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Swansea City 1 v 3 Southampton
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 20th January 2024 Kick-off 12:30
Swansea City match report : There was a gulf in class but the Swans have hope
Saturday, 20th Jan 2024 15:18 by Liam Walters

This game was lost in the first half, the score at half time the same as when the game ended. A lack of defensive awareness and organisation on the pitch saw the Swans outdone today.

The gulf in class over the first forty five minutes was evident to all who watched this fixture.

The first six minutes saw Southampton go one up after Bashir Humphreys lost his man (Che Adams) in the box, that was 1-0 to the visitors. The second on twenty minutes was an error by Nathan Wood when failing to cut out a cross which saw a glaring offside not given in the build up. Will Smallbone latched on to a pass to make it 2-0. A change in momentum saw the Swans back in the game when Jamie Paterson headed home from a lovely Liam Cullen touch. Jamal Lowe was floored by the Saints keeper, Gavin Bazunu, Lowe possibly hand balled in the move. To cap it all off Flynn Downes put his side two goals ahead when he fired home from just outside the area.

Jamie Paterson celebrates his headed goal

Well, that was the first half action stats, the real basics of the four goals we saw at the Swansea.Com this afternoon. The real issue for me was the contribution of Matt Grimes in that first half. He is the captain, not once did I see him try and lead his side from the front. When Southampton scored he just walked back to his restart position with his head down. I saw no dedicated desire to inspire or manage his side from an organisational point of view. The time for being nice with certain players is over for me. A captain leads, he doesn’t outwardly display his disappointment, he energises and encourages his players. Sorry, but Matt Grimes doesn’t possess that at all.

Harry Darling worked relentlessly in this game

The second half saw a more upbeat Swansea, chances were made but Southampton nearly bagged a fourth, if it wasn’t for the last ditch deflection by Carl Rushworth in the Swansea goal it was a tap in. He had already come to the aid of his team on two occasions in the first half, he was a busy lad for sure. Grimes at last looked more involved as the first ten minutes of the half was passed.

Disarray and Jay Fulton earlier on this afternoon

What we were seeing is the obvious lack of pace in this Swans side. Unlike Southampton they were unable to use the flanks effectively. The Saints on the other hand had pace and good understanding on both wings. However, the last twenty minutes was all Swansea, the hapless Jerry Yates hit the post from a yard out when it was easier to score, Yannick Bolasie did the same moments later. Jamie Paterson tested the Saints keeper, Charlie Patino lost his nerve when it was also easier to score, and Joe Allen squandered his weekly opportunity from eight yards. The Swans were so impressive the first half respect shown to their visitors has to be questioned. Bolasie fired a rocket just over the bar and Saints keeper Bazunu came to his sides aid on numerous occasions in the last fifteen minutes.

Luke Williams will take heart from this performance, especially the bravery of Jamal Lowe, Josh Tymon and Harry Darling. Jamie Paterson was again the player of the match for the Swans, but this side needs on the pitch leadership, and it simply hasn’t got it.

Sky Sports Stats

⚽️ Swansea City: Carl Rushworth, 7 Jay Fulton 5 (Joe Allen 75), 5 Harry Darling,6 Matt Grimes 5 (captain), Jamal Lowe 7 (Jerry Yates 65), 4 Jamie Paterson, 8 Josh Tymon, 7 Liam Cullen 6 (Charlie Patino 65), 6 Nathan Wood, 5 Harrison Ashby 6 (Yannick Bolasie 65),7 Bashir Humphreys.5

Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Kristian Pedersen, Nathanael Ogbeta, Kyle Naughton, Ollie Cooper.

⚽️ Southampton: Gavin Bazunu, Kyle Walker-Peters, Ryan Manning, Flynn Downes, Adam Armstrong (captain), Che Adams (Sekou Mara 75), Will Smallbone (Shea Charles 87), Stuart Armstrong (Joe Rothwell 75), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Jack Stephens 59), Ryan Fraser, Jan Bednarek.

Unused Substitutes: Joe Lumley, Mason Holgate, Carlos Alcaraz, Sam Amo-Ameyaw, Tyler Dibling.

Referee: Matthew Donohue

Attendance: 17,356
Away 1,860

Referee : Oliver Langford : 5/10 : He was more behind the game than Jerry Yates

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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Walrus added 08:35 - Jan 21
Thank You for the report Liam, its not easy to sum up without the luxury of the replays. First goal seemed to stem from Woods being drawn out of the back line as Fulton struggled to get back to defend the ball carrier. The pass was then played into the space where Woods should have been. Then Darling and Humphries were dragged across but Tymon recovered to track Adams so at that point Swans had numbers. Then Darling got beat too easily at by the shooter then Adams read the rebound better. I wouldn't be pointing the finger at Humphries. Second issue is that the days of Tub thumping captains are long gone. It might work in the sunday league but what i saw was the back line making poor decisions and the team as a whole not pressing together in the first half. I do agree with your comment on the lack of pace and agree with your overall assessment that Swans were outplayed first half and came back into it second. Try and keep to reporting and leave the commentary to aan opinion piece. keep it up.

liamW added 10:56 - Jan 21
Thanks for the comment, I rarely post but you have taken the time so I will too. I think the main issue I have is writing about Swansea City is the emotional side. You are right I should cut down the opinion. Or if doing so be more objective. It’s a long writing journey for me, still first year at uni but always welcome advice. Thank you.

Walrus added 04:12 - Jan 22
Thanks for the reply Liam, i look forward to more of your match reports.
You will learn a lot from writing in public.

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