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UEFA Europa League
12 December 2013
• AFG Arena, St. Gallen
Referee: L. Liany
• Attendance: 15298
M. Mathys 80'
That's all we have time for from Switzerland, but Swansea will be leaving happy after securing their qualification from Group A of the Europa League, despite a deserved 1-0 defeat against St Gallen. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
The solitary goal of the evening from Mathys gifts Saibene's men the three points, but they will still finish bottom of the pile in Group A. The hosts created plenty of chances, forcing Tremmel into several outstanding stops, and the home fans can leave the AFG Arena content.
FULL TIME! St Gallen pick up a memorable victory, but Swansea head into the next round of the Europa League, after Valencia draw 1-1 with Kuban Krasnodar at the Mestalla. A very poor showing from the Welsh side, but they've done what they've needed to do.
90' + 3'
Well cleared by Besle! The central half heads Taylor's deep cross away from danger, before Shelvey picks up the ball from 30 yards and decides to try his luck. His shot is blocked.
90' + 1'
Yellow CardJosé Cañas
90' + 1'
Three minutes of stoppage time have been awarded in the AFG Arena.
Canas is shown a yellow card for unceremoniously dumping Janjatovic on the ground, before gesturing at the German to get off the ground and toughen up. Yet another card for the tenacious summer signing.
Only a few minutes remaining, and the hosts are happy to sit in their own half and protect what would be a memorable victory. This suits Swansea down to the ground, the Welsh side are happy to retain the ball and stroke it around with confidence.
A delicious piece of skill from Pozuelo! The Spaniard uses a wonderful scoop turn to flick the ball into the path of the overlapping Taylor, before the Welshman picks up a corner. The delivery is floated in, but Canas heads over.
HERNANDEZ! The former Valencia winger is found by an excellent ball by Pozuelo, before shifting the ball onto his favoured right foot with a smart touch. He can't hit the target however, dragged his shot wide from inside the box.
Hang on, Kuban Krasnodar have just equalised at the Mestalla! The Russian side have five minutes left to score twice in Spain, but should Swansea concede again here tonight, Laudrup could be in for a nervy last few minutes.
Swansea have been very poor this evening, but they only have five minutes left to ride out. Thanks to Valencia, Laudrup's side will be progressing to the next round, it seems. They'll need to improve massively before their next European encounter, however.
SHELVEY! The former Liverpool midfielder tries his luck from range, but it's a comfortable save for Herzog. I think that's probably the second thing that the Swiss keeper have had to do all game.
Yellow CardErmir Lenjani
Well, that goal was no more than the hosts deserved! They've been much the better team in the second half, and if it wasn't for Tremmel, they'd be ahead by a bigger margin.
GOOOOOOAL! MATHYS CONVERTS FROM THE FREE-KICK! Tremmel is furious at his defenders, as a free-kick is taken quickly, before being bundled home by Mathys at the back post! Saibene celebrates passionately on the sidelines!
Another good save from Tremmel! The German keeper beats away what was possibly a cross from Janjatovic, but that's a smart stop nonetheless. St Gallen are pressing here!
As promised by the Swansea boss, Bony is withdrawn. The Ivory Coast international recovered extremely quickly from a hamstring strain, and the Welsh side will be pleased to see him come through his returning game unscathed.
A quarter of an hour left on the clock, and the fog is creeping back in after half an hour of clarity. Swansea need to wake up if they want to give their travelling support a positive end to the game, as St Gallen certainly look the more likely of the two sides to find the net.
OFF THE LINE! Canas clears from under his own crossbar, as St Gallen ramp up the pressure. The Swiss side are giving a good account of themselves here, in front of their avid home support. Saibene's men can smell a win.
The home fans and bench alike are still unhappy with that decision, but Wuthrich did push his marker. Taylor, however, didn't make any attempt to challenge for Lenjani's cross. A tough one.
RULED OUT! Wuthrich thought that he'd given the home side the lead after bundling the ball home at the back post! Taylor appeared to not challenge for the cross, and Wuthrich pushed the Welshman into the ball, sending it past Tremmel!
Just over twenty minutes until the end of this game, and Swansea are certainly labouring against lower opposition. Not to worry, however, as Valencia have scored against Kuban, making it very unlikely for the Russian side to win by three goals.
Great play from Bony! The lone striker lifts the ball over Besle, before driving at the very heart of the St Gallen defence, before laying the ball out to Pozuelo on the right hand side. The Spaniard looks to lift a cross in the direction of Lamah, but Lenjani makes the block.
Swansea look to perhaps make a more conservative change, throwing on their regular captain Ashley Williams, who will be a more natural replacement for Chico. Canas will push into defensive midfield, with Shelvey presumably being given more attacking freedom.
