West Bromwich Albion 3 - Swansea City 2
||Saturday 12th August 2023
||Sky Bet Championship
||(3-4-3) Palmer , Ajayi , Kipré , Pieters (Bartley, 82 ), Furlong , Molumby , Yokuslu (Chalobah, 68 ), Townsend , Wallace (Sarmiento, 78 ), Phillips (Mowatt, 68 ), Swift (Maja, 78 )|
Unused subs: Griffiths, Gardner-Hickman, Fellows, Ingram
Manager: Carlos Corberán
||Ajayi (18), Swift (64 pen)
||24,051 Home Fans
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||Ratings submitted so far: 11
Pleasantly surprising win there even we did make hard work of it. Key observations from the game -
We were better than I expected, especially after BTA was revealed as out of it. For 70 minutes we managed the game really well.
Whatever anyone says, this was very much a 5-4-1 of the nature we’d sometimes play in the premier league, not a 3-4-3. Furlong and Townsend were deep, not wing backs but it did make us look solid and when we found Phillips to feet he did a decent job for us. More pace on the left would’ve been even better.
It looked like we’d set up cones with extra balls on them to minimise stoppages and keep the game tempo up, and this was reflected in the 1 minute injury time of the 1st half. Not sure how the 2nd was 9 minutes.
We really fell apart when Okay came off. He’d not been outstanding but his stature and experience were a big miss we luckily got away with holding on after he was withdrawn. We really should be safe at 3-0 with 20 to go but there’s a lesson for us. They also hit the bar and had some big chances, so it really was a lucky escape.
Swansea might’ve given us even more problems had then gone a bit more direct. We did well to keep them away from our back line but once they started putting us under pressure there we looked very shakey.
Hugely important to get the win though, and I wouldn’t be disappointed if we approach the Leeds game in the same way.
- Palmer - 7 some big saves but communication looked like it could’ve been better
- Semi - 7 Looked strong and comfortable. Great goal… I’ve often thought he’d be better up front than some of our other options!
- Kipre - 6 He was outstanding for 70 minutes but really struggled once once Okay went off.
- Pieters - 7 Brought some calm and was solid but it was the right call to get Bartley on as we began to get dominated aerially.
- Furlong - 6 Decent, but was vulnerable after his booking.
- Townsend - 6 Also had an okay game, passed it out well.
- Wallace - 6 Improved but his final ball was poor. Given how we played, a couple of times he should’ve tried to go alone instead of crossing to nobody.
- Molumby - 6 Covered the ground well.
- Okay - 6 Made some sloppy passes but was holding everything together.
- Swift - 5 Good pen but I thought his final ball was poor in some good situations. Would prefer more pace here.
- Phillips - 7 Did us a good job. Some very clever play at times and managed his pressing well.
- Chalobah - 4 It’s really nothing personal from me but didn’t touch the ball for 15 minutes and we conceded 2. Not physical enough.
- Sarmiento - 5 We couldn’t get him on the ball but he did show some good touches when we did.
- Maja - 5 Looks weeks away from being fit enough… maybe 5 or 6? Some promising signs but some way to go for him.
- Mowatt - 5 Another who struggled to contribute but our team was so ill-balanced it’s hard to judge.
- Bartley - 5 Not much time but steadied is enough physically to just about hold on.