|Swansea City 5 v 1 Nottingham Forest|
Saturday, 23rd January 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Forest hammered at Swansea in the FA Cup : What a Cullen !
Saturday, 23rd Jan 2021 17:48 by Keith Haynes
Swansea City came out the blocks to blow Nottingham Forest away in a first half performance that continued the recent form the club has been in. The first goal came from a sweet cross from Wayne Routledge which found academy product Liam Cullen who confidently passed the ball in to the back of the Forest net. It was only the efforts of goalkeeper Smith who kept the scoreline down in the first half as the home side plugged away for a second. Dhanda a willing co-partner to Matt Grimes in midfield and a fluid Connor Hourihane making his debut ran the game throughout. Hourihane crossing one dead ball in to the Forest half gave swans fans a big clue of his ability at set pieces.
Guehi at the heart of the swans defence today in the FA Cup
Swansea City held on to the ball, passing and stretching Forest across the pitch, Connor Roberts raiding down the right after Wayne Routledge left the field with a heel injury. His replacement Jamal Lowe had a chance within a minute of his arrival in to the game, but a loose touch enabled the Forest keeper to collect. The swans continued to close down a weak Forest effort winning all the fifty fifty balls and recycling to a strong back four marshalled well by Ryan Bennett with Marc Guehi alongside him. It was Matt Grimes who shone retreating back when required, harrying Forest players continuously and Liam Cullen too strong on headed clearances from the few dead balls Forest managed.
Hourihane made his swans debut
Swansea built slowly from the back as they were allowed to calmly pick out passes and take their time in the build up. The second goal came from a corner, cleared by the Forest defence, Grimes receiving the ball thirty yards out and rifling in an unstoppable shot. It was just what the swans deserved. Forest showed little in the first half, they were slow and uninterested and were lucky to go in only two down. Chris Hughton would have been fuming with his side.
Chris Hughton dejected after seeing his side go two down
Second half it was almost as if the swans had been taking the same pills as Forest in the first half. A slow and poor start from the swans, almost the same as the opposition during the first forty five. Forest pushed on, making a few changes and it was that ponderous effort from the swans which saw Anthony Knockaert score from close range. Cooper would have been furious to see a goal conceded in the way it was, poor defending, hardy a thing for Swansea this season gifted a goal which was gratefully received. The goal seemed to give the swans a bit of life as Ryan Manning drove into the opposition box. He was tripped, but Manning earned the penalty as much as it was given away by Forest. It was a controversial decision by referee Kevin Friend, replays did show Manning digging his foot in to the Forest defenders heel as he fell to the ground. Its what the pundits call " one of those" and Cooper will not care after a season of questionable decision making by certain officials.
Dhanda the masked raider
Swansea City went looking for a fourth as Liam Cullen mistimed his close range shot and Manning curled another shot goal wards which was excellently saved again by Smith. Three swans changes, Fulton for Grimes, Guehi off for Bidwell and Hourihane was replaced by Oli Cooper. A bold change after sixty five minutes which made the swans look more defensive. However, that wasn't the case, Cooper drove towards the Forest goal a superb cut back pass for Liam Cullen and four it was for the swans. The young man looked delighted.
On seventy six minutes Connor Roberts was replaced by Jordan Garrick as Cullen missed another opportunity to score a fifth for the swans. Injuring himself in the process Cullen limped his way off the pitch leaving the swans down to ten men for the corner. That also meant the swans were down to ten men as they had used all their subs. Cullen didn't return as Cullen was helped from the pitch. You would have thought that Swansea would have steadied the ship and played out the game but Jamal Lowe and his never give up attitude chased down a lost cause, robbing a weak Joe Lolly before shooting at a well recovered Forest defence. Unfortunately for Forest Oli Cooper was there to slot home his first Swansea goal from a wide angle, another product of the Swansea system for all to see.
It was a fantastic afternoon for Swansea, made that much sweeter for the goals coming from squad players in Cooper and Cullen and a word for Jan Dhanda who was a constant thorn in Forests side. The swans march on to the fifth round after dispatching with ease the team that knocked out Cardiff City in round three.
Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Joel Latibeaudiere, Ryan Bennett, Marc Guehi; Connor Roberts, Yan Dhanda, Matt Grimes (captain), Conor Hourihane, Ryan Manning; Wayne Routledge, Liam Cullen.
Substitutes: Lewis Webb, Ben Cabango, Kyle Naughton, Jake Bidwell, Jay Fulton, Oli Cooper, Jordon Garrick, Andre Ayew, Jamal Lowe.
Nottingham Forest: Jordan Smith; Carl Jenkinson, Joe Worrall (captain), Tobias Figueiredo, Gaetan Bong; Loic Mbe Soh, Fouad Bachirou; Joe Lolley, Luke Freeman, Anthony Knockaert; Lyle Taylor.
Substitutes: Brice Samba, Cyrus Christie, Lewis Grabban, Sammy Ameobi, Alex Mighten, Cafu, Miguel Guerrero, Michael Dawson, Tyler Blackett.
Referee: Kevin Friend
Photo: Action Images
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