Leading up to the game at the Liberty Stadium , West Bromwich Albion were flying high and almost on top of the Premier League. They were placed 3rd, much to the surprise of everyone if were being honest. But the scary thing was for the clubs of the Premiership, is that West Brom didn’t seem like they want to slow down any time soon with every player gelling as one strong unit out to destroy anything any club can throw at them. West Bromwich were on a 5 game unbeaten win streak leading up to the game, most notably defeating European champions Chelsea, possibly enough motivation to beleive that West Bromwich could actually qualify for a European place this season.
Coming into the game after a series of illnesses and injuries Michu, Swansea’s Spanish super striker, had a new role. He would be playing as a lone striker, which if he was on from would mean chaos for West Brom’s defence. Also for West Bromwich Albion Ben Foster was still injured, a massive loss for The Baggies but Boaz Myhill was certainly proving himself in the Premiership.
The game started with Swansea pressing early on with Pablo Hernandez playing a perfectly weighted chipped ball through to Michu from the left wing into the box, the pass was straight to Michu’s feet and Yacob could not find a way to get in front of the Spaniard and Michu was forced to shoot at a tight angle. Myhill made a fairly save to give Swansea a corner.
Laudrup’s side took the lead after scoring in the first half since the 1st of September. It was also the First goal West Bromwich Albion conceded in the first 30 minutes since the League started. A cross from Dyer of the right wing saw Hernandez unmarked who played the ball across to Michu, and all that was left of the Swansea attacker was to do nothing more than hit the ball at goal. Olsson and Yacob simply couldn’t stop him breaking between the gap.
Shortly after it was the Swans would be celebrating another goal. Crisp passing from Swansea helped the ball find Davies running the box, Hernandez was unmarked at the edge of the box and ran down the left hand side of the box to find Routledge who chipped the ball over Jonas Olsson. Routledge was the only Swansea player in the 6 yard box as he was surrounded by 6 West Brom players, not a very good start for Steve Clark’s back line.
It was all over too soon for West Brom as another attack down the wing from Hernandez lead to a gap on the left side of the pitch, Hernandez slots the ball through to Davies who plays the ball across the face of goal, Olsson mis-times his slide and Ridgewell is a mere spectator of the ball before realising that Routledge is unmarked at the right hand side of the box. Ridgewell dives to stop the shot, but the ball hits the roof of the net after Myhill’s foot is the only connection the keeper makes with the ball. Swansea’s sharp passing, and aggressive play down the left wing has simply knocked West Brom right off their high horses and brought them back down to reality in the harshest way possible.
However before the half-time whistle went, West Brom launched a rare attack. Lukaku held the ball up in the Swansea box to play in Odemwingie, who won Albion’s first corner of the game. After the corner was cleared it only found on-loan striker Lukaku who forced a powerful shot into the net to make it 3-1 and the Belgian International’s 5th goal of the campaign.
Early into the second half Romelu Lukaku again found a chance at goal after Macaulay’s precise ball forward the striker, who unfortunately hit the ball high over the bar after failing to beat Williams. The last piece of action to occur in the second half was a free- kick from South Korean International Ki Sung Yung. The free kick was struck beautifully, the net did stop the shot, to the dismay of the Swansea faithful it was the side netting.
Final Score : Swansea 3: 1 West Bromwich Albion
If West Brom are to continue their campaign for a top ten finish, they most certainly need to hit the training ground hard and work on the shaky back line. Steve Clark has already proven West Brom’s defence are capable, the Baggies must now shake off the defeat and come back to reality and realise they are not invincible. Although there can be fingers pointed, no-one can take away how brilliantly Swansea played. Their passing was to pure perfection and their off the ball movement undoubtedly paid off in the first half as it gifted them 3 goals.