Sunday, 15 April 2012

Swansea 3 - Blackburn 0

3 points and barring an almost impossible set of circumstances, Premier League football has been secured.  This season may have been about more than just surviving and the performances have largely reflected that but it’s an almighty relief for it to have been achieved with a few games to spare.

For a team who still have a reasonable chance of staying up, Blackburn’s approach seemed remarkably flat and lacking in ambition against a team like them who had lost 4 league games in a row.  They don’t have the defensive capabilities of recent victors at the Liberty (Everton and Newcastle) and appeared to be largely hoping for a bit of luck at a set piece. 

Yakubu, Swansea’s tormentor in the fixture at Ewood park received the ball only 8 times in the 60 minutes he was on the pitch but with Samba no longer with Blackburn and Caulker playing, it was always likely to be far less of a threat than in that match.

Despite this, as with the game at Ewood Park, all of Paul Robinson's passes went in to the opposition half where Vorm's passing was generally short but even when long, usually accurate.

Comparison of Vorm's and Robinson's Passing
Prior to the weekend’s fixtures, Swansea had the most number of players (5), along with Spurs who had started 30+ league games this season and like Spurs had been accused in some quarters of running out of steam. 
Newcastle with 4 players arguably scuppers the 'tired legs' theory but 1 of those (Coloccini) has missed a couple of games recently.

Although there could have been the argument for a few changes, the only change was Dyer in for Routledge making the starting 11 arguably the first 11 that would be the pick of most Swans fans.

The return to the starting line-up of Dyer saw the return of Ashley Williams’ long diagonal out to the right, although it isn’t always successful (only 40% of his long balls were against Blackburn), when it does work it’s highly effective in putting Dyer in to space (often with Rangel in close support).  Even if it doesn’t work, it reminds the opposition defence of this threat which can result in there being more space in the middle as the defence look to cover the diagonal.

Williams' Long passing against Blackburn

During the last 15 minutes of the first half Swansea were particularly effective, dominating possession, having 6 attempts at goal in this time compared to 4 in the previous half hour and most importantly, scoring twice.

Both Dyer and Sinclair had impressive games, both making 4 successful take-ons out of 7 attempts. 
As well as the take-ons, Dyer was yet again the most fouled player in the game, being fouled 5 times (3 more than any other player). 
Allen was once again top tackler for Swansea with 4 (2 more than any other Swans player) and Sigurdsson having the most attempts (5) although it was pleasing to see 9 different Swansea players have an attempt on goal.

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