Historical Transfer News and Team Gossip has been archived below:
New Swansea City manager Michael Luadrup has started life in south Wales very well after already capturing two of his summer transfer targets within the first two weeks after his appointment following the departure of Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool. The manager has already brought in Chico Flores and Jonathan De Guzman in two deals that will strengthen his squad considerably for the upcoming season.
Another great coup for the new manager is securing the services of well favoured Swansea youngster Ben Davies who yesterday signed a new two year deal to keep him at the Liberty Stadium. It had been thought that Davies would be leaving the club this summer after failing to break into a regular team spot last term but with the highly rated left back now being assured of his future at the club he chose to stay which is a great boost for the fans as he has become a new light of hope at the club.
A player who looks to be on his way out of the Liberty is midfielder Scott Donnelly after the club and the player both mutually agreed to cancel his contract after an ill fated spell with the Welsh side. The player had found it increasingly hard to nail down a regular first team place and after great discussion with the club it was agreed that he could move to another team.
A potential target who has been on the managers radar for some time now is Bristol City winger Albert Adomah as he is seen as the perfect addition to Laudrups squad for the new season. The extremely talented winger has been in great form for his club over the past two seasons and this as gained him many fans from across the football world with Swansea looking in pole position to bring him to their club for a fee thought to be around the two million pound mark.
Efficiency is always commendable but, in a football context at least, it pays the greatest dividends when combined with cold-blooded ruthlessness.
If there can be no doubt that Middlesbrough have the first part of that equation sorted – Tony Pulis’s wonderfully stable side are still to concede a Championship goal at home this season and are behind the leaders, Leeds, only on goal difference – their final ball has a nasty habit of letting them down.
And that’s the end of an entertaining night in the Championship, a division that promises to be very exciting and quite unpredictable this season. Hope you enjoyed the ride. Sweet dreams wherever you are, and don’t forget to say a prayer for poor old Steve McClaren. Nighty night!
Ben Fisher was at the Liberty tonight. Here’s our man’s take on an excellent game of football between two sides who will surely be in the mix for promotion this season.
Post-match pint. In order to celebrate / drown your sorrows.
And there’s no completed fightback for Rotherham. A much-needed three points for Nigel Adkins, who received some pelters upon going down at home to Blackburn.
Paul Hurst is still looking for his first win as Ipswich boss. But Frank Lampard has his second as Derby manager under his belt.
There goes Leeds’ 100 percent record under Marcelo Bielsa, but his team did extremely well to come back after a miserable start. Graham Potter will be very happy as well: his Swans already look an utterly different proposition to the miserable goal-shy version of last season. Stevie Wonder’s Uptight plays over the PA: the first line, “Baby, everything is all right” just about sums it up. Both sides will be happy with their performance, and the general direction in which they’re heading.
Rangers remain rooted to the bottom of the Championship. No points, and a negative goal difference of 11 after a mere four matches. This has not started well for Steve McClaren. Bristol City meanwhile go back down the M4 with their first three-point haul in the boot of the bus.
90 min +3: A corner for Leeds, deep into stoppage time. Hernandez takes it, from the left. McBurnie heads it powerfully clear, with blue shirts lurking, an intervention nearly as important as his goals.
90 min: Both sides have a chance to win it late at the Liberty! Celina tries to pass one into the bottom left from the edge of the box, but Peacock-Farrell’s trailing leg denies him. Then down the other end, Harrison is put through, but he hesitates fatally and the chance is gone!
The QPR fans were earlier telling the City supporters that their team is dreadful, on account of being just two goals up. Top-notch terrace patter. Anyway, this has sorted that little problem out. Andreas Weimann scores his second of the night. Oh Steve, Steve, Steve.
85 min: Both sets of fans are in good voice at the Liberty, with the home support singing their hymns and arias, while the visitors are marching on together. A result of both teams putting in a good performance. Hats off to Potter and Bielsa. Compare and contrast to Loftus Road, where QPR fans are giving Steve McClaren a full and frank critique of his managerial abilities. Oh Steve!
