Swansea City 2 - West Bromwich Albion 1

Date: Wednesday 20th October 2021 Live on Sky Sports
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Swansea City:
6.5
(3-4-2-1) Hamer, Bennett, Naughton, Cabango (Williams, 86), Laird, Downes (Ntcham, 45), Grimes, Bidwell (Latibeaudiere, 86), Smith, Paterson, Piroe
Unused subs: Benda, Whittaker, Cullen, Walsh
WBA:
3.4
(3-4-3) Johnstone 5.1, Ajayi 4.9, Bartley 3.4, Clarke 4.8, Furlong 3.0, Livermore 5.6, Molumby 4.4 (Snodgrass, 79 3.4), Townsend 6.3, Phillips 4.2 (Reach, 84 3.3), Robinson 4.4 (Hugill, 56 2.1), Grant 4.4
Unused subs: Button, Kipré, Bryan, Gardner-Hickman
Manager: Valérien Ismaël  2.8
Scorers: Piroe (61), Paterson (83); Grant (1)
Referee: Simon Hooper 5.6
Attendance: 16,694   Home Fans 5.8   Away Fans 6.0
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 14

Brendan Clegg:

That was another really bad one. As bad as against Blues with a couple of differences.

  1. Swansea worked us out earlier and changed it at half time.
  2. They took their chances where Blues didn’t.

It should’ve been easier after we got the early goal through decent pressing and an okay move rounded it off.

But we’re never in control. Crazy high lines, rash chasing in, lumping it as soon as we get it, over hit hammered passes, rarely taking a touch.

Swansea didn’t trouble us in the first half and we had a couple of moments through threatening individual plays but the signs were there - they got braver and kept playing around us, switching the ball quickly as we ran in like headless chickens.

At half time they changed it further, with an extra player in attacking midfield and license to roam (Stoke did this too).

A little bit of variety and they had us in trouble - switching between the short inside pass behind our midfield and the clip in behind our wider centre backs.

We offered little in return - being outnumbered in midfield and wasting our breaking potential through booming it into 50/50s.

Both goals we conceded were crap, avoidable and inevitable.

Why play so high when a goal up?

The arrogance to assume you can play the same formation with the same tactics every minute of every game irrespective of how the match is going is astounding - not something to be proud of. It’s weak and clueless.

We should’ve gone to 5 across the middle or 4-4-2 after 5 minutes of the second half.

The Robinson substitution looked pre-planned again. It had no relation to what was going on in the match. Why not change the system and play him in the hole behind the striker rather than just hooking him?

Is there any point in the manager attending matches? When does he ever react to the game? He might as well stay at the team hotel, pre-book the subs and let them get on with it.

An absolute shocker. Don’t expect the weekend to be any different… seriously contemplating if it’s worth going or not.

  • SJ - 5 No chance with goals. Can’t keep kicks on the pitch.
  • Ajayi - 6 Got us out of jail so often with his pace, ropey on the ball.
  • Bartley - 4 Not comfortable that high, has too many decisions to make.
  • Clarke - 6 Like him but looked shagged on 60 minutes and mistakes crept in from then on.
  • Furlong - 5 Being run into the ground. Looked tired.
  • Livermore - 7 pick of the 11 I thought. Did his job and tried to keep it more than most.
  • Molumby - 6 So-so, not really better or worse than Mowatt in general play.
  • Townsend - 6 Another reliable shift.
  • Phillips - 5 At least looked a threat and had some shots. He’s a winger in a 5 man midfield though. That’s what he is.
  • Robinson - 4 Just isn’t a target man but showed the odd good touch/assist.
  • Grant - 4 We all have our biases but, honestly, apart from the odd strike it is playing with 10 men. Offers nothing. If ever he scores in the first minute again, sub him instantly. It’ll get no better.
  • Hugill - 2 What have we done here? Nowhere near the level of HRK or Edwards. I’d even argue that, try as he does, big lazy Ken would have scored a few given the same minutes. The worst forward we’ve signed in maybe 20 years in terms of ability.

We got what we deserved. Embarrassing.

Kev Buckley:

Rumble in the Mumbles: Black wet night sees black wet-shirted side beaten

The team with the worst divisional passing accuracy stats came up against the best, on a rain-swept night in Swansea, though it would be a misplaced back-heel by the home side that that would open up the opportunity for Albion to take the lead inside the first minute, Grant sidefooting home from inside the 6-yard-box, after a three pass move that temporarily boosted the away side's passing accuracy stats, although by the time someone played a woeful sideways ball from just in front of the centre circle directly into touch, at around the ten minute mark, we were probably back in negative territory, as regards pass completion, for the game.

Not quite sure what happened to the high press after taking such an early lead either, as the tactics seemed to be drop deep and let Robinson do all the pressing, which at times looked like a 541.

Then again, from a free kick in an area that offered the sort of chance to get the ball into the box that a Furlong long throw usually would, albeit without being able to steal a few yards, the ball into the box caused a similar kind of havoc but, when it fell to Livermore on the corner of the 6-yard-box he blasted over.

The high-press was in evidence around the 30-minute mark though as Albion gained the ball in a promising position but, one misplaced pass later, and the threat evaporated.

Swansea's attempts to keep possession and then play in behind finally produced a ball into our box around the half-hour, although Furlong was surely looking to put the ball out for a corner anywhere other than over his own crossbar.

Five minutes later and Phillips would drive forward but shoot straight at the keeper and although, as the sides left the field to dry off at half time, Albion could claim to have been the side in control, you did wonder why three players had already been booked for making poor challenges. Blame the weather, maybe?

Presumably after being reminded exactly what the Barnsley way entails during the half-time team talk, some good early pressing after the restart saw Livermore get off a drive from just outside the box but the keeper had it covered, whilst on 55 minutes we got the by-now formulaic substitution of Hugill for Robinson and the usual wonderings as to what the latter had done to deserve being pulled, given that the former wouldn't actually do, or change, anything yet again.

Right on the hour though, Swansea's run of just straying offside beyond a fairly high backline ended and their striker did well to control the ball dropping over his shoulder, hold off the challenge of Clarke and then not be put off by the blatant shirt-pull to slot home the equaliser.

With the game all-square Albion went back to basics, and a knock down from a long ball gave Phillips a shooting opportunity that required a fingertip save to keep out the goal-bound effort.

Dunno about you, but the introduction of Snods for Moulumby had an air of shutting up shop to me but, no matter how much defensive experience we now had in centre-mid, neither of our journeyman pros had any chance to break up anything once Furlong's underhit pass sold Ajayi short, allowing a now high pressing Swansea to gain possession just outside our box and one quick pass into feet later, a nutmeg on Bartley opened up a shooting opportunity that Patterson drove across Johnstone and into the far side netting.

Then again, with Livermore having picked up a fifth yellow when able to do some enforcing, and so missing the next game, perhaps the introduction of Snods was merely done to give him some time out on the pitch ahead of a start in our second choice centre-mid in the next game, with first-choice Mowatt reportedly still out for a while yet.

Talking of the depth of cover in the squad, Reach came on for Phillips but didn't look all that viable as cover for the right-sided forward role so presumably will now have to wait for another period of Townsend's absence from the left-side of midfield to get a start.

Stoppage time saw no drama, though we did get to see the Swansea keeper knocking it long, all the way through to Johnstone, who clearly felt the need to show that he was equally capable of getting that kind of distance and, rather than finding a team-mate so as to try and possibly nick it at the death, promptly knocked it long all the way back to his counterpart at the other end of the field.