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Sunday 14 July 2013

Around the grounds: Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Today's Barclays Premier League stadium profile takes in Swansea's home ground

  • Swansea City moved to the Liberty Stadium in 2005 after 93 years at Vetch Field

  • The Swans have moved up two divisions since moving to the 20,745 capacity venue

  • Swansea share the ground with the Ospreys rugby union team

  • Their previous home, Vetch Field, had a capacity of around 11,000 spectactors

Premierleague.com profiles all 20 Premier League venues, continuing with Swansea City's home ground, the Liberty Stadium.

In profile: Liberty Stadium

Capacity: 20,745
Year built: 2005
First League match: Swansea City 1-0 Tranmere Rovers, 6 August 2005

History

Formed in 1912 and then known as Swansea Town, the club found its first home on a piece of waste ground where cabbage-like plant vetch grew wild. Their stadium was called Vetch Field as a result and the Swansea Jacks witnessed a rollercoaster of fortunes throughout their 93-year stay at the venue.

The club played in the South Leagues until 1920 and, with the exception of two seasons in the top flight of English football during the 1980's, the club spent much of their time in the lower echelons of the Football League, but the move to the state-of-the-art all-seater Liberty Stadium coincided with a remarkable upturn in fortunes with the club about to embark on their third consecutive season in the Barclays Premier League.

Having narrowly avoided relegation to the Conference in 2003, Swansea managed to push on and get promotion to the third tier of English football, before Spanish manager Roberto Martinez led them to the Championship in 2008. Paulo Sousa continued Martinez's good work and adopted his free-flowing passing philosophy that remains an important part of the club to this day. Brendan Rodgers was appointed ahead of the 2010/11 campaign and he took them up via the play-offs at the first time. Swansea became the first Welsh club to grace the Barclays Premier League.

They finished 11th in their debut campaign before earning a top-half finish under Michael Laudrup and winning the League Cup, their first major silverware, in a memorable 2012/13 campaign. Swansea also share the Liberty Stadium with the Ospreys rugby union team and the venue has hosted international matches for Wales.

  • Jan 2012: Robin van Persie gives Arsenal the lead in a lively start at the Liberty

  • Jan 2012: But goals from Sinclair, Dyer and Graham gave Swansea an impressive 3-2 win

  • Mar 2012: A header from Luke Moore gave Swansea a 1-0 win over league leaders Man City

  • Mar 2012: The result was a highlight of a memorable first campaign in the Premier League

Three of the best: Classic Premier League matches at the Liberty Stadium

15 Jan 2012: Swansea City 3-2 Arsenal
Swansea City moved into the top half of the Barclays Premier League table with an entertaining victory over the Gunners. The hosts had to recover from an early set back, with Robin van Persie opening the scoring as the visitors piled pressure on in the opening stages but Scott Sinclair levelled with a penalty kick after 16 minutes. Nathan Dyer then gave Brendan Rodgers' side the lead before the hour mark. Two goals in the space of a minute followed during a pulsating finish to the match. Theo Walcott chipped over Michel Vorm to level at 2-2 but Swansea went straight up the other end and sealed victory through a fine finish from Danny Graham.

11 Mar 2012: Swansea City 1-0 Manchester City 
The Swans recorded a famous victory as they defeated Manchester City, who went on to win the Barclays Premier League title. The visitors were finally knocked off the top of the table because of the loss, after being at the summit for five months. The hosts took the game to City, playing slick possession football and defending resolutely against a side who had scored 69 goals in their opening 27 matches of the campaign. Luke Moore scored the decisive goal with seven minutes of normal time remaining, as he headed home a fine cross from Wayne Routledge. The hosts could have led 2-0 but Joe Hart saved Scott Sinclair's penalty. The visitors almost scored a stoppage-time equaliser but Micah Richards' goal-bound effort was disallowed.

8 Dec 2012: Swansea City 3-4 Norwich City
The result did not go Swansea's way but this match will surely stick in the minds of the sell-out crowd. Swansea were looking to move into the UEFA Champions League qualifying places in the Barclays Premier League table but they were stunned as Norwich netted three times in the opening period, through Steven Whittaker, Sebastien Bassong and Grant Holt. Michu got one back shortly after half-time and Jonathan De Guzman's crisp finish made it 3-2 but Swansea's hopes of completing a famous comeback were dented when Robert Snodgrass curled in a sublime free-kick 15 minutes from time. Swansea had a goal disallowed and Michu made it 4-3 as the match finished in frenetic fashion but the Canaries came out on top.

  • Dec 2012: Goals from Whittaker, Bassong and Holt (pictured) put Norwich 3-0 up

  • Dec 2012: Michu and De Guzman (pictured right) made it 3-2 in a thrilling encounter

  • Dec 2012: A Snodgrass free-kick made it 4-2 to Norwich and Michu got a late consolation

For a 3D tour of the Liberty Stadium and a video profiling Swansea City and their home ground, click here >>

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks at the history of Swansea's home ground, the Liberty Stadium
  • Swansea moved in to the ground in 2005 after 93 years at Vetch Field
  • We pick out three of the best Barclays Premier League matches at the ground, including wins over Arsenal and Man City in 2012