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AFC Bournemouth 4 v 0 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 6th November 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Swansea get it all wrong and Bournemouth get it very right
Sunday, 7th Nov 2021 10:00 by David Cornish

Remember what Russell Martin said, it’s a process and we are not there yet. In amongst the talk, the noise and the actual football we saw a Swansea City side, dominate, create, dissipate and generally fall apart at Bournemouth.

For all the good football for the first twenty minutes or so, the real dominance of a team with supreme confidence, the outcome at minute fifteen could never have been predicted by minute ninety four. In the end it was the league leaders who triumphed. The guy from the local daily echo sat right next to me went from purring about the way the swans play to saying the visitors were outplayed throughout. This is how people react to what the see, from minute to minute.

Swansea City fell apart through sheer stupidity. When Scott Parker saw his side couldn’t play the ball as well as the swans his plan B kicked in. And fair play. Persistent fouling, kicking and grabbing the opposition, causing stoppages, mass handbags and bookings affected the silky swans passing game. It went from dominance to bitty stop, start football in a matter of minutes. Disrupted physically and mentally by rough house tactics is how Bournemouth initially won this game. Parker clearly saw no reason to allow the swans further dominance of the game. Ntcham had already come close, and a clear penalty was denied by the ever shrinking referee Tony Harrington was signal for change.

Disrupted and out of sorts, Flynn Downes and Jamie Paterson being the real culprits in retaliation lost their flow and their composure. Ryan Bennett too gaining an appropriate yellow card which will see him miss the next swans game, some will be happy with that. He is now making mistakes that he wasn’t before the last two games. Mistakes which have cost the swans in front of goal. Ryan Manning too found himself in a feisty contest which we now know the Irishman loves.

Assessing the game as a whole, Russell Martin said: “I thought we started the game brilliantly, one of the best 25-minute periods since I have been here. We are disappointed we did not score when we were on top, we had some good situations we did not make the most of. Ethan is fouled in the box but the official did not think it was enough contact to give a penalty, and they score against the run of play – a goal which was marginally offside – which energised them a bit.

“The game got a bit messy then towards the end of the first half, which I think suited them more than us, but they did not create much and neither did we. So, at half-time it was about trying to weather the storm and having that energy in the first 15 minutes, and we didn’t do that. They score with a moment of sloppiness from us, and the difference was they were really ruthless and clinical. We cannot concede so early after half-time when we had spoken about it. We tried to remain the side we want to be, but it is another moment of sloppiness for the third goal, and it’s the same for the fourth goal. By that point the game was open and we were chasing it a bit but we needed to make better decisions. But I am hurt for it to be 4-0 because I didn’t think the guys deserved that.”

That’s as may be for the swans manager, but his arsenal on the bench provided no respite to the better and more physical Bournemouth play. With a quicker and clearly healthier approach to the second half the swans created little. Out fought and reduced to fouling their opponents, loose passes ensued, and a loss of composure continued. Swansea City fell right in to the Bournemouth trap. It was blindingly obvious they had, but no response was forthcoming.

Scott Parker was clearly delighted with his side, “Swansea started by causing us a little bit of a problem. We fixed that and then from that point, I thought we were every a bit of a top team. Intensity – I just loved every bit of us.” The Cherries had to soak up some pressure from the Swans before Solanke ruthlessly fired home the opener with his first chance on 26 minutes. Asked what allowed his team to grow into the contest, Parker said: “We had to fix a problem they were causing us tactically a little bit. They were causing us a little bit of a problem with their positioning. Obviously, at that point we were caught inbetween, we adjusted that. From that moment really – Dom ( Solanke) was on the periphery and then one chance – goal. I think that settled us a little it.

“I think probably the change we made a little bit tactically helped us. I’m reluctant to say it was a reaction after Wednesday, because I didn’t think we needed a reaction. We didn’t lose the game on Wednesday due to a lack of effort, passion or desire. We lost it though small details, which we need to learn from. We went through that and analysed that. Today, what I asked for was a big performance and we got that.”

Parker’s reference to a change of tactic was obvious to me, and those around me as well. It wasn’t positional, it was good old fashioned physical dominance, get your players to rough up the opposition and upset them. Then their style of play will be disrupted. It worked a treat, and fair play to the home side for being able to do it. They were clearly the better side, deserving of the win, and very deserving of being where they are in the league. This heavy loss could well work for Martin, he now has two weeks again to analyse and work out where he can prevent this happening again. We give him time because he has the grace to explain why he does things on the football pitch. And also to put his hands up when he gets it wrong.

A final mention to the Jack Army who were magnificent from minute one to the end, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand very proud. Noise levels were incredible.

Bournemouth: Travers; Stacey, Kelly (C), Cahill, Davis; Lerma, Billing (L Cook 83), Kilkenny; Christie (Lowe 75), Solanke (Rogers 86), Anthony.

Subs not used: Dennis, Mepham, Brady, Marcondes.

Goals: Solanke 26 & 49, Anthony 64 & 90+3

Yellow cards: Billing 29, Solanke 40

Swansea City: Hamer; Bennett, Naughton, Manning; Laird, Downes (Smith 66), Grimes (C), Bidwell (Whittaker 66); Paterson, Ntcham (Walsh 75); Piroe.

Subs not used: Benda, Cabango, Latibeaudiere, Cullen.

Yellow cards: Downes 29, Bennett 38, Ntcham 53

Referee: Tony Harrington 4/10

Photographs licensed from Reuters & © Away Ends

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