sent a long ball up towards Scotland, who did well to beat his man, he ignored Orlandi in space in the box, he tried to round the keeper but was fouled by Duberry, the ball fell nicely to Andrea who put the ball easily into an empty net. He showed a lot of emotion after scoring his first goal for the club in his 18-month stay here.
It was a relief to see the second goal go on as at times Reading got into some good positions, even with 10 men, to bring the scores level. But had they scored it would have been a harsh punishment for the Swans who produced a superb dominant performance against one of the League’s best sides.
de Vries – 7
Little to do all game.
Rangel – 8
Solid in defence and gave us a threat going forward.
Monk – 8
Had a quiet game with little to do thanks to our midfield.
Williams – 8
Same as above.
Tate – 7
Got caught out once in the first half and Pratley had to slide in to win us the ball, but he assisted Scotland’s opener and was faultless for the rest of the game.
Gower – 7
Again he got into some good positions and caused the keeper to make a few good saves, but his urgency to score is maybe affecting his game.
Gomez – 6.5
Not one of his best performances for us this season and he lost possession quite often.
Pratley – 8
Has energetic as ever, won us the ball time and time again and worked well with Allen to help us dominate in the middle third.
Allen – 9
Absolutely superb. Accurate passing, is willing to get stuck in and looked like he’s been the game at this level for years. An excellent replacement for Bodde.
Dyer – 9
Our star player, a superb full debut from the right winger. Has lots of pace which is what we’ve been missing and caused Reading all sorts of problems.
Scotland – 8
Scored a cracking goal to give us the lead and was involved in the second goal as well. That’s 3 goals in 2 League games now.
Martinez – 10/10. What he’s doing here at Swansea City is quite incredible. He’s created a side that even without key players in Ferrie Bodde and Leon Britton, can play a team like Reading off the park and win comfortably by a 2-goal margin. With the funds he has spent it’s simply superb, it seems he can do no wrong here at the moment and he brought Dyer in at the right time, and gave us something different on the wing.
Coppell blamed himself for the defeat because he thought maybe he chose the wrong tactics. He sent his side out looking to attack us rather than keeping 10 men behind the ball and to defend in numbers. Teams who come here looking to attack us usually fail, Wolves did and they lost 3-1.