84 min: Graham Potter makes his last change. Joel Asoro comes on for Martin Olsson.
82 min: Saiz juggles the ball down the left, but can’t keep it in play with Swansea on the back foot and Harrison hoping for a cut-back. Leeds have been inconsistent tonight, but when they’ve been good, they’ve put on a fine show. Swansea look serious contenders for promotion too. The Championship is going to be some division this season!
It continues to be a really open, entertaining game at the Liberty. And just as I was typing that, Bamford spins van der Hoorn down the left and races into space. He curls low into the box. Rodon can’t intercept, the ball flying between his legs. Pablo Hernandez, once of Swansea, cuts in from the right and meets the cross first time, steering it into the bottom left. He starts to celebrate, then remembers he used to play for the Swans, so stops respectfully. But what a finish!
Jamie Proctor halves the arrears at the New York Stadium.
75 min: Leroy Fer, making his first start of the season, trots off to warm applause from the home fans. He’s replaced by Tom Carroll after a performance of perpetual motion.
Tom Lawrence buries a free kick into the top corner. It’s looking like Derby will beat Ipswich on their own turf for the first time in 11 attempts.
71 min: From the right, Douglas curls a long free kick to the far post. Harrison was preparing to head it back across goal, but the plan is scuppered by Fulton. Shame, because it looked as though a pretty training-ground move was in the process of unfolding. Not that Swansea fans will care a jot, of course.
68 min: Baker curls a low cross through the Swansea box from the right. Bamford isn’t a million miles away from it. Just before, there’s a wee lesson learned by young Jamie Shackleton, who thinks a ball down the right is going out of play for a throw, and turns his back on it, wandering off. But the spin keeps it in on the line, and serious embarrassment is avoided when Douglas mops up, because McBurnie was lurking.
A 25-yarder from Joe Ledley whistles into the top corner, and the deadlock is finally broken at Pride Park! Some relief in the pipeline for Frank Lampard, who lost the first home game of his managerial career 4-1 against Leeds.
65 min: ... then Leeds make their last, Patrick Bamford coming on for Kemar Roofe. You have to admire the boldness of Bielsa’s substitutions. He makes his decision, and doesn’t hang about.
64 min: Swansea make their first change of the night, as Jefferson Montero replaces the impressive Barrie McKay.
63 min: Fer and Celina combine as the pair drive down the centre of the pitch. The latter can’t quite set up the former for a shot ... but Leeds were nearly opened up yet again.
61 min: McBurnie is this close to his hat-trick. He wins a header on the edge of the Leeds box, knocking it down to McKay, who returns it to him along the inside-right channel. McBurnie’s in space, and threads a shot towards the bottom left. Peacock-Farrell fingertips around the post, and the corner comes to nothing.
59 min: A slight lull at the Liberty. It’s been like that pretty much from the get-go at Pride Park, so be thankful for small mercies.
56 min: Young Jamie Shackleton once again waltzes past Olsson as though he’s not there. This time he ripples the side netting with an ambitious shot from a tight angle on the right. Shackleton looks a player.
55 min: A free kick for Swansea, who have reestablished their dominance, out on the right. Celina curls it to the far post, where Fulton nearly flicks home. Leeds half clear. McKay, 25 yards out down the inside-left channel, hits a first-time sidefooted riser that only just curls wide of the top-right corner. That would have been a stunner. McKay really does look the business when he’s on song.
Jackson Irvine scores his second of the match. Fraizer Campbell with the assist. This could be a huge result for Nigel Adkins.
McKay zips down the left flank and stands one into the middle. It doesn’t quite find McBurnie. No matter! Swansea are soon coming back at Leeds down the same flank. Olsson makes the run this time, and hooks into the centre, where McBurnie rises high and plants a stunning header across Peacock-Farrell and into the top right!
Oh Steve! pt. II. Bristol City haven’t beaten Rangers since 1977. They’ll never have a better chance to break that sorry run. Andreas Weimann meets Niclas Eliasson’s cross and plants a header into the net.
