Swansea 2 Newcastle 0 Saturday 15 August 3pm
Goals: Swansea – Gomis 9, Ayew 52
This was a match that was almost scripted in terms of how it played out.
Newcastle had the chance to sign ‘free’ transfers Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis but found their demands too expensive, the two players grabbing the goals today and putting in excellent performances.
From the first minute Newcastle were under pressure with the home side going for the jugular, no doubt aware that United’s defending isn’t the best.
Montero and Ayew were causing Janmaat and Haidara all kinds of problems but ironically, it was a simple but cute ball, right through the centre of defence that created the opener.
Chancel Mbemba desperately trying to rescue the situation but unable to prevent the pass reaching Gomis, who expertly rounded Krul and slid it into the empty net.
The second goal came seven minutes after half-time, with Coloccini shocking as he failed to get off the ground as 5ft 9 winger Andre Ayew headed past Krul.
In between the goals, Swansea could have had a few more, whilst the best Newcastle could muster was an effort from Obertan when he cut in from the left – Fabianski saving well to his right.
Difficult to really name any Newcastle player who emerged with credit and certainly not Daryl Janmaat.
The Dutch defender booked for a bad challenge on Montero before giving the ref the chance to send him off in the 42nd minute as he grabbed the winger’s shirt, after first gifting him the ball.
The sending off didn’t change the game and indeed I think the scoreline could have been worse with 11 v 11, as it appeared Swansea simply toyed with the visitors once they had a man advantage.
Though rather bizarrely, Steve McClaren claimed that after Swansea took the lead, Newcastle stepped up and controlled the game until the sending off.
“Frustrating, after 10 minutes I thought we settled down and came back into the game but you can’t win football matches, especially in the Premier League against a team like Swansea, with only 10 players.
“It was a case of just staying in the game and fighting as much as possible, which the players did, I learnt nothing from the match apart from you can’t win with 10 players.
“I thought we came back into the game (after opening goal) with one or two breaks and some chances, started to play football and control the game, but as soon as you got to 10 men….
With Sissoko forced off at half-time through injury and some slightly surprising substitutions, with Aarons replacing Cisse to play on his own up front.
A day to forget all round and a week to prepare before Steve McClaren returns to Old Trafford.
Be interesting to see if he looks to give Aleksandar Mitrovic a start, the striker picking up his second booking in two sub appearances, today it took him 90 seconds before going into the referee’s book.
McClaren though disagreeing with the decision:
“We didn’t see anything in it, the referee was too fussy and should have let the game flow.”
These are the key stats as provided by BBC Sport;
Possession was 34% Newcastle and 66% Swansea
Total shots was 4 for Newcastle and Swansea 19
Shots on target was Newcastle 2 and Swansea 6
While corners was Newcastle 4 and Swansea 4
Player ratings totals below from fans so far, add yours and then press submit.
Team: Krul, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Haidara, Colback, Anita, Sissoko (Taylor 46), Wijnaldum, Obertan (Mitrovic 82), Cisse (Aarons 54)
Unused Subs: Darlow, Williamson, Tiote, Perez
Ref: Mike Jones
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