|Swansea City 1 v 1 Middlesbrough|
Saturday, 23rd April 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Andy Fisher shines in another bizarre game of football : Swansea City 1 Middlesbrough 1
Saturday, 23rd Apr 2022 17:10 by @Cornish67David
It was yet another bizarre Swansea City Sky Bet Championship fixture at the swansea.come this afternoon. A first half that fizzled out was ignited from the start of the second half. The game turned in to a real championship cliff hanger with both sides going all out for the win.
It took a good fifteen minutes for the swans to work their way in to this game mostly due to Flynn Downes and Matt Grimes taking proceedings by the scruff of the neck. Before then a very high press by Middlesbrough and Swansea errors give the visitors two half chances. At times Swansea’s passing was magnificent but first Michael Obafemi then Flynn Downes failed to take advantage of very decent positions on the edge of the area.
Joel Piroe twisting and turning and aiding the swans attack was dangerous linking with Cyrus Christie who found himself in advanced positions as well on a few occasions. Nothing came from the efforts of both sides despite a lot of determination. Boro really needed a goal having not scored in their previous four matches, and when they did get forwards they still had their manager Chris Wilder’s harsh words ringing in their ears. Quick crosses coming in to the swans penalty area were well dealt with by the ever improving Ben Cabango.
The flicks and touches continued, Obafemi just out of reach of a pass from Piroe, and Downes again in on goal but put his shot high over the bar. His runs though from deep were clearly creating a threat to the visitors defence. Probing the Boro midfield and defensive set up was proving hard as they had every man behind the ball. The three and sometimes four man high press on the swans not leaving them much time on the ball. However, concentration was maintained with Fisher careful in his passing and the swans choosing to play some remarkable football out from the back. Even when surrounded by the opposition.
As the half hour passed the swans hit four hundred passes for the game, and eighty one per cent possession, the obvious issue for Swansea being their total lack of pace. The half fizzled out as a contest, Boro looking tired and Swansea playing round them.
But that was just a warning of things to come.
Within a minute of the restart the swans were one down, and it was down to poor play. Matt Grimes made a mess of his pass to Naughton after a pass from Andy Fisher. Then Riley McGree collected the ball and rifled into the net via the crossbar. It took a huge deflection as well. Boro seemed inspired and a crucial Fisher save from Duncan Whatnore sprang an attack for the home side. Obafemi held off challenges on the edge of the area rifled a super shot in to the Boro net to make it 1-1. People were still retuning to their seats and a lot missed those two goals.
Obafemi hits a wonderful shot to equalise this afternoon
Then a wonderful shot from Boro’s Bowler slammed against the bar and Swansea City’s response was an equally as impressive shot from Hannes Wolf which also rattled the bar. And all that in twelve minutes. It was almost as if the two managers had said to each other at half time, let’s go for it. Both defences were at sixes and sevens it was entertaining but alarming at the same time. The swans gradually took control of the game again, and everyone surely now needed to take a breath.
Swansea still looked the better side, and their increase in tempo was causing Middlesbrough a lot of problems. Obafemi looking sharp and had a shot deflected wide for a corner as Wilder made his substitutions. Then Piroe took a lovely touch outside the area and his shot was saved by the Boro keeper Luke Nichols going down to his left. Ryan Manning then missed his shot right in front of goal after a lovely ball in from Matt Grimes. It seemed the swans were turning the screw.
Not as far as the visitors were concerned. A breakaway move saw a terrific Kyle Naughton tackle just as Boro were about to score and this bizarre second half continued. The wonderful swans passing continued as both sides looked for the winning goal. Olivier Ntcham was brought on for Ryan Manning who once again was showing too much exuberance in the tackle. It was a good decision by Russell Martin. Ntcham started to control the midfield as the last ten minutes of the game were played out. The swans determination saw offsides being called, and you have to say the assistant flagging seemed as mesmerised as the Boro players at times.
A wonderful free kick again from Grimes saw Ben Cabango free in the area and his header just went wide, it was a golden opportunity. The yellow cards mounted up as challenges became late and at times lazy. Boro took advantage of Cabango’s lack of awareness but again Fisher came to the rescue.
The action continued with a dubious Boro forward ball which looked offside and the finish by Sporar hit the swans post with Fisher beaten. It just summed up this crazy game. In injury time a Grimes cross was just missed by Christie at the far post. It was end to end to the death. Grimes again fired a set piece across the Boro area, but nobody was on the end of it. This is where the swans do lack in their awareness in front of goal. Both Piroe and Obafemi were nowhere near the ball.
Maybe the draw was a deserved result for both. Swansea City and Middlesbrough both had their chances to win this game. This was the swans third draw on the trot as they now look towards Tuesday. That brings another home game against Bournemouth who earned 1-1 draw with Fulham this afternoon with a ninety seventh minute penalty.
Swansea City: Fisher; Cabango, Naughton, Latibeaudiere; Christie, Downes, Grimes (C), Manning (Ntcham 73); Piroe, Wolf; Obafemi.
Subs not used: Hamer, Ogbeta, Fulton, Smith, Congreve, Joseph.
Goal: Obafemi 48
Yellow cards: Wolf 84, Christie 87
Middlesbrough: Daniels; Dijksteel, Bamba, McNair; Jones, McGree, Howson (C), Tavernier (Payero 90+2), Bola; Watmore (Connolly 66), Coburn (Sporar 66).
Subs not used: Lumley, Taylor, Peltier, Balogun.
Goal: McGree 46
Yellow card: Bamba 82
Referee: David Webb 6/10 A bit card mad but controlled matters.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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