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Leeds United 3 v 1 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Wednesday, 29th November 2023 Kick-off 19:45
Swans slump in another unsatisfactory performance : We look at the reasons why
Thursday, 30th Nov 2023 12:25 by Liam Walters & Keith Haynes

Overall it was another disappointing loss for the Swans at Elland Road, a place they have only won twice at in the history of this fixture. Despite playing and matching their hosts during the first half an hour they eventually succumbed to the side who contained the better players and had more desire overall.

That isn’t to say the Swans didn’t put any effort in - the amount of bodies they got in to defensive positions was excellent. Coupled with a determination to move the ball quickly during the first third of the game was more than acceptable. However, that slowly deteriorated as passes went astray and Leeds were allowed to pick up any loose ball and move forwards.

The Goals : Jamie Paterson’s execution of his goal was exceptional. ( below) A long chip over the Leeds keeper Meslier - after Dan James had a goal ruled out for offside, Paterson latched on to a decent pass to score. And with only seventy seconds or so gone. Joel Piroe brought about parity when he scored a typical Piroe goal, allowing the ball to run across his body and catching the Swans defence ball watching he coolly slotted the ball in to Carl Rushworth’s net. The real disappointment came just as the half was ready to conclude when Rutter outstripped Bashir Humphreys from a long punt forwards to slide his shot in to the net.

There have been mutterings that Rutter was offside, it’s difficult to see on the tv footage and it was a split decision amongst the assembled journalists, one a very big supporter of this site believed if VAR was in operation the goal would have been ruled out. The third Leeds goal was disappointing, not because the scorer was Dan James but once again Carl Rushworth was beaten to his right hand side again. We have mentioned this before and it’s now becoming a regular occurrence. It was a decent goal from James but there were defensive failings for that killer goal.

Post match Duff was positive. "In terms of the result it was a disappointing night for us, yes. The performance was really good... but we conceded poor goals at poor times. We had a warning shot in the first minute and then conceded within a few minutes. If we don't concede with the last kick of the first half it's a different game in the second half, but we were undone by Premier League quality."

To that we can only say the second half wasn’t good at all, the Swans gave away the ball in every move forwards and didn’t threaten the Leeds goal at all. The desire from the first half an hour of the game was gone. The constant misplaced passes made a mockery of the fact these players train every day, especially when it comes to passing the ball to someone you know, which seems lost come the real test on a match day. Swansea City are once again on a downward turn on the pitch, this time last season the team had twenty eight points in the bag. This time around it’s twenty and the league is now more about looking down than up.

In his and his teams defence Duff stated. "There's been factors within that," Duff said when asked whether this latest run will be playing on his mind. "We've had lots of injuries. We've played four of the top six in this latest run. That's not an excuse, it's just the reality of it. So it is what it is. We've just got to show signs of improvement and that's the one thing we have. We look like there's a better balance within the team. We look like there are better relationships in the team. Ultimately you've got to win games, no one's naive enough not to think that. But relationships are starting to form and I think you can see that in the performance."

The response to that has to be the league table above. After eighteen games that’s cusp of relegation form. There was a bright point last night and that was Yannick Bolasie who came on and out immense effort in to his cameo. He looked quick and dangerous, more so than any other player in the Swans line up bar Jamie Paterson in the first half. This is a positive, and hopefully Duff will see this with Saturdays home game against Huddersfield Town on the horizon. On Saturday one win in six has to become two wins in seven otherwise some serious questions need to be asked.

Leeds United: Meslier; Gray, Byram (Firpo 80), Struijk (Cooper 88), Rodon, Ampadu, Kamara, James (Gnonto 70), Summerville (Anthony 80), Georginio (Bamford 70), Piroe

Subs: Darlow, Spence, Gruev, Poveda,

Swansea City: Rushworth; Key (Darling 70), Cabango, Humphreys, Tymon; Fulton (Cullen 70), Grimes (c); Cooper (Patino 70), Paterson (Bolasie 79), Lowe; Yates (Walsh 79)

Subs: Fisher, Tjoe-A-On, Naughton, Congreve

Referee : Sam Allison 7/10 : fair for both sides.

Att : 34,980

Photographs with permission Dimitris Legakis

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