|Swansea City 1 v 1 Brentford|
Wednesday, 27th January 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Woodman and Lowe star in battling performance for ten man Swansea City
Wednesday, 27th Jan 2021 21:46
There will be a vast array of fan opinions about this battling draw at the Liberty but when all is said and done the swans gained a point tonight - and once again stood strong in defence and earned that little bit of luck when it was needed.
The first half wasn’t the most exciting but like all games that receive this much pre game attention, it’s par for the course. Both sides started slowly, sparring with each other in a chess match where two disciplined sides seek out a moment of weakness. The speed of Toney up front for Brentford was clearly in the minds of Fulton and Naughton as the half progressed. Brentford looked more dangerous with several angled cross field passes out to speedy left back Henry. One of his raids down the flanks saw a cross shot that beat Woodman but narrowly off target was the first warning. The swans seemed slow in their process of getting the ball forward with numerous misplaced passes and when they did get through the Brentford midfield after an infringement by Brentford - referee Brooks pulled the game back, much to the frustration of the swans. It was poor refereeing on numerous occasions which has been absent in recent games.
Jamal Lowe and Andre Ayew received little service but seemed slow off the mark when Brentford passed the ball across their defence. More pressure from an advancing midfield was required, however it never materialised. Hourihane received the ball on the edge of the Brentford area but failed to control it as the half fizzled out. Two similar goal scoring opportunities were not taken by both sides with three players going for the same ball on both occasions. The nerves were there and as Alan Curtis commented ‘ The swans just need to get forward quicker, they are almost pondering whilst on the ball, there needs to be more pace to the passing and movement, the Brentford centre back is slow on the turn and there is definitely something there for the swans’
As the half closed a hopeful punt forwards to Toney saw Naughton drag him back as he burst in to the swans half, the yellow card was appropriate but many swans fans will be asking for a change at half time. Cooper looked frustrated as the teams left the field at the half.
Surprisingly Cooper stuck with his formation with Naughton remaining on the pitch, at least for twenty minutes. Already booked he had to watch every tackle he put in. The swans never got in to their stride in the first half and Brentford looked more dominant as the second part of the game resumed. Their passing was far more accurate and incisive down the flanks with Jamal Lowe having to concentrate far more on his defensive work than up top. It has to be said it was a surprise that Cooper stuck closely to his starting line up, the lacklustre swans needed some Injection of energy. Freddie Woodman came to the swans aide on several occasions, the only blot on his copy book being seven place kicks to the flanks going straight out of play. Memories of Roger Freestone’s boots there for older swans fans.
Naughton received his second yellow card of the game for a rash sliding challenge on the half way line which would have scuppered any thoughts of the swans changing their fortunes going forward. Swansea down to ten men were not to be denied, and a rare foray in to the Brentford half saw a quick response. On an evening when the swans seemed more concerned about Brentford than what they could do themselves though it was testament to the teams spirit they never gave up.
Off you go Kyle after a second yellow card
The Swans were second best for large parts as Brentford created numerous openings, with Ivan Toney, Rico Henry, Mathias Jensen and Sergi Canos all having efforts. When they did register it was from the head of substitute Tariqe Fosu-Henry who headed home in the 75th minute. You would have thought that was game over.
But January signing Hourihane levelled proceedings from a free-kick soon after as the Swans stretched their unbeaten home run to 11 matches to climb back into the Championship's automatic promotion places. Swansea down to ten men were not to be denied, and a rare foray in to the Brentford half provided a quick response that delighted the swans bench. Thomas Frank immediately complained that the free kick saw his keeper impeded, odd for him to be so illuminated. Animated as ever he was very quick to run across to the linesman and register his disapproval. A review of the free kick and the goal quickly showed the Brentford keeper to be at fault misjudging the flight of the ball with a little nudge from ex Brentford man Jake Bidwell in a packed area. For a referee who at one point looked like he was going to take over the game with repetitive whistling. On this occasion though he stood firm and gave the goal. Another sign of Swansea’s fighting ability when all looks lost.
Thomas Frank, complaining again
It was out of character for the swans to be so poor at home and the last defeat at Derby in mid December has seen them cement themselves in the leagues top six. Swans fans will have to learn that not every game will go their teams way, and not every game is a given three points. Tonight’s display was good with some added luck, a great goalkeeping performance from Woodman and tremendous effort from Jamal Lowe when chasing back.
Star man Jamal Lowe
Brentford unbeaten in seventeen games now are the form side for sure, however the swans are now unbeaten in eight and this league is so unforgiving when it comes to games and a quick turn around of so many fixtures. There’s the FA Cup too coming up in early February. Swansea players tonight threw themselves at every shot, selflessly defending the hard earned point. Conor Hourihane May well get the credit for the equalising goal but his industrious play was not evident for large parts of the game. Jordan Morris too, stripped off and waiting to enter the fray just before the swans equalised will be disappointed, but his chances will come. It was a battling performance with a few sprinkles of good luck, but that’s what makes a season, it isn’t all plain sailing and Cooper will be the happier manager tonight.
Swansea City: Woodman; Naughton, Cabango, Guehi; Roberts, Fulton, Hourihane, Grimes (C), Bidwell; Lowe (Manning 90), Ayew.
Subs not used: Hamer, Bennett, Latibeaudiere, D Williams, Dhanda, Morris, O Cooper, Garrick.
Goal: Hourihane 79
Yellow cards: Hourihane 39, Naughton 44 & 69, Fulton 51
Red card: Naughton 69
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard (C), Pinnock, Sorensen, Henry; Janelt (Ghoddos 86), Dasilva, Jensen; Mbeumo (Fosu-Henry 56), Toney, Canos (Forss 77).
Subs not used: Daniels, Roerslev, Zamburek, Stevens, Gilbert, Haygarth.
Goal: Fosu-Henry 75
Referee: John Brooks
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