|Huddersfield Town 4 v 1 Swansea City|
Saturday, 20th February 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Swansea run ragged by Yorkshire terriers in soulless display
Saturday, 20th Feb 2021 17:25 by Steph Thomas & Keith Haynes
The swans had an excellent chance to put even more pressure on the top three today at Huddersfield Town. Against a side that hadn’t won since late December 2020 everyone would have had the game down as a win. But football in the championship doesn’t pan out that way. And today Steve Cooper learned some very hard home truths.
After another extraordinary loss for Brentford, their third in a row at a Coventry the swans arrived in Yorkshire brimming with confidence with the best record in the league. However, it just didn’t look that way as a casual, almost lazy first half by the swans saw the terriers take the game to the away side. Far more energetic and decisive the Huddersfield Town players showed no fear in the early parts of play. The warning signs were there in the first twenty minutes but the usual dependable swans defence looked reckless and completely the opposite to what we are used to seeing this season. Naughton was clearly off the pace causing keeper Woodman to scramble a Huddersfield attack away.
The goal when it came was expected, the terriers caused confusion in the swans box as Fraizer Campbell scuffed a shot that went in off the Swansea post. Woodman would have expected the attack to be cleared, but Hourihane failed to react to Huddersfield’s movement, Naughton merely watched as the ball hit the back of the net. The home side was one up. A minute later Woodman was Again scrambling across his goal when a long range shot by Bacuna bounced back off the post. The swans were all over the place.
Jake Bidwell took a long time to find his feet in the first half
The normal fluent and free passing game the swans have become known for again this season was never evident in the first thirty minutes, and it would be Huddersfield who will be kicking themselves for not making more of their attacking endeavour. Slowly Cooper’s troopers began to find their own players instead of long punts forward. Roberts coming more in to the game and Grimes again pulling the midfield strings. It wasn’t pretty, the passing wasn’t that good, but it pushed the terriers back. A Jake Bidwell header was cleared off the line as Huddersfield started to to defend deeper. Ayew created his own chance with a blistering shot saved by Ryan Schofield. Grimes too from distance saw his shot fizz past the post. Hourihane got involved with a neat one two with Grimes but his shot not dissimilar to Grimes just missed the target. Then a foolish foul by an ever retreating Huddersfield gave Conor Hourihane the opportunity to deliver his set piece in to the area. Out foxing the terriers defence he squeezed an exquisite shot at pace in to the back of the home net.
Conor Hourihane puts the swans level at 1-1
It maybe was what the swans deserved for fifteen minutes of effort, but they will consider themselves fortunate after such a weak start to the game. It may well be Cooper going with the same selection, a slightly tired side that could well have required a few new faces. The travelling and games will always take their toll. Trundle in commentary was right, the swans were lazy at the start of the half, it took some inspiring play from Grimes and Ayew to turn the game and a superb equaliser from Hourihane.
Two changes for the swans at half time saw Jordan Morris on for Jamal Lowe and Ben Cabango for Ryan Bennett. It made absolutely no difference as once again poor Swansea defending saw Lewis O’Brien drive home a deflected shot leaving Woodman no chance. The response from Swansea was as lethargic as it was in the first half, maybe more so, no energy whatsoever. The end result was poor Swansea defending, this time Marc Guehi weakly attempting to block an attack, then Cabango, the ball bounced clear to Holmes who took his opportunity well, it was 3-1 to Huddersfield, and Swansea were again all over the place, rudderless and extremely ragged. Holmes wasn’t finished with his tormenting of the swans defence, picking up a pass and as it sat up he blasted a wonderful cross shot beyond Woodman, and the game now was surely out of Swansea City’s reach.
Then the real problems started for Swansea, numerous substitutes being made when Jordan Morris went down unchallenged on the Huddersfield left with what looked like an appalling ligament injury to his knee. Replays showed a wretched fall, twisting from under his fall, Morris was in extreme agony. The swans had made all their subs, and were down to ten men. With Dhanda, Morris, Cabango, Manning and Whittaker on, Morris going off was a tremendous body blow.
O’Brien smashes home another Huddersfield goal
Even down to ten men you would have expected the swans players to show more commitment, they just didn’t have the energy, it looked like a poor side going through the motions. Uninspiring effort, little if any desire and a team completely lost in thought or tactic. Misplaced passes continued, long balls not making their mark, and Cooper looked stunned watching from the touch line. Swansea City were having their own Brentford nightmare. More opportunities came and went for Huddersfield as the swans found it hard to keep possession and when they did the play was negative and involved more back passes than forward passes. Even with twenty minutes to go plus a huge chunk of injury time left it was a painful watch, and extremely frustrating. Dhanda had a long shot that went closer to the second row of the stand. And that seemed to be it. Ayew was clearly livid with the whole teams performance, and his own contribution.
Real concern tonight for Jordan Morris
Lee Trundle ‘ The swans have to remain positive, and more so the fans, this happens in every season. Cooper has done a tremendous job as manager with his coaching team. I’m not a negative person, I look forwards positively not negatively. The losing feeling won’t be something the players want to repeat, it may do the team some good.Cooper needs to review this closely and use his managerial know how to make Wednesdays game against Coventry a positive one’
Norwich City beat Rotherham 1-0 today to extend their lead at the top of the table, Brentford will breath a sigh of relief as Swansea were even poorer than they were at Coventry. Watford remain in third after beating Derby 2-1 last night. It’s time for some real character, not excuses.
Any thoughts on the game this evening ?
Huddersfield Town Ryan Schofield, Pipa, Alex Vallejo, Jonathan Hogg (captain) (Alex Pritchard 84), Juninho Bacuna (Scott High 79), Lewis O'Brien, Duane Holmes (Richard Stearman 84), Richard Keogh, Fraizer Campbell (Kieran Phillips 72), Naby Sarr, Aaron Rowe (Jaden Brown 84).
Unused Substitutes: Joel Pereira, Demeaco Duhaney, Sorba Thomas, Romoney Crichlow.
Swansea City Freddie Woodman; Kyle Naughton (Morgan Whittaker 58), Ryan Bennett (Ben Cabango 46), Marc Guehi; Connor Roberts, Jay Fulton (Yan Dhanda 58), Matt Grimes (captain), Conor Hourihane, Jake Bidwell (Ryan Manning 58); Andre Ayew, Jamal Lowe (Jordan Morris 46).
Unused Substitutes: Ben Hamer, Joel Latibeaudiere, Korey Smith, Paul Arriola.
Referee: John Brooks
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