Moore's late strike helps Swansea edge past Newcastle
Luke Moore’s first goal of the Premier League season on 85 minutes proved to be the winner in a feisty affair between Swansea and Newcastle. The Magpies were left devastated after yet another away loss in a game they thought they should have deserved at least a point from, after creating a host of chances.
Michel Vorm was back in goal for the home team, replacing Gerhard Tremmel, who has served as Swansea’s cup keeper throughout the season. For Newcastle, the absence of Fabricio Coloccini in the middle of the defensive line meant a full league debut for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
The away side would have hoped that the hangover from the League Cup victory celebrations wouldn’t have yet subsided for the Welsh team and by the goings of the first couple of minutes, it looked as if the game would be a hard toil for Swansea. But the first 2 minutes would be as good as it got for Newcastle for sometime to come as the next half an hour saw Swansea City dominate the midfield battles and the Newcastle defence in sixes and sevens.
It was within this spell, in the eighth minute, that Swansea had their first golden opportunity to take the lead when Ashley found himself open in front of a gaping goal from a Michu knock down on a set-piece. The Englishman however scuffed his shot, which was cleared off the line by Steven Taylor.
Meanwhile on the left flank, Pablo Hernandez was creating trouble for Mathieu Debuchy, as he skinned the French right back and his compatriot Yohan Cabaye to send in a cross which Michu could only head wide.
The Newcastle midfield in the centre looked ragged and a yellow card for Cabaye as well as Tiote followed suit. The Swans would have counted themselves unlucky going into the half as just before the half-time whistle it was the turn of Gary Monk to head wide from a few yards out, but the home team had only themselves to blame.
The second half saw a more resilient and fast paced Newcastle show up and from the get go, the Magpies looked threatening.
However it was Swansea on the counter that had the first real opportunity in the second half as Rob Elliot was forced into a brilliant double save. First, it was Angel Rangel who found Yoan Gouffran napping on the right and hit a pile driver straight at the Irish keeper. Then on the rebound, it was ex-Newcastle midfielder Wayne Routledge’s attempt which Elliot could only palm before Steven Taylor cleared the danger.
But Newcastle began to get a hold on the contest as Yohan Cabaye began to get on the ball with greater frequency. He slipped in Yoan Gouffran on the left whose cross found the forward-bound Mathieu Debuchy on the right to produce an effort which went whistling past Vorm’s post.
Cisse’s first real opportunity came on 55 minutes when a delicate ball from Cabaye was flicked on by Moussa Sissoko on to the path of the Senegalese who could only hit it on the bounce and harmlessly over the bar .
A few minutes later, it was the chance of Yoan Gouffran to waste another opportunity. Moussa Sissoko made a wonderful run, cutting in from the right and was met by an equally beautiful ball by Cabaye. Newcastle’s no. 7 had the composure to cut it back to his fellow Frenchman who was standing unmarked but Gouffran’s first time effort went harmlessly away, to the despair of Alan Pardew.
The pressure was still relentless from the away team as the 67th minute finally made us witness to another of Yohan Cabaye’ trademark shot from distance. The Frenchman found space in the centre and unleashed a fierce shot which swerved and dipped and caught the outstretched finger of Michel Vorm before thudding against the crossbar.
While Cabaye was becoming a threat, Sissoko’s running was having an effect on the Swansea team as well. It was Sissoko’s thunderous effort on 73 minutes that again brought the best out of Michel Vorm, who had to dive to his left to parry the effort from 30 yards out keep the scores level.
It was Sissoko again a few minutes later on another rampaging run of his that made the Toon fans jump out of their seat as he beat Ashley Williams for pace and struck it low and hard from the right hand side of the box. But his effort flew wide of the post without troubling the keeper.
While Newcastle looked the team more likely to find a winner, Michael Laudrup called upon Ki Sung-Yueng and Luke Moore to change the game for the home side.
And on the 85th minute it happened for the Dane as Moore, who came in for Leon Britton in the 76th minute for his 11th appearance of the campaign, pounced on the ball after a cross from Wayne Routledge found Santon and Yanga-Mbiwa in shambles as they ran into each other’s way.
It was Moore who pounced after Santon’s header bounced off Yanga-Mbiwa. Moore’s scuffed shot was lunged upon by Cabaye but the Newcastle skipper for the day couldn’t prevent the ball from going into the back of the net.
While the feel good factor on the Welsh shores continues, Newcastle felt a choke coming out of the game empty handed and a reminder of what may happen if one doesn’t take the chances that come one’s way.
Final Score: Swansea 1-0 Newcastle
SWANSEA: Vorm, Rangel, Monk (c), Williams, Davies, Britton (Moore 77) De Guzman, Dyer (Sung-Yueng 60), Routledge, Hernandez, Michu
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot, Debuchy, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Sissoko, Gouffran, Cisse
REF: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)