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Sheffield Wednesday 1 v 1 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Friday, 29th March 2024 Kick-off 15:00
Swansea City earn a draw but really that was a poor performance by any measure
Friday, 29th Mar 2024 17:37 by Liam Walters

The Swans returned to La La land this afternoon, and that’s with all due respects to anyone of the La La land persuasion. The fighting talk pre match was left in the dressing room and surely Luke Williams can’t be happy with that performance ?

However, a point on the road by all accounts is decent.

The Swans started slowly at Hillsborough this afternoon, in no way did they resemble the side that beat Cardif City two weeks ago. However, as you would expect after the run the Swans have been on they quickly worked themselves back in to the game. On five minutes a free kick was awarded for a foul on Ronald, and although defended well it did signify the Swans were slowly waking up.

It became very apparent that the Owls were targeting Ronald on the Swans right, his pace clearly concerning them. Shirt pulling and flying elbows is how the dual between him and his marker started. Crosses in to the Owls box were happening but not of the quality required to concern the home side. Both teams were definitely ‘preserving’ their energy. Others would call it a complete lack of urgency.

The first real chance for then swans came from a Jay Fulton interception which he worked to Matt Grimes before Placheta was found on the Swans left. His direct shot was parried by keeper Beadle. Placheta utilised his pace again a moment later but his cross came to nothing.

With seventeen minutes gone the healthy crowd were silent bar the chanting from the visiting dans.

The problem for Swans fans, and there were plenty there, was the lack of energy and pace despite the total domination of the possession stats by the Swans. They had silenced the crowd but were walking the ball around the pitch. Passing for both sides was an issue, and retaining the ball at times. On twenty minutes the decision all round was it was a bit of a boring game. Loose balls were the order of the fixture at this point.

It was almost as if Swansea wanted the home side to open up and do something so space could be found. A strange offside was called by the assistant after Liam Cullen had a headed chance clawed away by Beadle. Maybe he too was sleeping ? The lax passing continued and that was now affecting the quality of the play on the pitch. It was noticeable when the likes of Placheta did get forwards, as he did on twenty seven minutes the Owls defence was rocking. Another foul against Cullen as he threw himself at a cross from the Pole.

Wednesday’s first real opportunity came from a corner on thirty minutes but it was well defended. This time a corner from the other side which caused a scrambled clearance by Harry Darling, but it was poor fayre. The rough treatment on Ronald continued but the Owls really didn’t look like a side determined to win this game. The chatter in the crowd could be heard it was that flat. A tactical switch of wingers was made with Placheta plying his trade on the opposite side of the pitch. Wednesday did have a chance on thirty five minutes but the effort was scuffed wide of the Swans post.

The Swans continued to slowly (very) probe but any cross made was gathered by the keeper or not in any way dangerous. Then on forty minutes a cross in from the Swans right was touched in by Cadamarteri with the Swans ball watching. The headed touch on from the free kick enough to distract Swansea and the ball was poked home. This half summed up Swansea City’s season. Now they had to fight ‘tooth and nail’ as Williams demanded pre match.

Ronald was having what could be said a very poor game to this point, his pace was wanting and his strength up against the home side defence not at all evident. The referee continued to miss the Owls off the ball fouls. It was scrappy, slow and poor despite the home side sneaking a goal with their only shot on goal in the half. Wednesday now had a purpose, they had a lead to defend, and the Swans looked nowhere near a side that could do anything about it. With the three minutes of injury time almost up the Swans continued to misplace passes and the rain hammered down. Luke Williams had his work cut out to try and inspire this Swansea side. They really didn’t look that bothered.

The urgency required wasn’t apparent immediately after the whistle went for the second half, but we did see Jamal Lowe on for Placheta. Maybe an odd move ? Placheta seemed the best of a very bad bunch after the first half. The main problem continued with a lack of bite in midfield and Jay Fulton far too cautious on the ball. Fulton did though have a snatched shot on forty eight minutes. What was apparent was the home side’s determined running and closing down as the Swans pressed. The game had upped in pace but definitely not in quality.

