Soccer Magazine

The Play Offs Beckon at Last for the Swans

By Stuartnoel @theballisround

Abigail Davies reports on a monumental win for Swansea City that secures a place in the Play offs.

The play offs beckon at last for the Swans
Ipswich travelled to The Liberty looking to bounce back from the comprehensive defeat they suffered at the expense of local rivals Norwich City last Thursday, while Swansea were aiming to take a step closer to cementing a play-off place.

There were four changes to The Swans side that faced Portsmouth on Saturday, as Joe Allen, Stephen Dobbie and Neil Taylor returned to the starting line up in place of Mark Gower, Darren Pratley and Alan Tate. While there was also a place in the side for Luke Moore who started ahead of Scott Sinclair- the Swans top scorer rested after a jaded performance at Fratton Park. This change meant loan signing Fabio Borini started out on the left wing to accommodate for striker Moore.

The Tractor boys were quick to show that they had not set up for a point as they demonstrated the form that has seen them take 17 points from their previous 8 games on the road, as Grant Leadbitter forced a great save from Dorus De Vries within the opening 5 minutes of the game.

The Swans had their first real opportunity 4 minutes later proving more clinical with their chance as Fabio Borini broke the deadlock. The movement began deep inside their own half as from Ashley Williams vital interception the ball broke to Luke Moore, he then found Dyer out wide who did well to hold off defenders and find Dobbie on the edge of the area. The Scot played Fabio Borini through and the Italian youngster kept his composure to fire home his fifth goal in Swansea City colours.

The home side began to take control of the game and took just 5 minutes to double their lead as Stephen Dobbie set up Luke Moore, who’s shot from 25 yards out drilled past the Ipswich keeper.

Ipswich showed signs that they were to amount a comeback as they halved the deficit moments later through a Healy strike from the edge of the area.

Nathan Dyer’s sublime pace and skill down the right wing was proving highly effective for the home side as he drew fouls from the defenders causing them countless problems.

On the half hour mark Brendan Rodgers side regained their two goal advantage. Dyer, who had been heavily involved in the majority of Swansea’s attacking movements, played Moore through on goal and after the striker saw his shot parried away by Arran Lee-Barrett, Borini found himself perfectly placed to tap in his sixth goal in as many games.

The home side continued to dictate the first half with Dobbie and Dyer coming close with their efforts.

Both sides made changes at the interval as Darren O’Dea left the field for Ipswich to be replaced by Mark Kennedy, whilst Rodgers introduced Scott Sinclair to the game in place of Fabio Borini. Swansea took 5 minutes to get going after the restart and it was Stephen Dobbie who created the sides first chance of the half, as his ball found Rangel out wide and the Catalans dangerous cross into the area was cleared by McAuley.

Moments later Dobbie was provider again, this time playing a great ball through for Sinclair who’s shot was closed down inside the area.

Nathan Dyer continued to impress, demonstrating great control to latch onto Ashley Williams distributed cross field ball.

Despite netting his third Swansea goal on Monday, Luke Moore had a relatively quiet afternoon. However, he did create a chance to score Swansea’s forth goal as Dobbie’s instinctive ball picked out the striker who did well to turn inside the box- his finish letting him down.

The tempo of the game seemed to drop with 30 minutes remaining as the Swans started to relax.

They then inflicted further misery on Paul Jewell’s side with under 20 minutes on the clock as Mark Kennedy brought down Leon Britton inside the area. The ref pointed to the spot and Scott Sinclair stepped up to take and convert the penalty kick.

Dobbie was replaced by Andrea Orlandi straight after the penalty as Swansea were looking comfortable in possession, easing to their 4th home win in 6.

Nathan Dyer tried his luck with 15 minutes remaining with a powerful shot that would have rounded off a first class display from the wide man however Lee-Barrett pulled off a fine save to deny him.

Dyer was replaced by Beattie 4 minutes later with 3 points already safely in the bag.

The game finished 4-1 despite late efforts from Joe Allen and substitute Beattie.

Just like Saturday, Nathan Dyer was the stand out player against Ipswich, looking dangerous going forward as well as showing his hunger and determination to win back possession and close down the opposition.

Leon Britton’s performance was as solid as ever, whilst the returns of Joe Allen and Stephen Dobbie proved significant. Dobbie has proved himself as the most effective link player in the squad over recent weeks as well as Joe Allen’s tireless work ethic seeing him cement his place in the side when fully fit.

After struggling at Fratton Park, Sinclair had a much larger impact on Monday’s game, as his partnership with Neil Taylor on the left wing was re-established.

The victory sees Swansea secure their place in the play-offs with two fixtures remaining. A great achievement for Brendan Rodgers side in just their third season back in the second tier of English football.


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