48 min: Leeds are knocking it around in the higher tempo favoured by their new manager. Not to any great effect so far, but Swansea are no longer in charge as they were before the Leeds equaliser.
OK, we’re off again at the Liberty! Leeds have made another change; Bielsa isn’t afraid to make the big decisions. Ezgjan Alioski is replaced by Jack Harrison.
Half-time hot dog. Look at this little scamp go!
Derby County 0-0 Ipswich Town QPR 0-1 Bristol City Rotherham United 1-2 Hull City Swansea City 1-1 Leeds United
The Tigers have turned it around against the Millers. Fraizer Campbell converts Eric Lichaj’s cross. As things stand, Hull have catapulted themselves out of the relegation places into mid-table ... for what any of that is worth, four games in.
45 min: Leeds were totally outplayed for 40 minutes. Now they’re pinging it around like they did against Southampton in 1972! Well, not quite. But they are stroking it about with great confidence now ... and any old excuse, eh?
42 min: Shackleton is only playing because Liam Cooper twanged his hamstring in the warm-up. He’s a central midfielder by trade, but can also put in a shift at right back ... which is something he’s doing in fine fashion tonight!
Utterly against the run of play, this. And it’s all down to 18-year-old Jamie Shackleton, who suddenly turns on the jets down the right, and burns past Olsson. He enters the box and fires a low ball along the corridor of uncertainty. Roofe can’t miss, sidefooting home from six yards!
39 min: Celina has been the star of the show so far. He dribbles across the front of the box, left to right, in the style of George Best. Upon reaching the right-hand edge of the D, he tries to float a chip over Peacock-Farrell, who is well off his line. Just a little too much on it, and it’s over the bar. But that was mighty fancy.
37 min: Baker is booked for a fairly agricultural lunge on Fer. Bielsa might be the aesthete’s aesthete, but his side are not afraid to put it about.
36 min: A couple of corners for Leeds, finally putting some pressure on the hosts. The second nearly catches Swansea cold: it’s played back up the left wing for Douglas, who whips into the penalty box from deep. Berardi meets it with a powerful header ... but not an accurate one.
34 min: Swansea remain in the ascendancy. Celina slashes a shot wide left from distance. A frustrated Ayling crumps McBurnie on the back of his noggin. For a second it looks as though there’ll be a good old-fashioned exchange of views between several players, but it all calms down quickly enough.
Jackson Irvine levels things up at the New York Stadium. Some respite for Nigel Adkins, who is already under pressure from Hull’s not particularly chuffed fans after a sluggish start to the season.
28 min: Bielsa makes an early tactical change, hooking the struggling Phillips - already booked and repeatedly stripped naked by Celina - for Baker.
27 min: Roofe upends van der Hoorn, who was striding out of defence with great pomp and purpose. He’s booked for that. Leeds look collectively frustrated.
Swansea have been utterly dominant, and this had been coming. Phillips gives up possession in the midfield. McKay dribbles with great purpose down the inside-left channel. He’s got the entire Leeds back line in panicked reverse. He slips the ball right to Celina, who immediately clips it back inside to McBurnie. The striker - a Leeds fan in his youth - takes a touch and fires it into the bottom left. That’s a lovely goal.
Ryan Manning crosses, and Richard Wood heads home. Rotherham have already beaten Ipswich and Wigan at home, in the Championship and League Cup respectively. They’ve started well if they’re to make it three wins from three.
18 min: ... and scuffs a pitiful pearoller into the arms of Mulder. Douglas has the self-awareness to let his head drop a bit in shame, and smile in a self-deprecating fashion.
17 min: Fulton clips Saiz’s ankle, 30 yards from the Swansea goal in the centre of the pitch. The first real chance for the visitors to craft something, and threaten Swansea’s goal. Douglas shapes to have an ambitious dig ...
15 min: No goals in any of the other games, either. No flipping!
14 min: Celina curls it in. Leeds can only half clear, and the ball falls to Olsson, who tries to shape a shot into the top left from the edge of the box. It’s high and not so handsome.
