- Swansea vs West Brom

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Wednesday 28 November 2012 | Liberty Stadium | Referee: Lee Mason | Attendance 20,377

  • Michu (9)
  • Wayne Routledge (11, 39)
3 - 1
West Brom
  • Romelu Lukaku (45+3)
West Brom

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Match report

For match photos scroll to ‘PHOTOSTREAM’ above left. For stats click on the STATISTICS tab. For manager reactions scroll down.

Swansea City brought high-flying West Bromwich Albion’s excellent run to a crashing halt at the Liberty Stadium, with a stunning first-half performance inspiring a 3-1 victory. The Baggies were overrun in the opening 45 minutes, with Michu’s ninth goal of the season and a Wayne Routledge double giving Michael Laudrup’s side a 3-0 lead. Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for West Brom just before half-time but, despite an improved second-half display, that was as good as it got for Steve Clarke’s side.

Swansea are on a run of just one defeat in their last nine games and Laudrup will have been delighted as his side produced their best display of his reign, with the interchangeable trio of Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Pablo Hernandez ripping the visitors apart. Albion were looking to record a fifth straight win in the top flight for the first time in 34 years, but their hopes of doing so were effectively over when they trailed 2-0 inside 11 minutes. They had a warning when Swansea struck the woodwork inside 90 seconds. Hernandez’s exquisite pass played in Michu, but the forward’s low shot struck the outside of the near post with Boaz Myhill beaten.

Swansea’s crisp, incisive passing was causing the Baggies all sorts of problems, and it came as no surprise when they fell behind in the ninth minute. Dyer found space down the right and Hernandez steered his deep cross back across goal for Michu to finish from close range. Less than three minutes later the Swans doubled their lead, with Hernandez again the provider.

The club-record signing set up Routledge who found the net as Jonas Olsson's attempted challenge saw the ball ricochet in off his shin. Swansea's dominance was such that goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel was merely a spectator for much of the opening half.

Gareth McAuley blocked sharply from Hernandez after another wonderful flowing Swansea move and Dyer had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Lee Mason as he went down under pressure from Chris Brunt. But the Welsh hosts did not have to wait too long for their third goal.

Dyer, Hernandez and Ben Davies worked some space down the Swansea left and the full-back's ball across the box came to Routledge, who smashed home. It could have been even worse for the visitors as Routledge and Hernandez again left the Baggies defence dazzled but Michu could not reach the latter's far-post cross.

Lukaku did at least give the Baggies a glimmer of hope as he fired home with the last action of the first half when Swansea failed to clear a Brunt corner. The powerful Belgian could have struck again moments into the second half, but volleyed over the bar from McAuley's pass.

Albion were finally showing glimmers of the form that has propelled them to third in the table with Claudio Yacob and James Morrison becoming increasingly prominent. But for all their endeavour it was the hosts who looked more likely to add to their tally.

Michu laid the ball off to Dyer after Angel Rangel's pull-back found him unmarked in the box before the forward headed narrowly wide from Hernandez's clipped centre. Myhill got down low to save another Michu effort, before Ki Sung-Yeung's curling free-kick flew narrowly wide as the Swans claimed victory.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup: "It was the best [performance] I have seen for several seasons. It is not often as a manager you can sit and enjoy your team playing.

"As always during a game there are moments when there are things you have to improve, but the first 45 minutes was outstanding, all 11 players played one-two touch football and everything was so good. It was one of the few times I can recall sitting there enjoying the game and today also showed everybody what we can do if we are at our best. It was great for me to see the players at their best.

"The things I will take with me from this game will be the great performance in the first half and the win which means we have 20 points after 14 games and that is really good. I will not sit here and say this is the best I have seen in my time but as a manager it is a pleasure to see a team play like that. I have not had that many times, maybe once or twice."

"I have been thinking about [playing Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez] for some weeks, normally two of them are playing with the third on the bench but in this game I thought about it.

"I knew West Brom would be very solid, two lines of four, if I had Michu drifting around and the three behind him it could cause problems ... I thought this could be the game to try it."

West Brom manager Steve Clarke: "That was very unexpected. We started so slowly it was incredible, you wouldn't believe it.

"We know Swansea are a fantastic team and they play good football and we knew they would cause us problems, but I did not expect so many problems so early and when you are chasing the game it is going to be difficult.

"We have had a really good season, played really well. We came into the game confident, with more or less the same players and system, but that's football, it happens. They had a quick start, they got in front and we left ourselves too much to do to be honest.

"You would have to ask the doctor but {Ben Foster] is in Germany and has either had the surgery, or is going to have it.”

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Line-up All Fans BFR
25. Gerhard Tremmel - -
33. Ben Davies - -
22. Angel Rangel - -
6. Ashley Williams - -
4. Chico - -
12. Nathan Dyer - -
24. Ki Sung-Yueng - -
7. Leon Britton - -
15. Wayne Routledge - -
11. Pablo Hernández - -
9. Michu - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
16. Garry Monk - -
21. Dwight Tiendalli - -
17. Itay Shechter - -
19. Luke Moore - -
26. Kemy Agustien - -
13. David Cornell - -
20. Jonathan De Guzmán - -
Line-up All Fans BFR
13. Boaz Myhill - -
23. Gareth McAuley - -
28. Billy Jones - -
3. Jonas Olsson - -
6. Liam Ridgewell - -
5. Claudio Yacob - -
11. Chris Brunt - -
24. Peter Odemwingie - -
21. Youssuf Mulumbu - -
7. James Morrison - -
20. Romelu Lukaku - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
30. Gabriel Tamas - -
8. Markus Rosenberg - -
32. Marc-Antoine Fortuné - -
9. Shane Long - -
19. Luke Daniels - -
17. Graham Dorrans - -
4. Goran Popov - -

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