Whilst their survival has never been in danger, those of us who study the league tables will know you are never safe until the maths prove you are. Swansea knew that a draw on Saturday at Bolton Wanderers would be enough and so we dispatched Abi Davies to the Reebok to join in the potential party.
Swansea knew that a win at The Reebok would see them mathematically secure their Premier League status for the 2012-13 campaign with three fixtures still remaining. The Welsh side, largely backed for relegation before the commencement of the season, put themselves in the perfect position to do so with just 6 minutes played, when Scott Sinclair’s sweetly struck effort following a great move infield from the winger fired past Adam Bogdan and into the top corner.
Sinclair had a chance to double the Swans lead moments later however failed to retain the same composure as his shot blazed over the cross bar.
Swansea managed to hold their advantage for just 8 minutes as Chris Eagles levelled proceedings. Having had a penalty claim turned down moments earlier following a suspected hand ball inside the area from Ashley Williams, Bolton found themselves on the attack once more, and with danger man Petrov given freedom out wide, the Bulgarian midfielder was able to deliver a perfect cross into the box for Eagles who connected well to guide the ball past Vorm.
Petrov proved a large threat for the home side from the outset, commanding play on the left flank, constantly taking on and getting the better of Angel Rangel, he progressed into dangerous areas of the pitch and looked to create chances at every opportunity.
In a fairly scrappy first half encounter, neither side fully gained a foothold in the middle of the park as Swansea made uncharacteristic errors and conceded possession far too easily.
Swansea were dealt a blow midway through the half when Nathan Dyer was withdrawn from the game. Having suffered with sickness prior to Saturday’s fixture, Dyer was evidently still suffering as he signalled to the bench for a change. The winger was replaced by Luke Moore, a change that was initially perplexing, given the support Dyer had provided for Rangel out wide and that Moore is far more accustomed to playing a central role.
Many were expecting the introduction of Wayne Routledge, however Rodgers decision to favour Moore proved effective as he posed a real threat on the wing, proving a handful for full-back Rickets, delivering numerous great deliveries into the box whilst also making many challenges out wide.
Swansea rode their luck a little at the end of the first half however some great last ditch defending coupled with wayward attempts on goal from the home side ensured the scoreline remained 1-1 going in at half time.
The visitors were the dominant force after the restart, quick to assert their authority, creating a flourish of chances to regain their advantage and steer themselves to mathematical safety.
Danny Graham’s work rate was once again outstanding, seeing far more of the ball than he has done over recent weeks, the Englander came close to restoring the Welsh sides lead on a number of occasions, seeing two efforts fire wide of the Bolton goal before a finely struck shot from the striker rebounded off the cross bar and back into open play.
Having rarely threatened in the second half, Bolton came close to overturning the deficit with 10 minutes remaining when Klasnic combined well with Ngog inside the area, the latter dispossessed by some great defending from Steven Caulker before he had time to unleash an effort.
Despite only picking up a point, Swansea’s more direct approach saw them work the ball far better in the final third as well as attempt more shots on goal. Swansea’s next fixture will see them reunited with former Swansea City goalkeeper Dorus De Vries who spent 4 years in South Wales before departing in the summer to join Wolves.
The game will be De Vries’ second of the league campaign and his first at The Liberty since last years play off semi final victory over Nottingham Forest.
Having impressed in his Premier League debut against Manchester City, De Vries will be hoping to stake a claim for a permanent place in the Wolves side, given that he is currently in the starting XI due to a Wayne Hennessey injury.
Swansea will be hoping to exploit De Vries’ weaknesses and compile further misery on Wolves season in order to finish their maiden Premier League campaign in the strongest manner