West Bromwich Albion 1 - Swansea 1
On seeing the team I was a bit disappointed that Chadli and Field hadn’t made the squad but pleased to see youth on the bench.
It looked like we’d be in a 4-4-2 but from kick-off it looked more 4-3-3 to me with McClean pushed on.
We started quite well in terms of possession with Brunt playing in a deep role dictating play but we didn’t really seem to have any penetration.
To me it seemed like we were too narrow - Phillips and McClean were either too far inside or too deep.
Swansea sat very deep in what looked like a 5-4-1 so there was very little space and, apart from one moment when they caught us on the break and should’ve scored, threatened little.
On the plus side, although the players seemed unsure of the system we looked reasonably well drilled and pressed well.
In the 2nd half we looked to go a bit more orthodox 4-4-2 with Phillips and McClean staying a bit further which made sense and we gradually began to press further up the pitch, get it wide and create chances.
The goal was a decent second cross from a cleared corner by Phillips , flicked on by Rondon and JRod poked home.
Swansea became a bit more adventurous but in truth we looked comfortable and if anything more likely to score but at 1-0 I can understand why Big Dave didn’t want to change it as we were still on top.
After a routine mop up Brunt was guilty of overplaying and instead ran the ball out for a corner from which, as our season goes, Swansea scored with their sole attempt on target courtesy of a decent delivery but questionable defending from Rondon and Livermore.
Brunt’s head dropped as he knew but we rallied a little bit. With 15 to go I’d have gone for Leko or Burke but on came Krychowiak for a cameo that contributed little and he seemed to be carrying a bit of timber- so much that he daren’t tuck his shirt in.
A couple of bad tackles from McClean and Phillips aside, that was it.
Big Dave restored a bit of pride but in truth Swansea were terrible and look like they’ll be joining us next season. It’s a shame we couldn’t see it out for him.
This was still better than under Pardew and the players did show up; the negativity was lifted.
We can’t hold a lead - if we could we might be contemplating a European adventure.
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