Ipswich Town 0-0 Swansea City - Half-Time
Monday, 22nd Apr 2019 15:58
Town’s home game against Swansea City remains 0-0 at half-time.
Boss Paul Lambert made seven changes from the team which lost 4-0 at Preston on Good Friday with Will Keane, Dean Gerken, Trevoh Chalobah, Gwion Edwards, Andre Dozzell, Callum Elder and James Bree all in the XI.
Gerken returned in goal for Bartosz Bialkowski, who dropped to the bench, with Bree, one of four loan players, at right-back and Elder at left-back with Josh Emmanuel and Myles Kenlock both left out of the squad.
Chalobah and Dozzell joined Flynn Downes in central midfield with Cole Skuse and Teddy Bishop among the subs.
Up front, Keane made his first start following his hamstring injury down the centre with Alan Judge on the left and former Swans youngster Edwards on the right.
For Swansea, George Byers came into the side for Barrie McKay, who dropped to the bench.
Ex-Blues loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers started for the Swans but another former Town loan player, Bersant Celina, missed out having been injured and ill over the last week.
At a warm and sunny Portman Road, with the pitch looking in tip-top condition, Swansea should have taken the lead in the fifth minute via the first chance of the game.
Toto Nsiala failed to deal with Swans keeper Kris Norfeldt’s long kick, allowing Daniel James a free run in on goal. However, as Gerken advanced, the Wales international put the ball wide of the Blues’ keeper’s left post when he really should have scored.
On six, Edwards shot well over from distance but with the Blues so far unable to create a more obvious opening.
Swansea were looking a threat when breaking via the pace of James in particular. On 17 they claimed a penalty when Byers went to ground after taking the ball past Gerken at an angle to the right of the keeper’s goal but the Swans midfielder looked to have fallen under his own steam having lost control and was yellow-carded by referee Darren England for diving.
Three minutes later, Jay Fulton joined his team-mate in the book for a foul on Downes just inside the Swansea half. In the 25th minute the midfielder hit a low shot from the edge of the box which Gerken saved with ease down to his right.
The Swans were dominating possession but without being able to carve out a clear-cut opportunity, while the Blues had been unable to put together a passage of play since the early stages. On 29 Nsiala was booked for shoving over James as he broke on the right.
Swansea went close on the half-hour when Fulton curled an effort from the 18-yard line towards the corner of the net only for Wayne Routledge to divert it over the bar from the edge of the six-yard box.
Town began to see more of the ball, although all too often giving it away cheaply on halfway, but in the 39th minute Downes made a strong run down the right but saw his cross diverted behind by a defender.
From the resulting corner the Blues went close to going in front. The ball on from the right eventually fell to Keane at the far post from where the on-loan Hull City man hit a shot which struck the post. The ball bounced out and Chalobah hit another effort from the edge of the box which flew wide.
Swansea were next to threaten in the 42nd minute, Routledge finding Connor Roberts breaking forward in space on their right but Gerken got down to his right to save the Wales international’s low shot.
A minute later, Downes cut in from the left and hit a shot which deflected over, then from Judge’s subsequent corner Nsiala rose highest but nodded back over the bar.
In injury time Byers turned a Routledge cross from the right wide at the near post before referee England ended the half.
The Blues could count themselves fortunate not to have been behind in the early stages when James went through one-on-one and the Swans continued to have most of the half’s opportunities.
While the Swans dominated possession for long spells, the Blues had put together decent interchanges at times and had got themselves more in the game as the break approached with chances starting to come, Keane having been unlucky not to mark an impressive return to the XI with a goal.
Town: Gerken, Bree, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Elder, Chalobah, Downes, Dozzell, Edwards, Judge, Keane. Subs: Bialkowski, Skuse, Jackson, Bishop, Nydam, Quaner, Ndaba.
Swansea: Nordfeldt, Roberts, Van der Hoorn (c), Carter-Vickers, Naughton, Fulton, Grimes, Routledge, Byers, James, McBurnie. Subs: Benda, Fer, Dyer, McKay, Rodon, John, Baker-Richardson. Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire).
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