Steven Fletcher’s first goals for Sunderland ended Swansea City’s 100% start to the Barclays Premier League season in a 2-2 draw marred by an ankle injury to Neil Taylor.
Fletcher struck twice in the first half, either side of Wayne Routledge’s effort for Swansea. Michu scored his fourth goal in three games for the hosts to level matters but they then lost defender Chico Flores to a red card for a high challenge.
Before the goals, Taylor was taken off on a stretcher after his leg buckled awkwardly under him following a challenge with Craig Gardner. Before then Swansea had started with purpose and Routledge had a penalty appeal turned away while Nathan Dyer had a shot saved by Simon Mignolet.
The atmosphere was muted following Taylor’s departure although the hosts continued to press, with Dyer again being denied by Mignolet.
But they conceded the first goal when Ashley Williams stubbed his back-pass and Fletcher ran in to dispatch a low finish beyond Michel Vorm.
Swansea levelled as six minutes of stoppage time began. Dyer and Routledge linked as the former’s scooped pass allowed the latter to flash home a volley. But parity did not last to the interval as Sebastian Larsson’s free-kick evaded everyone apart from Fletcher, who tapped home at the back post to give the visitors the half-time lead.
Mignolet pushed away a Dyer volley after more build-up play from the hosts while Leon Britton volleyed over from a corner routine shortly after the break.
Michu came close to adding to his tally as his header into the ground from De Guzman’s cross bounced up and just over the bar. But the same combination found the leveller on 66 minutes, De Guzman’s delivery was again pinpoint and Michu’s powerful header gave Mignolet no chance.
Swansea’s comeback efforts were stymied when Flores then saw red for a high challenge that grazed substitute Louis Saha’s head. Despite the numerical disadvantage Swansea dominated the final 18 minutes but could not find the winner that would have taken them top of the Premier League.
|15 Sep 2012||v Aston Villa (A)|
|22 Sep 2012||v Everton (H)|
|29 Sep 2012||v Stoke (A)|
|06 Oct 2012||v Reading (H)|
|20 Oct 2012||v Wigan (H)|
|27 Oct 2012||v Man City (A)|