|Sheffield Wednesday 0 v 2 Swansea City|
Tuesday, 13th April 2021 Kick-off 18:00
Routledge is the difference again - as Swansea City win away again !
Tuesday, 13th Apr 2021 20:55 by Keith Haynes & David Cornish
It was another very decent display by the swans with Wayne Routledge once again starring for the second away game in a row. The swans took all three points at Hillsborough, and will maintain all is not lost in the chase for second place. It wasn’t pretty, in fact again it was quite frustrating, but overall any win away from home at this stage of the season is most welcome. On seventy five points now, the play offs regardless of the maths is almost certainly guaranteed.
From the off Sheffield Wednesday looked positive but it was more than apparent to everyone watching the game their weakness was in defence. That proved to be the point when a strong shoulder charge knocked Borner off the ball then squared to Jamal Lowe who fired high in to the Owls net. The second goal was Conner Roberts first touch after coming on as a substitute - providing him with an assist as his stunning pass was met by Jay Fulton who headed the ball in to the net leaving Westwood no chance.
That was the story of the goals but what about the story of the game ?
The victory, and a 20th clean sheet of the season, leaves the Swans on 75 points, seven behind second-placed Watford and nine points clear of seventh-placed Reading in the promotion picture.
Fulton scores an excellent second goal for Swansea City
In what was a tight first half at Hillsborough, Swansea took the lead as they capitalised on a sloppy defensive error from the Owls which allowed Lowe to convert his 12th goal of the campaign. Back on track, Jamal Lowe is shining with confidence and making the right runs off the ball which earned him his goal. The Swans had to defend well to keep Sheffield Wednesday out early on, with Freddie Woodman making a fine save to deny Liam Shaw while Ryan Bennett produced some heroic interventions too. The Owls after their twenty minute start were definitely jaded, and thirty five thousand pound a week striker Jordan Rhodes was hardly noticeable.
Ryan Manning, very competent at left back
It wasn’t easy for the swans who really did struggle at times to retain possession, especially in the first half. One supporter saying it looked like they had all been at Ben Cabango’s party. However, Wednesday also didn’t look that positive when time after time they gave away the ball. When in possession and when the swans managed to string some good passing moves, just like Saturday it felt like the chances would come. They did, early on an Ayew shot whizzed past Westwood’s post and with play breaking down in midfield the team that could take advantage would most certainly win this game. The real masterpiece in the game was Wayne Routledge who like last season is proving his worth to Steve Cooper when he needed it the most. His closing down and availability, especially with a pretty poor showing from Hourihane in possession was crucial. Still with pace and now with a real understanding of the game as it is played today, he was tonight, and will be for a year or so to come, a superb asset. Used sparingly and carefully managed Routledge will almost certainly feature more times before the season ends.
Swans captain Matt Grimes leading with his head
The Swans retained the lead at the break, but needed Marc Guehi to cut out a dangerous Wednesday cross from the right in the early stages of the second half. Ryan Bennett matched that effort a few minutes later, making a key block as Windass got set to fire at goal after cutting into the area. However, Swansea were soon left frustrated when referee Matthew Donohue turned down penalty appeals as Kyle Naughton went down under a challenge from Borner. However, they should have fallen two goals behind within a minute of making those changes as Grimes nodded on to Ayew in the box, although Westwood brilliantly denied the Ghanaian from close range.
Woodman makes a superb first half save
Roberts replaced Routledge with just under 20 minutes left on the clock as space started to open up for Swansea in the Wednesday half. It was well noticed by Cooper who clearly instructed Roberts on the very run he would do seconds later to cross for the second goal. Swansea’s homemade product made an impressive start following his managers instruction as he latched on to Lowe's pass before crossing from the left flank for Fulton to head home his third goal of the campaign from close range. That was Roberts first touch of the game. That second goal was the end for the home side, and Cooper sent on Korey Smith and Jake Bidwell for Hourihane and Manning respectively in a bid to see out the game. It was a wise move, Smith and Bidwell are competent replacements who would shore up the defence and add some grit going forwards. Roberts now would drop in more defensively, although it has to be said more goals were there of the swans wanted them.
Another look at a great goal for Swansea City
This was the swans 20th Championship clean sheet of the season to register back-to-back victories - while opening up a nine-point advantage over seventh-placed Reading with just five games left to play ahead of Saturday's contest with Wycombe Wanderers at the Liberty Stadium.
The very unlikeable Bannan is closed down by Ayew
It was more than a good effort, these two wins were priceless and still leave a glint of light ahead for second place. The next two games are at home as stated to Wycombe and QPR, there must be no let up in the mood of the squad. Get in, get it done, look at the next game. There are five to go and the only way we believe the swans will take second place is to win them all.
Game over, a hard fought win at Hillsborough
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Hutchinson, Lees, Börner (Green 76); Palmer, Bannan (C), Pelupessy, Shaw (Brown 64), Reach; Windass, Rhodes (Paterson 64).
Subs not used: Wildsmith, Urhoghide, Penney, Hunt, Harris, Kachunga.
Swansea City: Woodman; Naughton, Bennett, Guehi, Manning (Bidwell 75); Grimes (C), Fulton, Hourihane (Smith 79); Lowe, Ayew, Routledge (Roberts 73).
Subs not used: Hamer, Freeman, Latibeaudiere, Dhanda, O Cooper, Whittaker.
Goals: Lowe 31, Fulton 73
Yellow card: Roberts 76
Referee: Matthew Donohue 8/10.
Photos licensed from Reuters
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