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West Ham United
17 March 2012
• Craven Cottage, London
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 25690
G. Sigurðsson 36', 66'
J. Allen 78'
That's it Swansea have won at a canter here with a brilliant away performance. They defended solidly and when they attacked they did so with menace and pace. The finishing particularly from Sigurdsson was outstanding and they are deserved winners. Fulham were poor all afternoon and will be looking to forget this game as soon as possible.
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Swansea have been so good today and have shown their determination by nearly getting a fourth goal after some lovely passing play between Sinclair, Graham and Routledge. Sinclair played a one-two with his winger and shot at goal but his effort went just over.
Fulham have come to life at last but it's too little to late this time following good work by Dempsey, striker Pogrebnyak finds himself in space and fires a left-footed shot at goal which goes just wide. Fulham needed to do this a lot earlier in the game.
Clint Dempsey looks like he want to keep up his impressive scoring record at Craven Cottage up as he takes the ball down on the edge of the Swansea area and fires a vicious volley at goal which is well saved by Vorm who tipped the ball over the bar.
That goal by Allen has really killed Fulham off now and they're just playing for the final whistle. What a performance this has been by Swansea they've been magnificent all afternoon and have their finishing in particular has been clinical.
Goal.com's man at Craven Cottage, Joe Doyle, says: "This is a fantastic performance from Sweansea, and the Fulham fans are leaving en masse. Senderos gives the ball away to Sinclair on the half way line, and Sinclair finds Joe Allen, who has been absolutely fantastic today. He puts in a great run, flies past a falling Senderos and thumps one into the corner to send the visiting fans into raptures."
GOALLL!!! It's three for Swansea and this time it's Joe Allen whose got the goal. The midfielder pounced on a mistake by Phillipe Senderos and ran towards the Fulham box, beating the tackle of the Swiss international before firing an effort into the bottom corner beating Schwarzer. Replays suggested the ball took a slight deflection on its way into the net but the goal will almost certainly go to Allen. Great finish.
Swansea seem happy to just sit on this lead and look to hit Fulham on the counter. It's been a terrific away performance from the Swans who've defended excellently and attacked with menace. Fulham just haven't been able to match them.
Fulham look devoid of confidence and ideas and will probably just want this game to be over and done with as they've been second best to Swansea all afternoon. The Swans are just knocking the ball around at ease and look set to register back-to-back wins following their victory over Manchester City last week.
Our man Joe Doyle at Craven Cottage sums up Sigurdsson's and Swansea's second: "What a goal. Absolutely brilliant play from Swansea as a team. They've been on top and Fulham have been chasing shadows. SIgurdsson picks up the ball in the centre before laying it wide to Routledge, and as the winger looks to cross it into the box, he checks and pulls the ball back to Sigurdsson on the edge of the box to sweep the ball into the corner. Wonderful play."
GOALLL!!! It's two for Swansea and two for Sigurdsson as the Swans double their lead with a great counter attacking move which culminated in a sublime finish by the midfielder. Sigurdsson broke through the middle with no Fulham played around him, he fed Routledge who returned the pass to Sigurdsson who then shot into the bottom corner giving Schwarzer no chance. Great football and a deserved two-goal lead.
A collision between Andy Johnson and Clint Dempsey on the edge of the Swansea area which stopped a promising attack just about sums up Fulham's day so far. They've been really poor in the final third and don't look like getting anything out of this game. Easy for Swansea this half.
As if we're connected telepathically, our man Joe Doyle has just said the same thing from Craven Cottage: "It's OLE time at Craven Cottage for the away fans. Swansea have just kept the ball for around three or four minutes without a Fulham player getting close to the ball. Some astounding stuff from the visitors."
Swansea have got control of the game now and they're back into the passing rhythm. Allen, Britton and Sigurdsson are running the Fulham midfield ragged once again. The home side need to press the Swans if they want to get back into the game.
Good play down the right between Rangel and Routledge nearly presents a chance for Swansea to double their lead but the latter's cross is poor and is headed clear by Hangeland. The Swans look dangerous on the break.
Our man Joe Doyle, reports: "Damien Duff has been brought on to a rapturous ovataion from the home fans. Though I'm not sure whether it was because Duff was coming on or the ineffectual Bryan Ruiz was headed off. It's fair to say that Mark Halsey is not popular with the home fans today, giving some soft free-kicks to Swansea."
Fulham are enjoying a good spell of possession at the start of this second-half and Ruiz is using the ball well. But they're struggling for that final bit of quality needed to break Swansea down as the visitors have been resilient in defence so far.
Better midfield play from Fulham as Diarra wins the ball in midfield and drives into the Swansea box and forces a corner. The home side need to show more urgency in possession particularly in the middles of the park to get back into this game.
No changes for either side at the break which is surprising from a Fulham point of view they were outplayed in the midfield in the first-half and have skipper Danny Murphy on the bench.
We're back underway at Craven Cottage.
Our man at Craven Cottage, Joe Doyle, reports: "Half-time at Craven Cottage and one particularly disgruntled fan is booing Fulham off the pitch. A little harsh that. But the hosts definitely haven't got going really. Dempsey is having a quiet game, and Ruiz hasn't really got involved, but it looks like they are missing the distribution of their captain in the centre."
Half-time at Craven Cottage and Swansea take a deserved lead into the break as Glyfi Sigurdsson's strike separates the two sides. Brendan Rogers' team has been all over the home side and have dominated the midfield in particular and have attacked with pace down the wing which forced the goal. Fulham have been poor and need more from their key players if they want to get back into this game.
