Sunday Supplement - What The Papers Say !
Sunday, 6th Dec 2020 11:24
Three games from Saturday to Saturday. Two wins and a loss, six points gained and a top six place, this is the Swansea City we wanted this season. At times it’s tough going and we go in to the toughest week of the season so far. Bournemouth at home and Cardiff away.
What do the papers say this weekend about our favourite team ?
Luton will feel hard done by having created enough opportunities to get back into the game after Swansea went ahead in the second minute through Roberts' deflected shot. But Swansea just did enough to hold on to their lead before Ayew's low drive sealed a third win in their last five matches. Luton lost defender Matty Pearson 21 minutes from time when he was shown a second yellow card.
They drop a place to 12th in the table, while Swansea are two points from top spot in fourth. Swansea have been hard to beat at home so far this season, while Luton have impressed on their travels since Nathan Jones returned to the club for a second spell as manager in May. They were well beaten just along the motorway at Cardiff City last Saturday, yet Jones' side have banked 20 points from their 11 away fixtures before this.
Their hopes of further improving that fine record got off to a dreadful start as Swansea scored from the first attack of the game. Korey Smith, Liam Cullen and Ayew were all involved in a sharp passing move before Roberts' left-footed shot sailed into the Luton net with the aid of a significant deflection. Swansea continued to apply pressure, with Ben Cabango heading Roberts' free-kick straight at goalkeeper James Shea before Cullen pulled a shot wide.
But the visitors eventually found their feet, pressing Swansea high and forcing them into errors in possession. Luton almost levelled when George Moncur's 25-yard curler was pushed on to the post by Freddie Woodman, and they really ought to have equalised when Ayew's loose ball handed Jordan Clark possession deep in Swansea territory.
Ben Cabango had a chance to double Swansea's lead early on but his header was saved
Andre Ayew settled Swansea’s late nerves
The Hatters' cause was not helped when centre-back Pearson, who had been booked 11 minutes earlier for a cynical lunge on Ayew, was shown a second yellow card for catching Marc Guehi with a high boot as he attempted an overhead kick. Still Luton asked questions, with Glen Rea rising high to meet James Bree's corner only for Ayew to clear off the line. Ayew, Swansea's top scorer and attacking talisman, eventually killed off resilient Luton in the 89th minute when he collected possession from Kasey Palmer and rifled a fierce shot into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards.
Wales on Line
However, they were made to work hard against the Hatters, who had Matty Pearson sent off in the second half. But ultimately, they clinched all three points thanks to goals from Connor Roberts and Andre Ayew.
And Cooper is delighted with the resilience his side showed to battle their way to victory over Nathan Jones' men. "Very pleased with the result and large parts of the performance," said Cooper. It wasn't easy because I don't think any game is going to be in this schedule.
"The reality is we were in Nottingham on Sunday, Middlesbrough on Wednesday and then the best part of 48 hours, you're playing again. It's tough. It is what it is to get the league up and running, but there's going to be no straightforward games for anybody.
"To show the character, resilience and to keep a clean sheet, after that week and with a little bit of a setback against Middlesbrough in how we played, it's really good sign of the mentality in the dressing room.
"In the end we showed enough quality in the game and enough resilience to get the right result. I'm pleased with that. "I thought we started the game well. If anything, I'm slightly frustrated we didn't manage to carry on that momentum. Sometimes a goal can do that, ironically." Roberts' deflected strike put the hosts ahead as early as the second minute in south Wales. However, Luton spurned several opportunities to equalise, with Luke Berry, George Moncur, Harry Cornick and Glen Rea all having decent chances to bulge the net.
And Ayew lashed home his seventh goal of the campaign late on as Swansea made it four wins from five on their own patch. Swansea were dealt a blow during the game though as Marc Guehi was forced off after taking a boot to the head from Pearson, who was shown a second yellow card for catching the defender when attempting an overhead kick. Guehi was replaced by debutant Joel Latibeaudiere late on, while Ryan Bennett was left out of the squad altogether after suffering a hamstring injury in the 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough. And while Cooper revealed the problem isn't thought to be too serious for Bennett, the head coach stated it is unlikely that the summer signing will feature against Bournemouth or Cardiff City.
Ryan Bennett out for ten days at least
The swans go in to this week with the talented Morgan Gibbs-White out until January, Ryan Bennett out for ten days at least leaving his squad selection delicately poised for the biggest week so far this season.
Gibbs-White out until 2021
It’s a huge week, comment below, what do you think ?
Huw Evans / Action Images
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