KEITA! The substitute is put off by Amat, as a testing cross from Mutsch causes havoc in the Swansea penalty area! Tremmel is able to dive off his line to smother the loose ball, with Keita hardly believing his luck.
WUTHRICH! A great free-kick attempt from the Swiss number 10! It's from 25 yards out, but he whips the ball over the wall beautifully, before the ball clips off the outside of the post! I'm not too sure that Tremmel was getting near that, great effort!
There is an extended break in play, as Chico looks to be making his way off the field injured rather slowly. The home fans are booing and jeering, but the centre-half looks to have turned his ankle. Canas is the man likely to replace him.
Chico goes down injured inside his own penalty area, and looks to be in some real pain. He's known for his play acting, but the Spaniard looks serious here, after going down under no pressure whatsoever.
TREMMEL! GREAT SAVE! The German has kept his side in it yet again, making another top save at his near post to deny Rodriguez yet again! If Swansea go through, they have their keeper to thank.
Shaky moment for Neil Taylor! The Welshman heads a back post cross high into the air, whilst inside his own penalty area! Tremmel is able to spare his left-backs blushes by pouncing on the loose ball.
DE GUZMAN! The Dutchman's attempted drive into the penalty area is blocked by Demiri! Moments earlier, Routledge beat Mutsch to the byline before lifting a cross towards the back post in search of Lamah. Lenjani heads clear.
JANJATOVIC! The German is allowed to shoot from the edge of the area yet again, but the finishing product isn't forthcoming from the midfielder. Saibene walks away from the touchline in disgust.
Terrible step-over from Tiendalli, reminiscent of Emile Heskey's awful trick versus Algeria in 2010. He tries the fancy footwork, but instead stabs the ball away from his control. Embarrassing.
BONY! The Ivorian collides with Besle, and he's certainly getting more involved in this second half, throwing his weight around and letting the St Gallen central defensive pairing know that he's on the field.
GREAT SAVE! Tremmel has had nothing to do so far in this second half, but a quick break from St Gallen allows for Rodriguez to race through on goal! The German goalkeeper stays tall and makes a smart one-on-one save!
Russo is down injured following a clash with Bony, as the two physical presences appearing to collide. The Ivory Coast international looked to catch his marker in the face with an elbow as he held the ball up, but it was accidentally.
BONY! The former Vitesse striker rises brilliantly and directs a very firm header narrowly wide of the near post. Nice interplay between Pozuelo and Routledge won the set piece, with the Spaniard slipping a lovely ball into the channel.
Swansea are in absolutely no rush to keep play moving, with Tremmel happy to stand unchallenged in his own area with the ball at his feet, forcing the St Gallen forwards the close him down. The away side are happy to take a 0-0, it seems.
We are back underway for the second half! Let us hope that the fog continues to be merely an annoyance, rather than a problem, with Swansea needing to avoid defeat in this second half. The hosts will presumably be buoyed by a positive opening 45 minutes.
The group stage of the Europa League is petering away without trace here, with Swansea seemingly happy to use any means to get through. The away side have given the ball away needlessly on multiple occasions, and need to tighten up given their recent history of conceding late goals.
As it stands, with Swansea on course for a point, the Welsh side will successfully navigate their way out of Group A. The fog hasn't helped either side, but Laudrup may just ask a little more from his side. The likes of Pozuelo and Bony have been extremely quiet.
Two golden chances fell to Lamah for the visitors, but the Belgian lacked the finishing touch to give Laudrup's men a welcome cushion. St Gallen grew into the game, playing rather well in the last ten minutes of the half and forcing both Amat and Chico into some good interventions.
HALF TIME! A rather lacklustre first half in the AFG Arena, but Swansea are doing just enough to keep themselves on course for the knockout stages. The score remains at 0-0, though the hosts haven't done themselves any kind of disservice.
45' + 1'
OFFSIDE! The Guinean striker is given offside yet again, but the linesman was definitely correct there, as Chico stepped up intelligently. Frustrated first half for the hosts!
The hosts are in the ascendancy, playing much the better attacking football of the two sides. It's been scrappy at times from the Swiss side, but they've been forcing Swansea's defence into some hasty clearances in the final ten minutes of the half. Chico intercepts well to deny Keita haring through on goal.
JANJATOVIC! The Serbian-born midfielder fires wide of the target yet again, after picking up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area. Chico's wayward defensive header almost fell to the feet of Keita, but the substitute failed to control, gifting his teammate the opportunity.
OFFSIDE! Keita controls brilliantly at the back post, before threatening to shoot with his right foot, but the linesman has his flag up yet again. Another very tight decision from the official, but the fog might be having an impact on his leniency.
JANJATOVIC! What a tame effort from the German! He floats a free-kick effort over the wall, but saving that is the easiest thing that Tremmel has had to do all game.
