West Bromwich Albion 1 - Swansea City 1

Date: Saturday 7th April 2018 
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Foster 5.9, Nyom 4.6, Dawson 5.3, Hegazi 5.3, Gibbs 5.9, Phillips 4.3, Livermore 5.0, Brunt 5.8, McClean 4.6, Rodriguez 6.5 (Krychowiak, 83 3.9), Rondón 6.3
Unused subs: Myhill, Yacob, Burke, McAuley, Harper, Leko
Manager: Darren Moore (c) 5.2
Swansea City:
Scorers: Rodriguez (54)
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire) 5.0
Attendance: 23,297   Home Fans 6.4   Away Fans 5.2

Brendan Clegg:

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.

  • Foster - 6 not much too do but a bit erratic.
  • Nyom - 6 Did his job but too often had no easy pass in front of him.
  • Hegazi - 6 solid enough in open play but distribution has gone awol.
  • Dawson - 6 Committed performance but not put under much pressure.
  • Gibbs - 6 Also solid enough but lacked an easy ball.
  • Livermore - 6 Chased and pressed. First touch was poor sometimes.
  • Brunt - 6 Our best player today but a costly error and too many overhit passes.
  • Phillips - 6 Looked lost in the formation for long spells but an assist and when he kept it uncomplicated he did okay. Needs to be braver.
  • McClean - 6 Was also a bit lost first half but his sheer effort and willing got him into the game and he improved.
  • JRod - 6 Was busy and a poachers goal but contrary to his chant, he gives the ball away lots.
  • Rondon - 6 Battled away and gave us a focal point but the early crosses never came.
  • Krychowiak- 5 I’d have given any other sub but him a run-out.