|Swansea City 2 v 0 Luton Town|
Saturday, 5th December 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Lacklustre Swans win against ‘Unlucky’ ten man Luton Town
Saturday, 5th Dec 2020 17:27 by Keith Haynes
Swansea City are again in the midst of fixture congestion and it seems to be playing its toll. Looking tired and very jaded the swans found possession hard to keep and a hard working Luton Town side once again made life very difficult for Cooper.
A scintillating start and a well taken, albeit deflected goal from Connor Roberts after two minutes set what seem to be the standard to an easy win for the home side. Sadly, for swans fans that very much wasn’t the case. After a few minutes of positive possession and chances Luton Town threw themselves back in to the game and made three golden chances to pull the game level. Manager Nathan Jones will be wondering how that wasn’t to be the case come half time as top scorer James Collins missed the easiest chance he will get this season after a Guehi clearance. Before that Woodman parried a shot on to the post from George Moncur as Luton showed all the reasons and more why they defeated Norwich in midweek.
Connor Roberts scores again for the swans
Minutes later two fantastic crosses from the right were not met by the Luton attack as the swans saw their luck rode time after time. Negative midfield play with Smith and Grimes in the middle seemed to reflect tactics that the vast majority of Championship clubs would not implement after such a positive start. We are positive here at the independent but if there is to be a positive from these two performances it will be Smith’s ability to tackle and clear quickly when under pressure. But of course the swans should never have been in that position in the first place. With caution being the tactical answer and numerous misplaced passes by the swans - to go in at one nil was to say the least lucky. Proof of this was the ridiculous passing motion between four swans players leading up to the half time whistle whilst players waited in the Luton area.
The second half was worse. Far worse compared to the excellent performances we have seen from the swans this season. And it was as much to do with Luton Town’s positivity as Swansea’s continued poor decision making when in attacking areas and desire to pass the ball out wide when a shot would have been far more beneficial. Luton took over the possession stats and pressed with passing and movement often attributed to the swans. A Luton effort cleared off the line by Ayew, further panic as Luton pushed on and then an attempted overhead kick saw Luton player Pearson sent off. It was a second bookable offence but it didn’t warrant the referee, Leigh Doughty giving him the second yellow. In fact it was downright harsh. However, that didn’t seem to affect the hatters. They looked as good, if not better with ten men than eleven.
It wasn’t until the sending off, the third in three fixtures, that things slightly went in Swansea’s favour, but it was hard work, the continued reluctance to take on shots and over pass was as frustrating a swans performance as has been seen this season. The swans may well have 23,000 people watching some of their streams but even they will be extremely frustrated today. When you think that 23,000 probably means 40,000 plus when families and friends are considered today was not a bore fest more than a reflection of many factors. Those factors will almost certainly be Coopers persistent comments about games which must be rubbing off on his players. Poor refereeing, for which he is now on an FA charge, overloaded fixture lists and comments about no fans and level playing fields are not positive. Let alone tiredness and recovery times. Just deal with it. He needs to rethink and make a reassessment of his media persona.
Bad news for the swans was the injury to Marc Guehi who battled solidly all day. With important games to come this week Cooper will be keen to have him back for quickly.
Marc Guehi subbed in the second half
It was Dhanda who shone for the swans this afternoon, his was the only shot at goal in the first half and it wasn’t until Andre Ayew out the swans two up with a shot outside the area that the Lenny surely dropped. On five occasions today the swans were in on goal or close and chose to over pass, over think and over play the ball. Only when Ayew decided to take matters in to his own hands did the light shine brightly over the Liberty. His sizzling strike nestled in the net to the keepers left putting the game beyond Luton.
Nathan Jones can be proud of his side tonight, and the swans can be relieved, but it was a win and one again this club would not have gained a year ago. It’s a quick turnover again this week before the Welsh derby next week in Cardiff. And that’s a game a performance like this won’t be acceptable. In between matters Bournemoth’s visit the Liberty on Tuesday, and we hope that today’s performance coupled with the one at Middlesbrough on Wednesday are put behind them.
Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Kyle Naughton, Ben Cabango, Marc Guehi (Joel Latibeaudiere 83); Connor Roberts, Korey Smith, Matt Grimes (captain), Jake Bidwell; Yan Dhanda (Kasey Palmer 71); Liam Cullen (Jamal Lowe 71), Andre Ayew (Viktor Gyokeres 90).
Unused Substitutes: Steven Benda, Ryan Manning, Jay Fulton, Wayne Routledge, Jordon Garrick.
Luton Town: James Shea, Dan Potts, Matty Pearson, Luke Berry (Kazenga LuaLua 82), George Moncur (Elliot Lee 62), Tom Lockyer, Glen Rea (captain), Jordan Clark, James Collins, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Harry Cornick 62), James Bree.
Unused Substitutes: Ryan Tunnicliffe, Harry Isted, Brendan Galloway, Sam Nombe, Joe Morrell, Dion Pereira.
Referee: Leigh Doughty
Photo: Action Images
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