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Premier League

  • September 17, 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Liberty Stadium, Swansea
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 20341

Swansea 3-0 West Brom: Lita, Sinclair and Dyer on target as hosts end goal drought with comfortable win

Swansea 3-0 West Brom: Lita, Sinclair and Dyer on target as hosts end goal drought with comfortable win

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The Swans break their Premier League goalscoring duck in a demolition of the Baggies at the Liberty Stadium, lifting themselves out of the relegation zone

Swansea City finally opened their Premier League account with a highly impressive 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion thanks to goals from Scott Sinclair, Leroy Lita and Nathan Dyer. However, their joy was dented somewhat after what looked like a serious injury to Neil Taylor in the second half.

Having failed a late fitness test, Swansea’s record signing Danny Graham was left out and replaced by Leroy Lita, who earned his first start in the Premier League for the Welsh side. Meanwhile, Craig Dawson made his full Premier League debut for West Brom in the centre of defence in place of the suspended Gabriel Tamas, and both teams were welcomed onto the pitch by a sell-out crowd at the Liberty Stadium.

The game kicked off after a minute’s silence for the four Welsh miners who recently passed away, and Swansea started brightly, dominating the early possession. West Brom seemed content to sit back in the early exchanges and encourage Swansea to make all the attacking movement, but the Swans found themselves unable to create any early chances.

The first opportunity came for Scott Sinclair in the sixth minute, as he latched onto a cross from left back Neil Taylor, but he shot wide after hesitating on the ball for just a split second. Swansea had another chance just a couple of minutes later after a good spell of possession, but Joe Allen could only shoot straight at Baggies’ goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Swansea found themselves with a glorious chance to open the scoring in the 13th minute as West Brom’s Paul Scharner brought down Joe Allen in the penalty area after he combined well with the lively Sinclair. Referee Martin Atkinson gave the spot-kick, and Sinclair stepped up coolly to convert from 12 yards to give the Swans an early lead and their first Premier League goal.

It was a deserved lead for Swansea after their bright start to the game, but after struggling to create any clear openings, West Brom found themselves almost gifted an equaliser in the 22nd minute. Neil Taylor played a poor back pass to goalkeeper Vorm that was intercepted by Shane Long, but he inexplicably shot over the crossbar when he should have scored.

In the 24th minute Swansea doubled their lead, as Scott Sinclair found some space from a Mark Gower corner and headed the ball back towards the far post, where Leroy Lita headed the ball past Ben Foster to give the Swans a 2-0 lead. Lita was delighted to score his first goal for Swansea City after his summer transfer, and was booked for excessive celebrating.

West Brom found themselves unable to create space thanks to the hard work of Swansea’s midfield, with their only effort of note being a shot from outside the penalty area in the 31st minute by Shane Long on his left foot, which was saved one-handed by Michel Vorm for the Swans. However, this was the final genuine chance of the first half, as Swansea took a much-deserved 2-0 lead into half-time.

West Brom began the second half brightly after bringing on Chris Brunt and Graham Dorrans at the interval, but Swansea found themselves with an early breakaway chance. From a long ball played forward, Leroy Lita knocked the ball into the path of Nathan Dyer, who sprinted into the penalty area and played the ball through the legs of Ben Foster to make it 3-0 to the home side in only the 48th minute.

The Baggies were undeterred by this further setback and continued to attack, but any threats they had were dealt with easily by a confident Swansea defence. The Swans continued to pour forward, looking for a fourth goal, and Scott Sinclair continued his good work from the first half, seeing a free kick go over the bar after being tackled cynically by substitute Brunt.

West Brom then promptly went to Swansea’s end in the 57th minute, with Brunt finding the net with a well-taken header, but he was ruled to be in an offside position in what was a tight but correct decision by the assistant referee. The Baggies were beginning to create some more attacking opportunities, and Dorrans forced an acrobatic save from Michel Vorm in the 64th minute from a free kick.

After being largely anonymous throughout, Peter Odemwingie found himself with an opening in the 75th minute, and forced a good save from Vorm after sending a fizzing shot towards the Swansea goal. However, Odemwingie blotted his copybook with a late tackle on Neil Taylor almost immediately, for which he was cautioned by the referee.

Taylor was stretchered off after suffering Odemwingie’s foul and looked seriously injured, so was replaced by Fede Bessone. Taylor’s injury prompted a long delay, and he was given oxygen at the side of the pitch in what looked like a worrying blow to Swansea’s already depleted defence.

From then on, Swansea had few difficulties in dealing with any West Brom pressure, and after nine minutes of stoppage time due to Taylor’s injury, the Swans were able to make the game safe and come away with their first win of the season.