Team: Green, Onuoha, Hill (Wright-Phillips), Fabio, Ferdinand, Park, Diakite (Derry), Taarabt, Mackie, Hoilett, Cisse (Johnson)
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Nelsen, Dyer, Zamora
Anyone remember this from the recent Augsburg trip article ? ‘My only worries were the way we were carved open time and again in the first 30 minutes. Fabio at left-back got exposed on about three occasions with a simple ball down the channels. At times Nelsen was playing left-back, covering for Fabio’s ventures upfield and Anton Ferdinand’s own goal was comical and was down to a simple lack of concentration.’ Deja Vu or what ?
Michael Laudrup’s reign as Swansea manager started spectacularly as his new team embarrassed a new-look QPR side, with new signing Michu catching the eye by scoring twice and creating another. Nathan Dyer swept in two later goals and Scott Sinclair added another, while Rangers collapsed as the second-half went on.
All of Swansea’s new recruits looked comfortable and the team was inspired by a brilliant showing from Wayne Routledge, who was the provider of the first three goals. Routledge – formerly of QPR – made an immediate impact by creating the opening goal of the Premier League season. Routledge forced his way beyond a series of challenges before finding Dyer, who prodded the ball back for Michu. The Spaniard’s 25-yard strike squirmed beyond the grasp of Rob Green, ensuring a poor start for the new QPR goalkeeper.
Having conceded that early goal, Rangers laboured hard to put their own stamp on proceedings with their first chance falling for Jamie Mackie, whose eight-yard shot was blocked by Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm and hacked away by Chico Flores. QPR continued to press and Fabio delivered a delightful diagonal ball to another newcomer, Junior Hoilett, whose header loped over the out-coming Vorm but went wide. Vorm looked in typically agile form soon afterwards, producing another fine save to push away a long-range shot from Adel Taarabt.
Although Rangers had applied all the pressure, Swansea finished the first-half strongly. Green stretched to save a curling, 20-yard free kick from Jonathan de Guzman – then the Welsh team hit the bar twice in quick succession. First, De Guzman’s corner was met by a free header by Flores at the back post that struck the woodwork after Green had charged out and missed the ball. Michu was then similarly frustrated, following his eight-yard jab towards goal, after Green failed to punch clear another De Guzman corner.
QPR’s energy seemed to have been sapped and an improvement was needed after the break. They had an early penalty appeal when Angel Rangel felled Hoilett, but the Rangers man looked to have gone down far too easily. Swansea stunned them with a second goal though, from a brilliant swift counter-attack. Routledge was again the instigator, collecting the ball in his own half and bursting forward before threading the ball into the path of Michu, who curled the ball beyond Green.
And the home team’s hopes of a result disappeared when Michu blocked an attempted Fabio pass, allowing Routledge to embark on another menacing break to carve open Mark Hughes’s men again. He picked out Dyer, who made no mistake with his calm finish. With Rangers looking in a shocked state, a fourth followed as Laudrup showed the Midas touch by bringing on Kemy Agustien, who promptly lofted the ball over for Dyer to fire in his second.
Swansea looked almost embarrassed to score a fifth, with celebrations muted, as Rangers gave the ball away sloppily at the back, allowing Michu to take advantage and play in unsettled Sinclair – who had come off the bench – to finish with a 20-yard drive.
Swansea have signed a potential fans’ favourite in the form of slick Michu, while Chico Flores looked lively and Jonathan de Guzman was a threat from set-pieces. QPR ‘s Rob Green gave a dire display while Park’s passing was unimpressive – but Fabio showed some promise and Junior Hoilett started well then faded badly.
Arindam Rej – The Telegraph
Well it all started off so well. I left Jersey at 7.00 in the morning and arrived in London to heat and magnificent sunshine. After some questionable food in a local eatery it was off to the ‘Crown & Sceptre’ with beautiful ice cold pints in the blazing hot sunshine and then it happened……
The defending was shocking, I cannot remember the last time I left a game early, but when the fifth went in I turned to the bloke next to me and said: “F**k this, I’ve had enough” and exited making my way back to Gatwick. There were a few Norwich fans on my flight back so we shared a few beers and shook our heads in disbelief.
I arrived in my local boozer to cries of derision and laughter. To be fair, they did feel sorry for me and bought me copious pints of Strongbow to console me. I look forward to my next trip to watch the demolition of the scum.
(The above pics were taken by Martin Percival. All rights are reserved and his photos are used by the Independent R’s with his permission)