Swansea 2 Celtic 0 – Match Report

Swans v CelticThe Swans returned to action at the Liberty Stadium for the first time since beating Nottingham Forest in May as they beat Scottish giants Celtic 2-0 in an entertaining affair.

Trialist goalkeeper Gehard Tremmel was given the nod in goal ahead of Joao Moreira. Elsewhere, there was a home debuts for Stephen Caulkner and Danny Graham.

As both teams looked to establish rhythm and tempo, chances were few and far between. The first chance of the game came as Nathan Dyers pace proved too much for the Celtic defence but his cross was collected by Celtic’s goalkeeper before the incoming Danny Graham could get on the end of it. Celtic were also looking threatening as former Man City player George Samaras outmuscled Angel Rangel, laid the ball off to Gary Hooper who saw his shot excellently blocked by Caulkner. Hooper was in the thick of the goalmouth action for the Bhoys minutes later as his shot produced a fine save from Tremmel.

The best chance of the half fell to Scot Sinclair as he was put through one on one. However, last seasons top scorer took one touch too many and was tackled before he could get his shot away. From the resulting corner, the ball was flicked on by Caulkner to Augustein whose header was comfortably saved. As the half was drawing to a close, Dyer went on a mazy run, took on three defenders and saw his shot well saved. The chances were not over for the half as Alan Tate floated a cross towards the back post but could only guide his header into the side netting.

Half Time – Swans 0-0 Celtic

The second half started in a similar fashion to the first as chances were slow in coming. Celtic had the best of the early chances as a suspicious offside was let go but Samaras could only fire his shot wide. The Swans scored with their first meaningful chance of the half. Alan Tate was fouled on the edge of the area by Adam Matthews. Scott Sinclair’s free kick was saved but only as far as Rangel who made no mistake firing home into the bottom left of the goal.

The usual mass of substitutions followed for both sides and Leroy Lita made his first appearance in the famous white shirt to a rapturous welcome. Despite the changes, it was Swansea who were pushing the initiative as they looked to put the game beyond Celtic. Dyer was again at the heart of a good move but his cross was unable to pick anyone out and also saw his shot well saved.

Celtic believed they had equalised when Samaras finished well after being put through on goal, however, his run was not well timed and the linesman ruled that he had strayed offside. Celtic were looking to get back in the game as they squandered two chances in quick succession with one shot being dragged wide and one being saved by new goalkeeper Joao Moreira. However, it was the Swans who got the all-important second goal as Mark Gower set up Stephen Dobbie to finish well. Leroy Lita nearly grabbed himself a debut goal but was tackled as he was about to pull the trigger.

As the final whistle sounded, Rodgers was left to assess what was a performance full of positives. The Jackarmy filed out of the Liberty eager for Saturday’s fixture and the forthcoming season.

Starting XI: Tremmel; Rangel, Tate, Caulkner, Williams; Augustein, Allen, Britton; Sinclair, Dyer; Graham.