TIENDALLI! Swansea open up play excellently, finding their right-back in acres of space on the right hand side. He whips in an early delivery, and it almost threatens to dip inside the back post for a moment, before bouncing wide of the target. Almost a very lucky goal!
Excellent piece of skill in a congested area by De Guzman! The Netherlands international uses two quick drag-backs to turn away from Demiri and Janjatovic, and I think that would have been a trick that Laudrup would have been satisfied with.
Good idea from Tiendalli! The Dutchman pushes into the St Gallen half, but his cut-back from the right hand side isn't quite good enough. The former FC Twente man tries to cushion the ball back into the path of Lamah, but it's cut out.
Bony continues to remain fairly anonymous, with the visitors' wide men creating the problems for St Gallen. The Ivorian has touched the ball sparingly, and is cutting an isolated figure against the Swiss side's back four.
St Gallen continues to press forward at every given opportunity, but Tremmel remains relatively untroubled. Laudrup may be worried with the regularity that the hosts are approaching the Swans' penalty area, but the home side look rather toothless at the minute.
LAMAH! What a great chance! He's dragged it wide of the far post, after space seemed to open up brilliantly on the edge of the penalty area. The Belgian has been wasteful so far, Swansea need a goal to settle things down and generate a cushion.
LENJANI! The Albanian arrows a powerful drive towards the near post from 25 yards out, but the effort bends into the side netting as Tremmel lets the ball go behind. He had his angles covered.
ROUTLEDGE! Besle does just enough to stick out a leg to deny the Swansea winger, flicking the loose ball behind for a corner. The set piece comes to nothing, and it must be said that this fog is thickening quickly.
The hosts pick up a free-kick on the edge of the 18-yard box, and have thrown forward a reasonable amount of white shirts. Rodriguez opts to shoot, rather than centre the ball, and it's easily for Tremmel to gather up under no pressure.
OFFSIDE! That was a very close call! Swansea give the ball away lazily once again, this time due to a loose pass by Chico, but as St Gallen look to break, Keita is flagged offside. Janjatovic's ball looked to have sent his side into a two-on-one situation, but the linesman had other ideas.
The Swiss side certainly aren't disgracing themselves here, moving the ball from defence to attack rather well, often finding Rodriguez in plenty of space on the left. The winger whips in another cross, but Taylor gets across well to head the ball clear of its back post target.
Excellent pass from Janjatovic! Mathys appears to have been spooked by Chico's decision to leave the cleverly dinked ball from his teammate, and fails to make contact with it! He could have brought that down in the penalty area, if he'd stretched! Close for the home side.
Very poor touch from Bony, who has the perfect chance to tee up either Lamah or Routledge, but instead fails to even bring the ball down. The Ivorian hasn't been involved so far, which might not be that surprising considering how surprisingly quickly he's returned from a hamstring injury. He won't want to risk pulling anything early on.
Good work down the left flank from Lamah! The Belgian winger uses his pace to ghost around Mutsch, before a sliding challenge from Besle prevents the Swansea man from dinking in a cross. The visitors continue to look to more likely to find this game's breakthrough goal.
St Gallen win their first corner of the game, but Rodriguez' delivery is claimed strongly by Tremmel. That's the first question that has been asked of the German goalkeeper, and he answered it excellently.
The game is yet to see it's first big chance, with both sides occasionally giving the ball away needlessly, and the odd misplaced pass. It could potentially take a while for Swansea to shake off the rust following their seven hour airport delay, but the hosts have no excuse for sluggishness.
Swansea are keen to hold onto the ball, stroking the ball around calmly, with Tremmel being given the odd chance to get a touch. Janjatovic drives towards the edge of the Swans' box, but Shelvey steps in to make the challenge.
ROUTLEDGE! The winger cuts inside and fires straight at Herzog! Shelvey was in space to his right, and wanted the ball, but his teammate chose to go it alone. Swansea are clunking into gear here.
The away side have certainly looked the more polished in the opening quarter of an hour, with Lenjani's horrendous back post delivery the latest in a series of poor balls from St Gallen. Mathys then shoots from range, but the ball bounces embarrassingly wide of the target.
Good defending from Chico! The Spaniard recovers excellently to rob Rodriguez of possession inside his own penalty area, after the St Gallen winger looked to break away with pace. A better touch from Rodriguez might have seen Tremmel making his first save of the night.
That's a hamstring pull! Karanovic bursts into space after picking up a loose ball, but the Swiss striker pulls up whilst driving into the Swansea half. He's provided 13 goals so far this season for the hosts, so that is quite a blow.
