Abi Davies can at last breathe a sigh of relief as the Swans finally kick into gear and record their first ever Premier League victory.
Given the level of Swansea’s performances prior to Saturday’s game against West Brom, it was highly perplexing as to how a first Premier League goal still evaded Brendan Rodgers side having not looked overawed or outclassed in their league games against Wigan, Sunderland or Arsenal..
Prominent in their fixture at The Emirates last weekend was the fact that Swansea’s goal drought had not hindered their determination or dented their confidence too much, as for the best part of the game they matched Arsene Wenger’s side in each department.
Lacking clinical ability having dominated possession in their previous two home games this season, I felt going into Saturday’s match that goals were crucial for Swansea against The Baggies, in order to record their first victory and to start capitalising on chances that over recent weeks they have been made to rue.
With limited defensive resources available for Rodgers having lost Steven Caulker through injury, before being denied international clearance by FIFA for Rafik Halliche and Darnel Situ, Gary Monk’s return to fitness came as a welcome boost for Swansea City as the club captain earned his first taste of Premier League action, meaning he has now played in and captained Swansea in all four divisions.
In the absence of record signing Danny Graham, Leroy Lita lead The Swans attack having only made three cameo appearances so far this season.
A third enforced change to Swansea’s starting eleven saw Mark Gower earn his first Premier League start in place of the injured Kemy Agustien.
Swansea demonstrated their intentions from the outset, settling quickly, passing the ball around well and not allowing The Baggies any time in possession.
Despite not testing Albion keeper Ben Foster, Sinclair and Allen efforts early on showed a more purposeful start from the home side. Swansea were rewarded for their bold start to the game 14 minutes in, following some great intricate passing inside the area, Sinclair played through Joe Allen who was hacked down by West Brom midfielder Paul Scharner. Referee Martin Atkinson had no hesitations pointing to the spot, handing Swansea the perfect opportunity to record their first goal of the season. Having played an instrumental role in helping Swansea to reach the top flight, Scott Sinclair stepped up to take the spot kick. Remaining calm, the winger sent Foster the wrong way and his effort fired into the bottom right corner to break the deadlock. In doing so Sinclair became the first ever player to score a Premier League goal outside of England.
West Brom should have found themselves back on level terms 8 minutes later as Neil Taylor’s misplaced clearance presented Shane Long with a great chance, the Irish striker should have done better as he squandered the opportunity to cancel out Sinclair’s penalty, with his shot firing high and wide of the target.
Swansea were far more accurate with their effort two minutes later as Leroy Lita doubled the Welsh sides advantage. After Scott Sinclair’s glancing header from a Gower corner found Lita unmarked at the far post, the striker made no mistakes in nodding home from 6 yards out. The goal came in an unusual fashion as Swansea very rarely score from corners!
Shane Long posed the visitors biggest threat in the first half and forced a great save from Michel Vorm with half an hour played.
No further clear cut chances came for either side in the remainder of the first half as Swansea continued to control the game and went in at half time deserved leaders.
Swansea picked up from where they left off after the interval and having been arguably Swansea’s best outfield player so far this season, Nathan Dyer compiled further misery on Albion’s afternoon, as he broke free from his marker to connect with a great through ball from Leroy Lita before slotting the ball through the legs of Ben Foster.
Quicker build up play proving highly effective for the home side.
Shortly after, a long range effort from Peter Odemwingie that blasted over the cross bar reflected the visitors frustration.
Scott Sinclair came close to adding a 4th for the home side as his free kick from the edge of the box fired marginally over the cross bar.
For the third consecutive home game, Michel Vorm pulled off a magnificent save, showing his great Premier League credentials to deny Graham Dorrans sweetly struck shot which seemed destined for the top corner.
Swansea were looking assertive going forward and as the game went on the home side began to play with a re-found air of confidence having scored their first goals of the season.
The match came to a standstill with little under 15 minutes remaining after a challenge from Peter Odemwingie on Neil Taylor left the Welsh defender unconscious and requiring oxygen.
After almost 10 minutes of treatment, Neil Taylor was stretchered off to be replaced by Fede Bessone who resigned for Swansea on transfer deadline day.
Shane long came close to scoring his side a consolation goal two minutes into the 9 added on, only for his effort to be denied by Vorm.
Despite late pressure from the home side the scoreline remained 3-0 as Swansea retain their unbeaten home record with a first win and are still yet to concede at home this season.
Swansea delivered a performance of the highest calibre against a side visiting The Liberty searching for a second consecutive victory on the road. Swansea showed on Saturday that they have adapted to, and are well equipped for life in the top with the Welsh side looking impeccable in every department.