On fifty three minutes a moment of quality from Paterson saw his volley turned over by Beadle. The same player had a low shot from the following corner which was also deflected for another set piece. That corner reached Harry Darling who fired his shot wide. The pace continued in a slow, stop start fashion. The overall feel of the game was that it was a kick about. Lowe earned another corner on fifty seven minutes. From the left side the corner found Nathan Wood who headed in to the ground. With passes not reaching their intended targets the game was one of the hardest watches I’ve had this season.

Any travelling Jack today deserved an apology. Or not …

Then on sixty Carl Rushworth saved incredibly well when the home side should have gone further ahead. Again the Swans looked lethargic and uninterested. The ball continued to be passed about, sideways and backwards as the Owls sensed the Swans were a done deal. Cullen was withdrawn on sixty three for Jerry Yates. Again Wednesday pressed forwards, Musaba ruled offside when bursting forwards. He was alive for the first time in the game and alone in the box which wasn’t being addressed.

Jerry Yates and Diabi found themselves booked after a push me pull me moment, the players racing up to the incident quicker than anything we had seen all afternoon. Jamal Lowe on sixty eight crossed and the keeper somehow got the ball clear, but no Swans player was close to take advantage. Then a Key cross from the right but again no Swans player close by. A double change followed, Joe Allen and Aimar Govea on for Paterson and Key. It couldn’t be any worse than we had witnessed to date.

Govea capping off a remarkable week with a pro contract and his Swansea City debut.

A Wednesday breakaway saw a shot by Ugbo crash against the bar on seventy minutes. The home side now on the front foot. They had overcome what little threat the Swans had on the game and sensed more. From a hard fought corner earned by Govea the ball was met by Darling who headed towards Lowe who smashed the ball home. With fifteen minutes remaining could the Swans go on and get a second ? It had been a half hearted effort to date, and surely the Swans had plenty in the tank from the standing on the ball routines and excessively slow passing.

On eighty two minutes Charlie Patino came on for the disappointing Ronald. At least Arsenal will be happy for another few minutes appearance … Patino added to the jogging about ethic in midfield. Wednesday were pushing for a winner with five minutes to go, long throws and high balls their tactic. They did have chances as the Swans spent their time looking upwards. The six minutes of added time enthused the home crowd. The ball became a hot potato as it was given away, and Matt Grimes sat off the pitch injured, the Swans now down to ten men. Rushworth came to his sides rescue on two more occasions.

The will to win was with the home side, the Swans just happy to retain the ball. If Swansea made a good pass in those dying minutes I missed it. The Owls had a splendid chance after Darling’s mistake but again they spurned the chance. No side really deserved to win this, Sheffield Wednesday didn’t do enough or show enough to take all three points. The Swans were generally poor throughout, and after two weeks away from playing that was a disappointment. Whatever Luke Williams wanted his players to do today didn’t happen. There was little commitment and no determination and as for fighting ‘tooth and nail’ that was merely a dream.

Next up is Queens Park Rangers at the Swansea.Com on Easter Monday (3pm)

⚽️ Sheffield Wednesday: Beadle; Valentin, B Diaby (Bannan 71), Ihiekwe, Famewo, Johnson; Vaulks, Palmer (Iorfa 71); Ugbo (Smith 81), Musaba (Wilks 81); Cadamarteri (Gassama 56).

Unused substitutes: Dawson, James, Hendrick, Charles.

⚽️ Swansea City: Rushworth; 7 Key 5 (Allen 70), 5 Darling, 6 Wood, 5 Tymon; 6 Fulton, 5 Grimes; 5 Ronald 4 (Patino 83), 4 Paterson 5 (Govea 70), 6 Placheta 5 (Lowe HT); 7;Cullen 5 (Yates 64). 5

Unused substitutes: Fisher, Cooper, Abdulai, Lissah.Referee:

G. Eltringham (County Durham). A bit ish, but deserves 6/10.

All photographs licensed from Reuters

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