Swansea are just started to settle into their passing rhythm, with De Guzman and Shelvey starting to see a little bit more of the ball in deep areas. There is no doubt that the Premier League side can retain possession excellently, but the conditions might just hinder Laudrup's philosophy this evening.
LAMAH! The Belgian has Swansea's first attempt of the game, smashing narrowly wide of the post after Pozuelo was robbed of the ball! That's very close, Herzog was stationary and wasn't getting anywhere near that!
Both goalkeepers are yet to be tested, as possession is readily given away by both sides in the early stages. Swansea haven't started with great intensity, possibly due to their fear of conceding and making their task that little bit harder.
ROUTLEDGE! The Englishman weaves his way into the penalty area, before trying to cut the ball back from the byline into a ruck of shirts! Poor delivery from the winger, who found himself in a useful pocket of space. Perhaps he'd blame the fog.
St Gallen have nothing to play for other than pride in this competition, but you wouldn't guess it from their start to the match. The Swiss are stroking the ball around composedly, with their fans rather vocal too. A carnival atmosphere, of sorts.
Good defensive header away by Bony! The Ivorian rises well on the edge of the penalty area to nod a free-kick delivery away from danger, as the hosts exert the first pressures of the match.
Swansea's rather vulgar purple and yellow strip may play into the hands of the visiting side tonight, enabling Laudrup's men to pick each other out in the misty conditions. St Gallen play in their white home strip.
And we are underway! The fog is noticable, but the Swansea visiting fans are in good voice regardless of the weather. The Welsh side need to avoid defeat here to progress!
The referee has opted to go with an orange ball for tonight's match, given that the visibility isn't fantastic inside St Gallen Arena. Laudrup appears unfazed by the situation, as ever, as the Dane presumably has faith in the side he has picked to get the job done tonight.
In the other Group A game tonight, between Kuban Krasnodar and Valencia, the Spanish side have opted to make seven changes due to their already guaranteed passage into the next round. Such rotation isn't helpful for Swansea, who really need to ensure that they avoid defeat this evening.
Ten minutes until kick-off, and Swansea will hope that the fog surrounding the St Gallen Arena will lift before they take to the field. The Welsh outfit have had poor luck with bad weather, finding themselves stuck in an airport for seven hours yesterday due to fog, and Laudrup will hope that the thin mist doesn't have a say in tonight's proceedings too.
Whilst on the topic of St Gallen's boss, Saibene has done a rather excellent job. In his first season in charge, the Luxembourger lead his side back into the top flight, managing to finish third in his second. Quite the start!
Both coaches have contrasting European fortunes, given that Michael Laudrup is a coveted household name for his exploits as a player, Jeff Saibene spent the majority of his career in Switzerland. He is, however, the first Luxembourger to lead a club into a major UEFA competition group stage.
Swansea aren't in great form in the Europa League, having gone three group matches without a win, but the incentive of reaching their first ever spring phase of the competition will be a motivating one. Laudrup's men will hope to grab at least a point here tonight, and in doing so, this would confirm their passage to the knockout stages.
Despite winning in their opening Group A game, St Gallen have lost all four games consecutively since their 2-0 triumph over Kuban Krasnodar. Last time out at home, the Swiss side managed a tight 3-2 defeat to Valencia, so Swansea need to have their wits about them, especially given their new trait of conceding late European goals.
Swansea substitutes: Williams, Michu, Pablo Hernandez, Dyer, Canas, B. Davies, T. Davies.
Swansea starting line-up: Tremmel; Tiendalli, Chico, Amat, Taylor; De Guzman, Shelvey; Routledge, Pozuelo, Lamah; Bony.
St. Gallen substitutes: Lopar, Nushi, Nater, Keita, Schonenberger, Martic, Franin.
St. Gallen starting line-up: Herzog; Mutsch, Besle, Russo, Lenjani; Demiri, Janjatovic; Rodriguez, Mathys, Wuthrich; Karanovic.
TEAM NEWS: Bony starts upfront for the visitors, with Michu sitting on the bench. Taylor and Tiendalli start on either defensive flank, with 18-year-old goalkeeper Thomas Davies getting a place among the substitutes too. Jeff Saibene goes with a very similar side to the one that beat FC Sion 2-0 at the weekend.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you informed will all of this evening's action, as Laudrup names a strong starting line-up. The Welsh side are in a strong position, given their three point and goal gap ahead of Kuban Krasnodar, but presumably the Swans would like to secure their own fate with a favourable result in Switzerland.
Hello and welcome to early evening Europa League action, as Swansea travel to Switzerland, in the hope of confirming their qualification from Group A by beating hosts St. Gallen. The Swiss outfit are already out of the competition, but can put a big dent in Michael Laudrup's European aspirations with a win on home soil tonight. Should the Swans slip up, they will be relient on Kuban Krasnodar to do the same against Valencia.
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