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Substitute Nathan Dyer inspired Swansea City to a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United. Swansea were dealt a blow in the first half when Alvaro Vazquez left the field nursing a groin injury with no recognised striker on the bench. However, winger Dyer was introduced and scored on the stroke of half-time to put the hosts ahead. Mathieu Debuchy then inadvertently prodded beyond his own goalkeeper after the break before Jonjo Shelvey sealed all three points for the home side, bringing an end to Newcastle’s four-match winning streak.
Michael Laudrup made just one change to the Swansea side that lost 3-0 at Manchester City on Sunday, with Michel Vorm returning to the starting line-up in place of Gerhard Tremmel. Newcastle were unchanged from their 2-1 win against West Brom.
After a tentative opening 10 minutes, Yohan Cabaye went for an ambitious effort from just inside the Swansea half but his shot drifted wide. Vorm was called into action two minutes later when he dived brilliantly to his left to make a superb save from a Loic Remy header.
Vazquez, in the side because of injuries to both Michu and Wilfried Bony, had Swansea’s first chance of the match, shooting across goal from the right-hand side of the six-yard box before he was forced off injured to be replaced by Dyer. The winger was soon in the thick of the action, putting Swansea ahead shortly before the break. Tim Krul failed to deal with an Alejandro Pozuelo cross from the left and the substitute capitalised by smashing home from close range.
And Dyer could have doubled his tally just a minute after the restart, heading downwards from another Pozuelo cross but straight into the arms of a grateful Krul. Shola Ameobi turned well in the penalty area to force Vorm into a diving save shortly afterwards, before Swansea raced to the other end of the pitch and Shelvey rifled a shot wide of the left-hand post. Remy had an effort blocked from point-blank range in the 58th minute as Newcastle claimed for handball against Ben Davies, but referee Howard Webb waved play on.
Swansea doubled their lead in the 66th minute. Shelvey was sent clean through on goal, was too hesitant in applying the finish, but his blushes were spared as Debuchy inadvertently prodded the ball beyond Krul. Shelvey then forced Krul into an acrobatic save from the edge of the penalty area in the 74th minute, but he had better luck nine minutes from time as he curled a superb effort past the Dutch goalkeeper to put the result beyond doubt.
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup: "Shelvey's good in possession, he's good making runs from midfield so I really think that position suits him quite well. I think he can play the more dynamic midfielder alongside a holding midfielder. In these two games on Sunday and (on Wednesday) we've seen that it suits him very well.
"I've said more than once that when sometimes we change the squad (it is) because we want to use everybody. I know, especially in these moments where there's so many matches, we need people prepared. Alvaro has not played much recently - this is his third game in six games so it's normal there is a reaction, but there was really no alternative.
"If there had been an alternative I would have played him, because I knew this was a danger. It's not a bad injury, let's see. I can't tell you if we're talking four days or 10 days but I don't think we're talking weeks."
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew: "I didn't think we deserved that. I was a bit disappointed we didn't keep a clean sheet until half-time, although we didn't retain the ball very well. In the second half we pushed on and we created chances."
|09 Dec 2013||v Hull (H)|
|15 Dec 2013||v Norwich (A)|
|22 Dec 2013||v Everton (H)|
|26 Dec 2013||v Chelsea (A)|
|28 Dec 2013||v Aston Villa (A)|
|01 Jan 2014||v Man City (H)|