Swansea City seemed to have a learnt a valuable lesson from Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at home to QPR as this time around we converted our dominance into goals as Pratley, Gomez and Butler netted to give us a comfortable 3-0 win against Southampton.
It could be said that Tuesday`s performance was of better quality as the first half today was never spectacular but nevertheless we did what mattered and that was getting the ball in the back of the net.
Roberto Martinez was forced into making a change in between the sticks today after Dorus De Vries broke his cheekbone on Tuesday night. This meant that Artur Krysiak was given the opportunity to make his debut. The other change saw Thomas Butler return from injury to replace Mark Gower, who was dropped to the bench.
Rangel – Monk – Williams – Painter
Gomez – Britton – Bodde – Pratley – Butler
We made a decent enough start as within two minutes Ferrie Bodde picked out Jason Scotland`s run with an excellent diagonal through ball, but the striker found himself in a offside position, and unfortunately he couldn`t break that habit throughout the 90 minutes.
Our passing play wasn`t flowing like it was on Tuesday as it took us a bit of time for us to settle into the game. Meanwhile at the back we were giving Southampton far too much time and space on the ball as after 8 minutes Williams had to make an excellent sliding tackle as Painter and Monk failed to deal with a simple long ball down the right wing.
4 minutes later we took the lead, thanks to some poor defending and marking from the opposition. Bodde picked out Butler on the left wing with an excellent pass, he made his way inside towards the byeline before picking out Pratley who had enough space and time to take a touch onto his right foot before striking the ball low passed the keeper’s left and into the bottom right corner.
The visitors tried getting the scores level again as they gave Krysiak his first save to make shortly after our goal. Wright-Phillips did well to get himself into a shooting position from just outside the box but the young shot-stopper made a simple save from his low effort.
Our next chance didn`t occur until 25 minutes when Leon Britton picked out Scotland near the penalty area, he was crowded by the defence and decided to lay the ball off to Ferrie Bodde but his curling shot went over the bar.
Our narrow lead was looking pretty comfortable at this stage as Krysiak was rarely troubled but our defence was still giving the Saints far too much time and space on the ball but they were unable to take advantage of our generosities at times.
The Swans were having more of the play at this stage although most of it was in the middle third as we rarely threatened to double our lead in the first half.
Rangel could and should have though with 6 minutes remaining as Gomez picked out his run down the right with a superb pass with the outside of his foot. The full back made his way into the box but somehow he missed the target and hit the side-netting instead.
Scotland found himself in an offside position again before the break as another pass from Bodde could have seen him through on goal if he timed his run better.
Southampton then had their best chance to equalise but a back heel cross from the near the by-line went straight to Rangel who was able to clear the danger inside the penalty area.
The referee blew his whistle after a pleasing first half from the Swans but we never really got out of second gear, moving up to third or fourth in the second half could have seen us go on to put the game beyond doubt and that`s exactly what happened.
After just 25 seconds into the second half, Gomez created a chance of his own after passing two players to cut in from the right, he picked out Bodde in space but his shot from 25 yards went just wide of the target.
The Espanyol player was involved again in a Swansea attack, this time his free-kick was met by Ashley Williams but he headered over the bar.
The Swans were then dealt a blow as Marcos Painter suffered what looked like a nasty knee injury, he was stretchered off and was replaced by Alan Tate.
The referee then awarded us another free kick in a better shooting position and here we doubled our lead. Ferrie Bodde`s effort was spilled by Davies in goal and Gomez was there with the simple task of tapping it in from 2 yards out.
Southampton had some half chances on goal but Krysiak was always equal to them and made some comfortable and straightforward saves. Our 2-goal advantage didn`t really look under threat as the Swans fans made the visitors aware that they had come a long way for F*** All.
Premature or not those chants were confirmed to be correct as Thomas Butler made an excellent from injury to score our third. Some great work from substitute Pintado gave the winger the opportunity to run inside to create himself some space, and he pulled the trigger from just inside the box as the keeper could only watch his powerful drive fly past his near post.
The 3 points were safe now and the Swans looked to get a fourth late on but their keeper made some good saves from Bodde and Gomez while at the other end Krysiak made another decent save, going low to his right.
The Swans continue their unbeaten run and go up to 7th in the League as we now set our sights on a tough trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who`ll be looking to reverse their 3-1 defeat at the Liberty few weeks ago.
Artur Krysiak – 8
At only 19 years of age it was difficult for him to make his debut in a game like this but he looked composed and dealt with everything that came his way. 2 poor clearances though shouldn’t take anything away from his solid debut.
Marcos Painter – 7
Looked very solid up until his injury and contributed well again on the attack.
Ashley Williams – 8
Superb again at the back, very solid and was called upon to clear up balls that weren’t dealt with by his colleagues. A strong contender for man of the match.
Garry Monk – 7
Solid enough but on some occasions he needed Williams to make that important interception or tackle.
Angel Rangel – 7
Was beaten on a few occasions by their pacey left winger but was solid enough.
Tom Butler – 8
A great return from his injury, scored one and set up our first.
Darren Pratley – 7
Always contributes to a strong midfield performance, and was delighted to score his first goal of the season.
Ferrie Bodde – 8
Sprayed some excellent passes out wide and picked out Scotland well with some defence-splitting passes but the striker was never able to stay onside.
Leon Britton – 8
Mr consistent as always, great passing, tackling and attacking runs gave him the man of the match again this season.
Jordi Gomez – 8
Keeps improving game by game, got better as the game went on and it’s a joy to watch how easy he can get past his marker.
Jason Scotland – 6
Wasn’t really involved enough and didn’t cause a threat, could have scored a few goals today had he stayed onside with some great through balls from Bodde.