13 min: Celina has Phillips on toast down the right. He drops a shoulder and makes to scoot off again; Phillips tugs him back and is rightly booked as a result. A chance for Swansea to load the box.
11 min: Celina sends Roberts scampering down the right with a lovely ball slipped along the wing. Roberts is in acres, but his cutback, intended for McBurnie, is no good. Swansea have enjoyed much the better of it so far.
8 min: It’s very discombobulating watching Leeds United against a team playing in white. Now I know how Barcelona must have felt when Liverpool rocked up at the Nou Camp in the Uefa Cup all those years ago wearing crispy Real Madrid referencing tops.
6 min: Swansea are asserting some early dominance. Leeds are holding their shape well enough - the late replacement Shackleton has already made one confidence-building clearance - but they’re struggling to get out of their final third right now.
4 min: Swansea push Leeds back a little. McKay, who was excellent on the opening day of the season against Sheffield United, dances down the left and swings a ball in for Roberts, who fresh-air swipes on the penalty spot.
2 min: Both teams have started really brightly at the Liberty. Hernandez threatened to break clear in the very early stages for Leeds, while Rodon has embarked on a long Beckenbaueresque sashay down the middle. It’s nice and open.
A late change for Leeds. Liam Cooper has knacked himself in the warm-up, and Jamie Shackleton takes his place. Anyway, we’re off at the Liberty. And everywhere else, I should imagine, as we embark on this MBM-Clocko amalgam which will end up being something, one way or another.
Marcelo Bielsa talks! “Both Roofe and Bamford are options for number nine, but Roofe is in a good moment. Swansea are a very difficult test, they have very good players. Their style of play is attractive.” Bielsa was communicating in English, incidentally, asking questions of his interpreter rather than simply talking through him. His interpreter, who has been working with him since his days at Marseille, is by all accounts a French academic and world-renowned expert in USA-Cuba relations. This fact registers 11 out of 10 on the Bielsa-o-meter.
Graham Potter speaks! “Fer and Naughton both give us good experience. Leroy has been coming off the bench and helping us, and I thought it was the right time for him to start. It’s nice to have their know-how on the pitch. It’s slightly tactical but it freshens us up. We have to adapt, we have to have a plan. We’re looking forward to a test under the lights at the Liberty against a good team.”
Rotherham make just one change to the side that lost at Leeds on Saturday. Ryan Manning makes his full debut, replacing Sean Raggett. Under-fire Hull boss Nigel Adkins makes two swaps from the team booed off the park against Blackburn at the weekend. Reece Burke and Daniel Batty return from injury; Steven Kingsley is out.
Derby County make four changes to the team that went down 2-1 at Millwall last weekend. Craig Forsyth, George Evans, Mason Bennett and David Nugent are in; Scott Malone, Martyn Waghorn, Bradley Johnson and Florian Jozefzoon make way. Ipswich drew 1-1 with Aston Villa at the weekend with ten men; the dismissed Tayo Edun is replaced by Grant Ward.
QPR ring the changes after their 7-1 skelping at the Hawthorns. Angel Rangel makes his debut, while Alex Baptiste, Pawel Wszolek and Conor Washington also start. Osman Kakay, Jordan Cousins, Matt Smith and Joel Lynch miss out. Bristol City make two changes to the team that lost 2-0 at home to Middlesbrough. Korey Smith and Jamie Paterson are replaced by Matty Taylor and Niclas Eliasson.
Swansea City make two changes to the XI sent out for the goalless draw at Birmingham last Friday. Leroy Fer and Kyle Naughton come in; Tom Carroll and Joel Asoro step down. Leeds, flying high on confidence, name exactly the same team that beat Rotherham 2-0 at the weekend.
Never mind the ongoing brilliance of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, the internal politics at Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, the brave new world of Unai Emery’s Arsenal, or the competent defending of Jurgen Klopp’s LIverpool ... the story of the season so far has surely been told by Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United, where some sort of revolution appears to be taking place.
