Goals from Dyer, Emnes and Bony saw the Swans triumph in the final game of the Premier League season in a fine 3-1 win at the Stadium of Light. The victory saw us finish a respectable 12th in a season that where we not only did battle in Europe, but also were forced to replace Manager Michael Laudrup following a poor run of results.
Monks decided to ring the changes for this final game of the season, bringing in Gerhard Tremmel, Neil Taylor, Kyle Bartley, Jay Fulton, Nathan Dyer and Marvellous Marvin Emnes. Not only was it great to see young Fulton start the game, but there was also a place on the bench for fellow Scot Adam King following his move from Hearts.
Despite having secured his side’s place in the top flight, Sunderland boss, Gus Poyet decided to resist the opportunity to make wholesale changes and decided to field pretty much a full strength side. The notable absentee was midfield enforcer Lee Cattermole due to injury.
Roared on by the travelling Jackarmy, it was the Swans that started the game the brightest, with Jonjo Shelvey pulling the strings in midfield and Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer raiding down the flanks. In fact with just 7 minutes on the clock, the two wingers combined to open the scoring. Routs gathered the ball in the middle of the Sunderland half and played a sumptuous pass inside full back Bardsley for Dyer to run onto and fire into the top corner with his left foot.
After the goal, it was the Swans that continued to be in the driving seat and on 14 minutes, we were further ahead with a goal right out of the top draw. Shelvey played the ball to Wilfried Bony who found Marvin Emnes on the edge of the Sunderland penalty area, with his back to goal. Emnes took one touch, turned his marker and smashed the ball into the net with goalkeeper Mannone beaten all ends up. What a goal, give that man a contract.
The Mackems looked like they were already on the beach and who could blame them given their mammoth effort in beating relegation and sending the Redbirds down in the process. However, out of the blue, on 26 minutes, Seb Larsson crossed from the left, the ball struck Jordi Amat’s head and hit the Swansea post with Tremmel beaten.
Tremmel didn’t seem to be having his best day at the office, with the Swans defence twice clearing the ball into the stands when there was no danger and a simple shout from the keeper would have alleviated the danger. However, the big German made up for it just before half time when he tipped the ball over the bar after a firm strike by Bardsley from 25 yards, though in truth the save was a comfortable one.
The Swans went into the break 2-0 to the good, with Jay Fulton already in the book following a couple of strong challenges in the centre of the field, which the silver fox, Chris Foy didn’t seem to appreciate for some reason!
After the break, it was the home side that started more sharply and it only took them just 4 minutes to pull a goal back. Adam Johnson attacked Neil Taylor on the right flank, beating his man and cutting inside onto his left foot to strike past Tremmel, who was beaten far too easily at his near post.
The potential Sunderland recovery didn’t come, as the Swans restored their 2 goal lead just five minutes later, through who else but Big Wilfried Bony. Wayne Routledge made a terrific run down the left, crossing the ball into the Sunderland area. The ball eventually reached Bony, who made room for himself and slotted home into the corner of the net, with Mannone again beaten.
However, Sunderland were not done and started to claw their way back into the game. They had a very decent chance with 20 minutes of the game left. The lively Seb Larsson hit a free kick from the left hand side, which swerved in front of Gerhard Tremmel, who did well to push the ball away. The effort was Larsson’s last of the game as he was replaced, with the Sunderland faithful questioning whether they would see the winger again with his contract up in the Summer.
Further efforts followed from both Johnson and substitute Altidore, who both shot over the bar from distance, though it was to no avail, as the visitors held on to their 2 goal lead to win the game.
In summary, this was lively game for the neutral as both sides showed plenty of attacking zest. It was the Swans who showed the better quality though, with all three goals of the highest calibre.
It was great to see Jay Fulton get over 70 minutes under his belt and he looked like he had enough to make it at this level. Marvin Emnes also deserves a mention as he also made an excellent contribution in the game and must surely have done enough in recent weeks to deserve a permanent contract in the Summer.
The game brought to a close a season what was definitely a challenge for our club, but then when is it ever dull being a Jack. Well done Super Garry Monk, I’m looking forward to next season already! On yes, and Cardiff were relegated as well, I had to mention that!
The teams and player marks (out of 10):
Swansea City: Tremmel 5, Tiendalli 6 (Davies 6), Taylor 6, Amat 6, Bartley 7, Shelvey 7, Fulton 7 (Britton 6), Emnes 8 (De Guzman 6), Routledge 7, Dyer 7, Bony 8. Unused substitutes: Cornell, Williams, King, Vazquez
Swans’ man of the match: Bony, though there were a few worthy candidates including Emnes, Routs and Shelvey.
Scorers: Dyer, Emnes, Bony
Sunderland: Mannone 5, Vergini 5, Bardsley 5 (Celustka 5), O’Shea 5 (Altidore 5), Brown 5, Larsson 7 (Ba 5), Bridcutt 5, Colback 5, Wickham 5, Johnson 8, Borini 7. Unused substitutes: Giaccherini, Mavrias, Agnew, Ustari.
Sunderland man of the match: Johnson
Possession stats: Swansea 53% Sunderland 47%.
The match referee: Chris Foy 7. The last time Foy refereed the Swans (Newcastle away), he was replaced in the first half having broken his nose. Foy is one of those refs who likes a card, having despatched 33 reds and 656 yellows in his 244 Premier League games before this match. He kept his average up and more today, despatching yellows to Fulton, Amat, Emnes, Borini and Bridcutt. Aside from the yellow cards, Foy was OK and worth a 7 out of 10 (just).
This article was written by the Big Match Pundit