Swansea City 4-0 Preston North End
Match Report by Nigel Gigg
Swans produced a performance of style to demolish Preston by four goals to nil. It came as something of a shock to see Swans score three first half goals. Last season under Paulo Sousa it was 16th January before we scored our third first half goal at the Liberty in our 13th home game. It came in the 1-0 win over Leicester and was the first game Swans had been in front at half time at the Liberty that season.
There was a minutes silence for Besian Idrizaj which was well respected and very moving.
New signing Scott Sinclair started on the left wing with David Cotterill moving into the centre of midfield. Scott Sinclair’s first touch of the game saw him dumped to the ground by a crude challenge from full back David Gray that really warranted a booking.
The early minutes were dominated by the Swans but after seven minutes the defence was asleep and Preston’s Chris Brown was through on Dorus de Vries but fired into the side netting.
Swans bounced back and looked much the better side. Preston defended in numbers but struggled against the pace of Dyer and Sinclair down the flanks. David Cotterrill
forded Andy Lonergan in the Preston goal into a full length save and the keeper still needed the assistance of the post to keep the ball out.
Just a minute later and Swans were in front. Alan Tate did a fantastic job to win the ball from a Preston defender and find Stephen Dobbie just outside the box. The striker took one touch to knock the ball wide of his marker and unleashed a low hard drive that gave Lonergan no chance.
Swans kept the pressure up and continued to play some beautiful football. When the second goal came ,however, it wasn’t the prettiest of goals. Preston failed to clear a corner from the Swansea right and Darren Pratley latched on to the bouncing ball and hammered it home from just 6 yards out.
With Preston now shell shocked it was so pleasing to see Swans keep the pressure on and just two minutes after scoring the second the third came. David Cotterill made a terrific run and found Stephen Dobbie in the Preston area. Dobbie dragged the ball across goal for Nathan Dyer to slide in to put the game safe for the Swans.
Darren Ferguson’s half time talk would have been interesting. He sent his players out 6 or 7 minutes early and made an immediate double substitution. Can you swear in Scottish? Darren can.
The second half was dominated by the Swans. They starved Preston of the ball and got a fourth goal after Nathan Dyer was upended in the box with David Cotterill coolly slotting the penalty home.
Joe Allen, Albert Serran and Andrea Orlandi were all given run outs and the game was played at Swansea’s pace with Preston merely the supporting cast in a terrific Swansea show.
de Vries 7 – Quiet day, did what he had to do well.
Rangel 7 – Started slowly but got better and better as the game went on.
Williams 7 – Solid as ever but one or two unusual misunderstandings with Garry Monk.
Monk 7 – As above.
Tate 7 – Gives his all wherever he plays in the back four.
Dyer 8 – Determined not to be overshadowed by Sinclair’s signing. Terrific game.
Pratley 7 – Another good display. Hats off to him, if he is unsettled he’s not showing it on the field of play.
Gower 9 – Played the Leon role and was an absolute revelation.
Cotterill 8 – Another to play an unaccustomed role and did a fine job.
Sinclair 8- Looks a class act.
Dobbie 8- A real eye for goal that is so missing in some of our other strikers.
Allen 8 – Looks ready to reclaim a starting place, but who will make way?
Serran 7 – Supported well down right flank.
Orlandi 7- Coming on at 4-0 up made life easy for him.