Ipswich Town 0-1 Swansea City - Match Report
Monday, 22nd Apr 2019 17:08
Wayne Routledge’s 57th-minute goal saw Swansea City to a 1-0 victory over the Blues at Portman Road, ending a run of seven successive defeats on the road. Routledge followed-up after Town keeper Dean Gerken had pushed a Daniel James strike on to the post.
Boss Paul Lambert made seven changes from the team which lost 4-0 at Preston on Good Friday with Gerken, Will Keane, 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, although the two would swap flanks frequently once the game got under way.
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 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 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.
Six minutes after the restart Keane curled a shot goalwards which Nordveldt tipped over but with the linesman’s flag having been raised.
Swansea went close in the 52nd minute, Gerken doing well to get across to his left to palm James’s low shot across the area wide and just beyond the sliding Roberts.
The visitors had started the second half strongly and were dominating, and in the 57th minute they went in front.
After Chalobah had given the ball away to Fulton midway inside the Town half, Gerken tipped James’s low shot on to his right post but Routledge ran in to follow-up and slam into the roof of the net, the former England U21 international’s fourth goal of the season.
Bree was booked for a foul on James, an almost constant threat down the Swans left, just after the hour mark as Swansea went looking for their second of the afternoon.
In the 66th minute the Blues swapped Dozzell and Keane, who was tiring in the heat after his spell on the sidelines, for Collin Quaner and Kayden Jackson, who played on the right of the front three with Judge moving into the centre.
Matt Grimes shot over from distance for the visitors before goalscorer Routledge was replaced by Nathan Dyer.
The Swans were looking comfortable as the game entered its final 20 minutes and were looking the more likely scorers of the game’s second goal. On 73 top scorer Oli McBurnie flicked a header over at the near post from another James ball in from the left.
However, the Blues weren’t far away from an equaliser in the 77th minute when Downes sent Quaner away down the left. The on-loan Huddersfield striker brought the ball in and hit a low effort which Nordfeldt palmed across the face and wide. Quaner suffered a knock as he struck his effort but after treatment was able to continue. Moments later, Bishop took over from Chalobah.
Fulton hooked an acrobatic effort wide in the 84th minute before the Swans switched the midfielder for Leroy Fer.
In the 88th minute Quaner was again denied by Nordfeldt when through but this time having strayed offside.
Swansea replaced danger man James with Joe Rodon with the game already in six minutes of injury time.
Late on Judge shot wide from distant but a Town comeback in added-on time never really looked likely. Moments before the whistle keeper Gerken went up for a corner which came to nothing.
Once they’d got the lead they probably should have secured in the first half, Swansea professionally saw the game out for the most part with the Blues’ big opportunity Quaner’s effort which was well saved by Nordveldt.
Other than that, the Swans keeper was largely untested with Gerken the busier of the two keepers, although not forced into action as much as Swans boss Graham Potter would have wanted.
Following the final whistle the players and staff took part in the annual lap of appreciation, while those fans that remained in the Sir Bobby Robson Stand made plenty of noise despite another disappointing afternoon. The squad, some of whom were joined by their children, stopped to pay tribute as they made their way around the pitch.
The Blues are next in action at Sheffield United next Saturday in a live Sky game which kicks off at 5.15pm, with their only remaining home game is the final day match at home to Leeds on Sunday 5th May (KO 12.30pm).
Town: Gerken, Bree, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Elder, Chalobah (Bishop 79), Downes, Dozzell (Quaner 66), Edwards, Judge, Keane (Jackson 66). Unused: Bialkowski, Skuse, Nydam, Ndaba.
Swansea: Nordfeldt, Roberts, Van der Hoorn (c), Carter-Vickers, Naughton, Fulton (Fer 84), Grimes, Routledge (Dyer 70), Byers, James (Rodon 90), McBurnie. Unused: Benda, McKay, John, Baker-Richardson. Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire). Att: 17,247 (Swansea: 557)
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