A brace from ex-Huddersfield Town midfielder Anthony Pilkington condemned the Swans to their fourth consecutive away defeat.
The travelling supporters were left disappointed as Norwich came out clear and deserved winners in the match-up between two of last seasons promoted sides.
Leon Britton recovered from the injury that kept him out of the game against Stoke and returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Mark Gower. Elsewhere, new signing Vangelis Moras started the game on the substitutes bench.
Swansea could not have asked for a worse start when they found themselves behind after only 49 seconds of play. A cross that looked to be over hit was knocked down back into the danger zone by Steve Morison. The knockdown fell kindly to the feet of Pilkington who lashed the ball home from 10 yards out to send the home fans into raptures.
Despite Wayne Routledge’s shot producing a comfortable save from John Ruddy, it was the Norwich fans who had cause for further celebration just 9 minutes later. Angel Rangel conceded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. The subsequent free kick was floated into the penalty area and Russell Martin rose unmarked at the far post to nod past Michael Vorm.
The Swans reacted positively and halved the defecit within two minutes. Scott Sinclair made one of his trademark runs but was brought down inside the area. Despite being on the floor, he managed to slide the ball to Danny Graham and the Swans striker scored his second goal in as many games by firing the ball across goal and into the corner of the Norwich net.
After a frantic opening 15 minutes, the Swans were looking to establish their usual possession football but were finding it difficult against a well drilled and organised Norwich midfield. Scott Sinclair’s shot was deflected into the keeper’s hands but Angel Rangel came closest to grabbing the desperately needed equaliser but his shot from the edge of the area flew a couple inches over the bar. Norwich proved that they were not happy to settle for a 2-1 victory as Steve Morison crossed the ball into Pilkington but the goal scorer could only find the side netting with his shot. Elliot Bennett cross nearly caught out the Swans defence but it hit the bar before going out
Half Time – Norwich 2-1 Swansea
The Second half started at a far slower pace than the opening of the first with Wes Hoolahan’s shot way over the bar and Sinclair’s shot wide the only chances of note in the opening 15 minutes. It was somewhat fitting of the second half that the first real chance of the half lead to Norwich securing the 3 points. After Ashley Williams put the ball out, the corner was not dealt with which allowed Leon Barnett to nod the ball to Bradley Johnson who lifted the ball back into the box for Pilkington to claim his second goal of the afternoon.
The Swans had no answer for this sucker punch and in fact nearly found themselves 4-1 down. A break from substitute Grant Hot was well saved by Vorm and Ashley Williams pulled off a last ditch tackle to prevent the ball being put in the net by the oncoming Hoolahan.
Swans’ only real sight at goal came when Danny Graham played the ball into the box from the right which found sub Steven Dobbie who’s first shot was blocked and the rebound fell quickly to the Scot whose looping header then fell kindly to Ruddy. Lita believed he had a shout for a penalty in stoppage time when it appeared the Norwich defender had hold of the Swansea front man.
In what was ultimately a disappointing afternoon, the way the Swans react from this defeat will be massive in the long run of this season. Swansea have lost all 4 away games so far this season but fear not, last season it was a similar story and we all know how that ended.
This article was written by Matt Wallace