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Swansea City 2 v 0 Blackburn Rovers
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 31st October 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Swansea City just magnificent : Swansea City 2 Blackburn Rovers 0
Saturday, 31st Oct 2020 17:23 by Steph Thomas LIVE from the Liberty

The swans won the first half war of attrition this afternoon at the Liberty as they beat Blackburn Rovers 2-0 in a performance manager Steve Cooper will be extremely proud of. From the first minute bar maybe three opportunities for Rovers, the swans cruised through this game. At times the passing was mesmerising.

The home side had also lost just one of their last 11 Championship games across two seasons, while Rovers boss Tony Mowbray had never beaten the Swans in the league in six previous attempts as a manager.

A number of changes didn’t affect Swansea City as Dhanda kept his place with Cabango and Naughton starting and Grimes benched for the first time in his recent swans career. Cooper and Marsh clearly have an eye on the weeks away games to come with Ryan Bennett sitting this one out. That didn’t seem to bother the swans as a first half war of attrition ended with the swans going in 1-0 up from a set piece corner. Ben Cabango with a superb header from a Connor Roberts corner settled the nerves. The passing throughout the game by the swans was so above the abilities of Blackburn who came in to the game as the leagues top scorers. A three man defence maybe, but it was Roberts who shone throughout with deft touches, and clever tackling as Blackburn’s clunky attack huffed and puffed but did very little. Armstrong fired wide and another shot which went wide was all they could muster, and the swans looked comfortable.

In the second half the swans really did show what they are all about, Coopers men didn’t put a foot wrong bar a mishandled shot by Woodman, spinning out for a corner. Intricate passing moves with Ayew always at the helm baffled Rovers and it was only a matter of time before the excellent Yan Dhanda provided a cross for a proper headed goal from Ayew. Heading the ball down, Ayew gave the Rovers keeper no chance and the game was won. Take nothing away from the rest of the swans side today, Palmer came on and his immense strength cemented the midfield as he once again proved he is no lightweight on, and indeed off the ball. Gyökeres also came on late on but despite his efforts his pace let him down on numerous occasions to get in to a scoring position. But today was about the team, not one player can be questioned, the swans outclassed Blackburn in every area of the pitch. Connor Roberts was a clear man of the match, raiding down the right side of the pitch Blackburn had no answer to his build up play with Dhanda and Ayew. On the left Bidwell combining with Naughton was solid and accomplished it is really hard to fault one player on the pitch today. Korey Smith was again solid, calm and a steadying influence on the game and at the back Cabango was Strong and clever in his positioning. Both he and Roberts putting in educated tackles when Rovers came forward.

Steve Cooper and Mike Marsh will be very proud of their team today, tactically sound, and every player playing for each other. Tony Mowbray, Blackburn manager is an honest man, a proud ex professional, and with five minutes to go he shook Coopers hand and clearly congratulated him on his tactical display today. The swans move on to two away games next week, first off with a 7pm kick off at Brentford on Tuesday, and finishing off before another International break at Norwich next Saturday. Maybe after those two very tough encounters swans fans will know exactly where their team stands in the race for the premier league.

Man of the match : Connor Roberts

Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Kyle Naughton, Ben Cabango, Marc Guehi; Connor Roberts, Korey Smith, Jay Fulton, Jake Bidwell; Yan Dhanda; Andre Ayew (captain), Jamal Lowe.

Substitutes: Steven Benda, Ryan Bennett, Ryan Manning, Kasey Palmer, Matt Grimes, Wayne Routledge, Viktor Gyokeres.

Blackburn Rovers: Aynsley Pears, Ryan Nyambe, Derrick Williams, Adam Armstrong, Lewis Holtby, Harvey Elliott, Tom Trybull, Ben Brereton, Joe Rankin-Costello, Darragh Lenihan (captain), Corry Evans.

Substitutes: Antonis Stergiakis, Sam Gallagher, Harry Chapman, Jacob Davenport, John Buckley, Scott Wharton, Tyrhys Dolan.

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Cooper delighted post match.

Photo: Action Images

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