Pressure by Fulham late in the half as they force a corner down the left which is easily dealt with by the Swans defence. Swansea have looked comfortable with everything the Cottagers have thrown at them, apart from a brief five minute spell at the start of the game.
Stat attack for you. Sigurdsson's goal was his fourth goal in eight starts for Swansea. He joined the club from on-loan from Hoffenheim in January and has been an excellent bit of business by Brendan Rodgers.
Fulham are looking a bit flat at the minute. The Swansea goal seems to have knocked the wind out of them and they're struggling to get anything going forward as the Swans have dominated the midfield. If anyone looks likely to get another goal it's Bredan Rodgers' side.
GOALLLL!!! Swansea take the lead and it's that man Sigurdsson who has got the goal as he heads the ball past Schwarzer converting Sinclair's ball into the area. Routledge ran down the right and crossed the ball in, the ball went over the heads of everyone in the area and came to Sinclair who knocked the ball back into the area and found Sigurdsson unmarked who made headed home. Good goal by the Swans.
Solid defending from Fulham and in particular Riise as Swansea looked to push forward with Wayne Routledge. The winger was forced wide by the defender who then cut down the angle for a cross and the resulting ball was claimed by Schwarzer. Better from the home side they need to press the visitors more.
Scott Sinclair nearly made Mark Schwarzer pay for a crucial error. The Fulham keeper's clearance was scuffed and fell to the winger who ran at the defence and shot but the Australian made up for his mistake by making a crucial stop to deny Sinclair.
Glyfi Sigurdsson's having a good game and has come so close to putting Swansea in the lead as his shot went just wide of the post from 20 yards out. The Swans broke with Joe Allen, who found Angel Rangel in space who in turn laid the ball back to Sigurdsson who just missed the target.
Our man Joe Doyle reports: "It's a common problem with Fulham's formation, but they aren't really getting enough width involved to trouble Swansea at the moment. Sigurdsson, Allen and Britton are doing well to stem the creative flow in the centre."
Clint Dempsey has scored nine goals in his last five games at Craven Cottage but he won't want to see this effort again as he blazes his shot miles over the bar into the away fans at Craven Cottage. He rightly faces the jeers of the Swans supporters.
Swansea left-back Neil Taylor has had a good start to the game and has raided well down the flanks. The Welshman's knocked some decent balls into the area which haven't yielded the rewards they've deserved. Fulham must do more to stop these crosses coming in as it could cost them.
Swansea had a good chance to breakaway at Scott Sinclair robbed Stephen Kelly on the half-way line.The former Chelsea man looked to find Danny Graham and set him one-on-one but Brede Hangeland stepped in and made a good interception to stop the attack.
The games being played mostly in the midfield with Moussa Dembele and Glyfi Sigurdsson seeing a lot of the ball in a good tussle in the middle of the park. Both teams will want to get their strikers into the game as Scott Sinclair and Pavel Pogrebnyak have seen very little action so far.
Fulham look dangerous as well though and they have long shot experts of their own as John Arne Riise shot from distance and his effort just sailed over the bar of Vorm. End to end stuff so far.
Glyfi Sigurdsson whose showed a liking for long shots during his short time with the Swans tries to line up another but it's charged down and the rebound drops in the box agonizingly inches from Danny Graham. That could have gone anywhere.
Some combative play in the midfield at the start of the game. It's very congested in their as Diarra, Dembele and Ruiz go against Britton, Sigurdsson and Allen. Good stuff so far.
Our man at Craven Cottage, Joe Doyle, reports: "Some good play from both teams early on. Michel Vorm has already made two good stops, one from Dempsey and another from Dembele."
Swansea have settled down into their passing routine and are knocking the ball around nicely. Fulham are the latest team in the Premier League to be tested by the Swans possession football. It'll be interesting to see how they go against it.
Fast start to the game here and this time it's Fulham who threaten through Clint Dempsey. The American runs at the Swans defence and fires and effort which has to be tipped over by Michel Vorm.
Swansea waste not time getting forward as Danny Graham races up the pitch and tests Mark Schwarzer with a powerful effort which is comfortably saved by the Australian.
Swansea get us underway at Craven Cottage.
Swansea are without defender Ashley Williams who is believed to be out with a virus so Garry Monk comes into the side to replace him alongside Steven Caulker. While Nathan Dyer is still suspended so Wayne Routledge continues on the wing.
One notable change for Fulham as skipper Danny Murphy drops to the bench in favour of Mahamadou Diarra. Whila Andy Johnson and Pavel Pogrebnyak continue their partnership up front.
Team News: Swansea (4-3-3): Vorm; Rangel, Caulker, Monk, Taylor; Allen, Britton, Sigurdsson; Routledge, Graham, Sinclair. Subs: Tremmel, Tate, McEachran, Lita, Moore, Gower, Richards.
Team News: Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Kelly, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise; Dempsey, Diarra, Dembele, Ruiz; Johnson, Pogrebnyak. Subs: Stockdale, Baird, Murphy, Duff, Hughes, Etuhu, Frei.
Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! commentary of today's Premier League clash between Fulham and Swansea at Craven Cottage. Both teams are away from the drop zone and are fighting to move as high up the league table as they can before the end of the season. It should be a good contest one between two good sides.
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