The match started with Sunderland pressing right up against the Swansea backline and goalkeeper until they were hurried too much and finally gave the ball away, that was exactly how our first chance came about, Cattermole intercepted a pass, laid it to McClean who then ran to the byline passed back to Richardson where his cross was helped by the wind to Larsson. His first time shot was smartly saved by Michel Vorm although no corner was awarded by the referee or his assistants.
The next action was Swansea’s when their very neat build up play between the midfield ended up to Dyer who out paced Richardson and sent a dangerous cross to the opposite wing. Sinclair ran in and surely it would be an easy finish for him but no he blazed it over the bar when it was easier to score.
Back to Sunderland and their first goal, on the left touchline McClean and Sessegnon played a one two and ended up in the box I thought McClean had lost the ball with a poor first touch although that touch went to Sessegnon who curled it with a sublime finish in the top right corner. (14th Minute)
After the injury happened to Bendtner due to Rangel kicking him in the eye accidently, Wickham was the obvious substitute. Sunderland dropped off so Swansea then controlled possession in midfield and defence. After that Swansea had some chances with Sigurdsson crossing for Graham who headed over the bar, otherwise a few long range attempts as they just kept passing between themselves. In my opinion it is nice football to watch but no end product from Swansea.
HT-SAFC 1-0 Swansea
After a bright start it seems the games have caught up with Sunderland as they faded for the last twenty minutes but no trouble yet from Swansea.
In the second half, it started much the same with Sunderland dominating the early stages but after the first five minutes Swansea came back into it. They had two free-kicks in quick succession both taken by Sigurdsson, the first one blocked by the wall but the second one was more dangerous which resulted in Mignolet having his first action pushing it out of danger.
Again Swansea were on the attack with Sinclair this time coming inside since him being on the right was failing, he dummied Brown but his shot wasn’t on target and that was Swansea all over , Martin O’Neill sensed the midfield was losing its battle so he subbed the tiring Vaughan, who put in a good shift, for Gardner. Once that change happened Sunderland were back in control with McClean crossing for Sessegnon who just missed the target.
Next it was the deciding moment in the match, the 85th minute to be precise, after a Swansea attack broke down Cattermole sprayed the ball to Sessegnon who advanced until he turned inside to give Gardner the ball, with a chest touch Gardner lofted the ball over Vorm into the top left corner with hardly any back lift, sending the crowd delirious.
To run the clock down our manager brought on Elmohamady to give us pace for Larsson so he can run into the corners. A last chance to salvage a consolation goal for Swansea was Allen passing to Graham whose shot rebounded off O’Shea giving the chance to turn him easily but his snap shot lacked power. After 3 minutes of injury time the wait was over.
FT SAFC 2-0 Swansea
Two brilliant finishes separated us from Swansea who had some very neat build up play but that’s not useful if you don’t score. Scoring wins matches not attractive football. Well done to Martin O’Neill as our home record under him remain unbeaten.
Also a word to Sunday’s game with Middlesbrough, I hope I will see a good crowd even though it’s on TV.
RTG Junior Match Reporter