Roy Hodgson has got West Bromich Albion playing some good football but they’re also battling to stay in the league, so this was a tricky tie. However, for the first time in many games there was a real expectancy for Swansea to take all three points.
Cold As Ice
With arctic conditions hitting the Midlands, the weather could have hindered Swansea’s style of play. But the game plan did not change and the team was functioning as per usual. Sigurdsson had the first decent chance of the game from a corner, but his volley was blocked as was Rangel’s follow up strike. Swansea created plenty of good chances, but West Brom could have been ahead at the break if Sigurdsson had not been there to header Olsson’s attempt off the line. Vorm also made a very good reflex save from another close range Olsson strike to keep the scores level into half time. Swansea kept an amazing 73.5% of the possession in the first half. They play in this manner every week, but statistics like these never fail to amaze me.
The second half was set ablaze for a short period like a rocket launch, with after burners keeping the match going until the end. WBA took the lead in the 54th minute, as Fortune drove the ball back across Vorm after a corner from the left.
The Swans hit back almost immediately, slicing through the snow, and the WBA defence. Sinclair played a through ball into the box, up the inside left channel, for the overlapping Taylor; who played a perfectly weighted pass to the edge of the six yard box. Sigurdsson made a late driving run, opened up his body and stroked the ball into the goal.
Swansea took the lead five minutes after Fortune had scored, with a fantastic team goal. Sigurdsson’s right side cross from the corner of the box was met by Graham. Graham made a great little movement away then towards the front post across the defender, and slid in to tuck away the winning goal. BBC’s Match of The Day programme broke it down and showed in full the 19 passes that lead to the shot.Swansea’s Second Goal (Excuse the quality will try and find a better version)
Hitting The Target
Swansea continued to pose a threat and Graham created a great chance for Dyer, but the shot was deflected past the upright. Dyer then failed to connect with a lovely throught ball from Rangel, with Foster making a half clearance. The ball dropped to Sigurdsson who’s volley was blocked. Sandwiched between the Swansea chances was a guilt-edged chance that Odemwingie hit over the bar from six yards out. West Brom were pushing for the equaliser towards the end of the game and Fortune’s shot crept under Vorm but he somehow squeezed it wide of the post.
WBA vs Swansea
Surprisingly Swansea only actually hit the target twice. Although a lot of the shots that were going towards goal did get blocked. Upon reflection, West Brom did have enough good opportunities to earn a draw or even win. But in terms of how the game went overall, even Roy Hodgson admitted to Swansea being the better side.
To The Right, To The Right
WBA vs Swansea
Both teams played more passes to the right than the left, with Swansea having a much higher percentage going backwards and to the right.
West Brom still managed more final third entries, and a much higher percentage in attacking half passes. While Swansea had a higher percentage of defensive half passes.
Swansea favoured the right wing, while WBA seemed to favour the left in equal measure.
Swansea Season Stats
Some interesting stats too keep an eye on there I think. Swansea play significantly more passes to the right than to the left. I will let the reader think of any possible reasons/tactics as to why this may be.
Here’s an interesting & fun article covering the Swansea vs Norwich Preview by HelenMarie, give it a read!
All of the Opta Stats used in this article are from the Stats Centre. To gain access and write articles to publish on EPLIndex.com Subscribe Now!