Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

Swansea City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion: Dyer’s double keeps Swans perfect (video)

Leave a comment

Swansea City momentarily went top of the Premier League table on Saturday as they made it three wins from three to start the season after beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

Garry Monk’s men took the lead early through Nathan Dyer, then Wayne Routledge scored a stunning goal (watch above) to make it 2-0. The Swans bossed a poor West Brom side and went 3-0 up in the second half as Dyer latched onto another superb ball from Sigurdsson and slotted home.

In his first full season in charge of Swansea, rookie manager Monk now has nine points from nine as the South Wales side sat on top of the standings before the rest of the weekends games took place. West Brom are without a win in their first three league games.

[RELATED: Watch the full match replay]

For the second home game running, Dyer got the Swans off to a flier as the English winger rounded Ben Foster and slotted home in the second minute to put the home side 1-0 up. Jonas Olsson slipped at a crucial time following Gylfi Sigurdsson’s back heel, as Dyer skipped around him and delicately clipped the ball into the far corner of the net.

Soon after the Swans almost went 2-0 up as the ball broke to Wilfried Bony and the Ivorian smashed an effort just over the bar. After 15 minutes Jonjo Shelvey wriggled free and dug out a delicious cross to the back post which Bony headed just over. The Swans pressure continued to build.

[RELATED: Premier League stats]

[RELATED: Latest Premier League standings]

The Swans continued to press and went 2-0 up midway through the first half thanks to a superb strike from Routledge. A poor clearance from Chris Brunt saw Swansea regain possession on the edge of their own box and Routledge smashed a stunning improvised volley from 20-yards out into the top corner. Swansea were flying and were almost 3-0 up before half time as Routledge’s cross saw West Brom defender Olsson head the ball back towards his own goal and it clipped the crossbar and went out.

West Brom improved after the break but failed to carve out any real clear-cut chances as Swansea always looked more likely to score. Foster saved twice in quick succession following an in-direct free kick inside the box and then the Swans went 3-0 up as Dyer grabbed his second of the game. The winger was set free after a clip around the corner from Sigurdsson and the victory was all but secured for the Swans.

Late on the visitors tried to reduce the lead as Stephane Sessegnon smashed the crossbar with an effort from the edge of the box. However, that was to be the closest the Baggies came as Swansea recorded their third-straight win.


Swansea City: Fabianski, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey (Carroll, 84′), Dyer, Sigurdsson, Routledge (Montero, 66′), Bony (Gomis, 79′)

Goals: Dyer (2′ & 70′), Routledge (24′)

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Davidson (Gamboa, 72′), Gardner, Mulumbu, Berahino, Dorrans (Sessegnon, 45′), Brunt (Morrison, 72′), Ideye.

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
Leave a comment

Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
1 Comment

Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.