CITY 2 SWANSEA 1
Match Report by Eddie Blount
So at the third attempt City duly recorded their first victory of the new season. At one stage with less than an hour played we were coasting to three points with a 2-0 advantage and the ball on the penalty spot, rightly so after Okazaki had been tripped in the box. Unfortunately this was the high point, or perhaps given the torrential rain which fell in the second half, the high-water point for City as Mahrez’s spot kick was well saved by the Swansea keeper with the help of the post and scrambled to safety.
We were never as comfortable after that miss and a combination of Swansea’s doggedness and the levelling factor of a waterlogged pitch meant that Swansea actually came close to getting something out of this game which would have been a serious injustice.
The game kicked off in front of a slightly less than full capacity crowd due to Swansea’s failure to sell more than half their ticket allocation. Most Championship sides have a better travelling support though Swansea on the pitch deserve their Premiership status.
Although second best to City throughout the first half they were not totally lacking in attacking ambition and never seemed intent on a bus-parking strategy. Indeed in spite of the sort of possession stats that we regularly achieved last season Schmeichel had more saves to make than his counterpart, Fabianski. Our problem was that once we got down the flanks the quality of the ball across was lacking due in no small measure to our reluctance to get too many players forward, plus we do not start with a striker who excels in the air.
It took half an hour to break Swansea down and the way it happened was vintage City! Amartey, who had an excellent game in midfield, won a tackle in pure Kante fashion and instantly transferred the ball to Drinkwater whose first time pass over the top fell perfectly for Vardy who knew exactly where he should be. He bore down on the keeper at top speed and smashed the ball into the net off the near post – unsaveable!. Brian Clough was fond of saying that it only took a second to score a goal and this would have made him a happy man. The rest of the half was lacking in incident apart from a fierce drive from outside the box by Okazaki - of all people - which the keeper palmed away for an unproductive corner.