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Swans show true grit in boggy encounter : Gallery of the game
Wednesday, 9th Dec 2020 10:09

Last nights gallery of grit is where we are the day after Joel Latibeaudiere made a stunning debut for Swansea City. Short of Marc Guehi and Ryan Bennett- Latibeaudiere, on a worsening pitch shone throughout. The battling qualities of this team is not in question.

Bournemouth returned to the top of the Championship as they settled for a point in an entertaining goalless draw at Swansea City. The Cherries moved ahead of Norwich City on goal difference despite failing to find a breakthrough against a Swansea side with the best defensive record in the Championship. Bournemouth's David Brooks had the biggest chance of the game but was denied by a fine Freddie Woodman save.

Swansea's on-loan Newcastle United goalkeeper held on to claim a ninth clean sheet in 17 league games this season as the hosts made it six games unbeaten at the Liberty Stadium - their longest home run under Steve Cooper. For Bournemouth this was a second successive shutout on the road after they had gone 12 months without one.

Bournemouth had scored 29 times in their 16 Championship games - a tally bettered only by Blackburn Rovers in the second tier - but could not find a breakthrough even though Swansea's vaunted rearguard was depleted by injury. Cooper's backline had something of a patched-up look with Ryan Bennett and Marc Guehi missing, although ex-Manchester City youngster Joel Latibeaudiere enjoyed a promising full debut.

It was no gentle baptism for Latibeaudiere, who had to work hard alongside his team-mates to keep Bournemouth at bay in the opening quarter. Brooks rolled in Dominic Solanke for the game's first big chance but he fired wastefully over the top.

Brooks then had a chance of his own after a rare loose pass from Woodman presented him with possession, but Swansea's last line of defence atoned for his error by coming off his line to save. Slowly Swansea established a foothold in the game, with Jamal Lowe forcing what proved to be the only notable save of the night from Asmir Begovic.

Yan Dhanda then fired over from distance before Swansea appeals for a penalty for a Diego Rico handball fell on deaf ears, just as Bournemouth's earlier claim against Connor Roberts had done. Bournemouth wasted the first opportunity of the second half as Junior Stanislas dragged a volley wide, then Dhanda broke the offside trap at the other end of the pitch only to drill into the side netting.

The visitors regained their early control as the contest wore on, but another penalty shout was ignored as Brooks tumbled under Latibeaudiere's challenge before Lewis Cook fired wide from distance. With that the points were shared, meaning Bournemouth lead the way with Swansea fourth but only a point worse off.

Swansea head coach Steve Cooper: "I'm not disappointed. I think it was a tough game and I thought it was a fair result. "We would have liked to have had more of the ball than we did, and I think we could have been a bit better with it for sure. We turned the ball over at times too much. When we did get into good areas I thought we could have been a bit more productive with it. But you have to respect, they have as strong a squad as anybody in the league, they've had a day extra of rest, which is critical in the schedule that we're in. In the end, I thought it was a good effort from the boys to get what was a fair result."

Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall:

"We're very frustrated, our performance deserved three points. "I felt we were in total control for 90 minutes and dominated the game. We created opportunities that we would have taken on another night. "At the time I thought (the Latibeaudiere challenge on Brooks) was a stonewall penalty and I still think the same thing after seeing it back.Even their bench thought the same, they were saying it was a penalty after reviewing it back on the iPad so I'm really frustrated that decision didn't go for us."

Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Kyle Naughton, Ben Cabango, Joel Latibeaudiere; Connor Roberts. Korey Smith, Matt Grimes (captain), Jake Bidwell; Yan Dhanda (Kasey Palmer, 74); Jamal Lowe (Viktor Gyokeres, 74), Andre Ayew.

Subs not used: Steven Benda, Ryan Manning, Jay Fulton, Wayne Routledge, Liam Cullen, Cameron Evans, Jordon Garrick.

Bournemouth: Asmir Begovic; Adam Smith, Chris Mepham, Steve Cook (capt), Lloyd Kelly; Lewis Cook, Philip Billing (Jefferson Lerma, 85); David Brooks (Sam Surridge, 82), Junior Stanislas, Diego Rico; Dominic Solanke.

Subs not used: Mark Travers, Dan Gosling, Rodrigo Riquelme, Nnamdi Ofoborh, Jack Simpson, Gavin Kilkenny, Jaidon Anthony.

Kasey Palmer was solid when he came on

No doubting Grimes effort

Superb debut for Latibeaudiere

True grit at the liberty

Photo: Action Images

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