Swansea started the new year with a convincing 4-1 win against a dreadful Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Match Report by Ross Power – @rosspow10
The Swans after a difficult Christmas period started with more familiar looking 4-2-3-1 formation after the failed 3-5-2 against Wigan.
Joe Rodon, Kyle Naughton and Connor Roberts all returned to the back 4 whilst Leroy Fer and Nathan Dyer were included further forward.
For the second successive home game the Swans were ahead inside 3 minutes. A Wayne Routledge cross was met by the head of Oli McBurnie who had plenty to do to find the net under pressure from the Reading centre backs.
Swansea were looking far more comfortable in their usual formation although it has to be said Reading were looking low on confidence with a John Swift free kick the only real danger.
It was no surprise to see the Swans double their lead on 30 minutes when Celina clipped a lovely lobbed ball into the box towards Leroy Fer who headed into the path of McBurnie who looked certain to head in but couldn’t quite reach it but next in line was Connor Roberts who had a tap in.
Reading almost got one back when a John Swift cross was caught on his line by Erwin Mulder with suggestions he may have carried it over the line but the referee was happy to point to his watch confirming no goal.
Just as the Swans looked like going in 2-0 up they were at it again when a beautiful Matt Grimes free kick found Mike Van Der Hoorn at the back post who applied a decent finish under very little pressure. Reading went off with boos ringing in their ears whilst Swansea were patting each other on the back after a brilliant first half of the new year.
As the second half began Swansea should have made it 4 when the ball landed at McBurnie’s feet in the box but the ball got stuck beneath his feet and the shot was blocked.
It was only the most temporary of reprieves for Reading thought as a clumsy challenge on Wayne Routledge brought Swansea a penalty which McBurnie confidently dispatched for his second and Swansea’s 4th of the afternoon.
With the job done and dusted there was a noticeable drop in the Swansea performance as they took the foot off the gas and eased their way through the half.
Reading pulled one back on 77 minutes through Callum Harriott who combined well with fellow sub Danny Loader.
This was as good as got for Reading who had left themselves with far too much to do as Swansea saw off the final 10 minutes with few problems to record a winning start to 2019.