Swansea City 2: 0 Leicester City
City suffered their first defeat since the departure of Paolo Sousa at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday and were outplayed all over the park by a decent Swansea side…
Sven, surprisingly, made three changes to the side that had played so well at Leeds just four days earlier with Fryatt and Dyer returning for Waghorn and Gallagher and (on loan) Jack Cunningham making his debut in place of the unfortunate Berner.
Swansea started brightly and immediately had City on the back foot with a pressing game that they were never able to deal with. This meant that City never settled in to any sort of rhythm and continually gave the ball away as Swansea worked tirelessly to chase and close-down in a high tempo performance. Despite all of their possession the Swans didn’t fashion many chances and their best effort came as the result of a slip from the below-par Hobbs who lost possession. The ball was quickly fed out to Dyer whose perfect cross was lifted over the bar by Pratley under pressure from Wellens.
In reply City were restricted to long range efforts and one header from Davies that was tipped over by DeVries.
If City fans thought that the second half would bring an improvement then they were sorely disappointed.
In the 49th minute, half time substitute Emnes (on loan from Middlesbrough) ran on to an excellent through ball from Pratley and slammed the ball past Weale who got a hand to the shot but couldn’t prevent the goal. It was no more than Swansea deserved and led to a period of sustained pressure where City were unable to get out of their own half at times as Swansea kept the ball.
Weale had to deal with efforts from Sinclair and Tate and at the other end De Vries looked bored and lonely as City struggled to cope with Swansea’s purple patch, which nearly resulted in a second goal when Sinclair rounded off another delightful move with a shot against the underside of the bar.
The addition of Waghorn, Morrison and Abe for King, Moussa and Davies gave City some fresh legs and as Swansea tired they were able to build a spell of pressure in the closing stages of the game. De Vries was well positioned to save Oakley’s free kick before Morrison had a gilt-edged chance to equalise. A corner was only half cleared and fell kindly to Morrison, unmarked just six yards out but he volleyed the ball wide of the far post for what would have been an unlikely equaliser.
Swansea wrapped the game up in the fourth minute of injury time when, once again, Hobbs was caught out and Emnes powered past him far too easily to set up Sinclair for a side-foot finish and a more realistic scoreline.
It is hard to know why City were so ineffective today having been so good at Leeds in midweek. Swansea were everything that we weren’t: hard-working, kept the ball well, pressed and chased, passed the ball around superbly and broke quickly. Whilst it is easy to condemn an off-form Leicester side, credit should also be given to an impressive Swansea side who went third after this result and deservedly so on today’s showing.
Swansea: De Vries, Tate, Williams, Monk, Rangel, Pratley, Sinclair, Orlandi (Agustien 69), Dyer, Allen (Serran 89), Dobbie (Emnes 46). Subs Not Used: Makaba-Makalamby, Cotterill, Taylor, Nouble.
Leicester: Weale, Davies (Morrison 67), Hobbs, Naughton, King (Waghorn 70), Dyer, Oakley, Moussa (Abe 58), Wellens, Cunningham, Fryatt. Subs Not Used: Berner, Logan, Howard, Moreno.
Referee: K Stroud (Hampshire). Attendance: 14,651.