|Middlesbrough 1 v 0 Swansea City|
Saturday, 4th December 2021 Kick-off 15:00
We gave Middlesbrough a very poor goal, finishing was outrageous
Sunday, 5th Dec 2021 11:11 by Keith Haynes
Russell Martin described his teams finishing as ‘outrageous’ in the second half as more points were dropped at the Riverside. In another dominant performance against a side looking for their first home win under new manager Chris Wilder the swans had at least four decent chances to score yesterday.
Russell Martin stated his team are facing different problems every week and are coping well especially with the differing strategies they are facing in recent weeks. On the first penalty claim he said post match “Pato’s adamant there’s a touch, otherwise he’d just stay on his feet. There’s also one where Joel Piroe is running through on goal, and I will ask the referee for an explanation on that because he gets brought down. I’m really disappointed we’ve lost the game. I don’t think there’s any way we deserved to lose the game today. We were fighting for control in the first half, against a team that are really, really aggressive in their approach. They made it hard for us, but I thought we still had some semblance of control. "It is what it is. If you concede poor goals, it’s not because of the referee. They are big moments and big factors in the game though, and they just didn’t go our way today.”
It has been more of the same in recent weeks, the introduction of Rhys Williams in the last two games clearly hasn’t worked out. He looked sluggish, and in no way fits into the system he is being asked to play in. He was obviously at fault for the goal at Middlesbrough, and his effort to get back was ‘limited’ to be kind to him. The lack of game time for Jake Bidwell will also concern some swans fans with the January window approaching. Hopefully he is just being rested, however with six days between games before Christmas that seems an odd choice.
Paterson is brought down in the area
On the penalty Chris Wilder said “The referee is in a better place than me to make that decision though, and he’s made that decision and felt the boy has gone over. I spoke to Luke ( Boro keeper ) afterwards and he said he’s come out and the boy has gone over early. I suppose any goalkeeper would say that” On the game itself Wilder’s assessment seemed a bit strange stating “Was that the way we want to play ? Was that as we’ve played the last three? No. I think if the opposition had seen us, which they most probably had, we were a lot better with the ball. Whether that was Swansea pressing us or us being sloppy in possession, I’d like to think that it was more us because we turned the ball over cheaply and I think we’re better than that. That was the nature of the game and what we did show was the qualities to get the blocks in and clear one off the line. We’ve talked about playing well and if you can’t play well then you have to come out and find a way to win the game”
A gift of a goal for Middlesbrough
Martin’s assessment of the game will match the majority viewpoint. “I thought they had one moment and scored, and only had two shots on target all game. In the second half we were so dominant and created so many chances. You can’t create that much away from home and not take a point away, it’s outrageous. We get punished for conceding a really poor goal, which is frustrating. Two mistakes led to the goal, but on the whole the lads have defended brilliantly. Second half, I thought we were outstanding, I’ll take that performance. But we’ve been punished for one really poor moment and not being clinical enough in front of goal.”
That last point is one that the swans have fallen foul of in most of their games this season. The creativity is there, the hard work and desire to be combative and dominate the ball though is exposing a lack of willpower in front of goal. Swansea have only themselves to blame for this latest defeat.
Ryan Manning again worked tirelessly for the Swansea cause
Middlesbrough: Luke Daniels, Anfernee Dijksteel (Dael Fry 90), Marcus Tavernier, Andraz Sporar (Uche Ikpeazu 72), Jonny Howson (captain), Paddy McNair, Duncan Watmore (Onel Hernandez 72), Sol Bamba, Matt Crooks, Marc Bola, Isaiah Jones.
Unused Substitutes: Joe Lumley, Neil Taylor, Martin Payero, James Lea Siliki.
Swansea City: Ben Hamer; Ben Cabango, Kyle Naughton, Rhys Williams (Michael Obafemi 67); Ethan Laird (Joel Latibeaudiere 78), Flynn Downes, Matt Grimes (captain), Ryan Manning; Korey Smith (Olivier Ntcham 46), Jamie Paterson; Joel Piroe.
Unused Substitutes: Steven Benda, Ryan Bennett, Liam Cullen, Jake Bidwell.
Referee: Andy Davies 4/10 : More bizarre refereeing in the EFL.
Photographs licensed from Reuters or Open Source
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