The former Argentina, Chile, Athletic Bilbao and Marseille coach has hit the ground running at Elland Road. It’s four wins out of four so far this season; can he make it five from five at Swansea City, who are freshly cashiered from the Premier League and have started confidently themselves under new man Graham Potter? It could be a very instructive evening in south Wales.
Derby County v Ipswich Town Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City Rotherham United v Hull City Swansea City v Leeds United
This was not the suffocating performance or the kind of masterpiece Leeds supporters have already come to expect under Marcelo Bielsa but his remarkable revolution lives on after Pablo Hernández rescued a draw at his former parish to move top of the Championship.
They twice allowed Oli McBurnie, the striker released by Leeds as a boy, to fire Swansea in front but Kemar Roofe’s fourth goal of the season plus Hernández’s late equaliser prevented the Bielsa bubble from bursting.
Swansea’s goalkeeper Erwin Mulder proved he was worth the wait as he played a significant part in his side holding on for a point at Birmingham.
Mulder – in for the injured Kristoffer Nordfeldt – had to wait 408 days for his Swans debut, which he made last week, and was their saviour at St Andrew’s as Swansea claimed a 0-0 draw on Friday evening.
A disappointed Chris Wilder speaks. “We can’t defend like that against quality players. We have to defend properly. We haven’t gone with runners, we’ve not blocked. It’s a game we could have won, but shouldn’t have got beat in. And that’s the harsh reality of Championship football. We have to learn pretty quickly that if it is a tight game, we must get something from it. It’s disappointing.”
That man Potter speaks. “I thought we did really well. It was a tough game for us. We limited them in the first half, and we weren’t as good as we wanted to be ourselves, but to come here and quieten the crowd, and make it a flat game was good for us. In the second half we showed quality and character. I’m proud of the lads and pleased for our supporters. You can’t do anything with 11 players, you need a substitute to make an impact. It’s testament to the group we have, that players want to come on and help the team. Any win in football is hard. It’s nice for the supporters to go home happy.”
Another 45 games to go, and you’ll be unlucky if you see a worse half of football this season than the opening period of this match. But the second half delivered, with both teams contributing to the entertainment. Sheffield United were solid for the most part, and scored a well-worked goal through George Baldock. But while Swansea took an awfully long time to get going, they had the two most potent attackers on show, in Barrie McKay and the substitute Jefferson Montero. That pair would trouble any team in this division, and they ended up causing United all sorts of bother, turning the match around with their skilful dribbles. Yan Dhanda’s debut goal, scored less than 30 seconds after he came on, was the cherry on the cake of a good first day at the office for Graham Potter.
But Swansea hold on, and it’s a dream debut for Graham Potter!
90 min +3: Sharp races down the right and hooks into the centre. Van der Hoorn clears. Duffy tries from the other flank. Fernandez clears. Montero is sent scampering into space down the left, on the counter. He looks for McKay in the centre, which allows Henderson to claim and launch one Hail Mary attack.
90 min +2: Sharp tries to control a cross from Stevens on the right. It clanks out for a goal kick. He explodes in anger, demanding a corner that isn’t going to come. “Just catching up. Dundee United circa 2013? Sob!!! I’m like Andy Murray in Washington here.” He’s left it late. But I knew I’d smoke out Simon McMahon with that line.
90 min: There will be four added minutes.
89 min: The corner isn’t anything to write home about. Bramall Lane groans as one. Barring the travelling section belting out their Hymns and Arias, of course.
88 min: Baldock curls a cross in from the right. The ball clanks into an unsighted Roberts, and nearly flies into the top right! Nordfeldt paws it away for a corner.
87 min: United respond to that blow by replacing Basham with Duffy.
Montero tears down the left again, reaches the byline, and finds McKay with another looping cross. McKay brings the ball down and cuts inside to shoot. He’d score, but he’s brought down clumsily by O’Connell. It would be a penalty, but the ball breaks to Dhanda, who has been on the pitch a matter of seconds. And he slams it into the net!
85 min: Dhanda replaces Fulton. And this is some substitution, because ...
83 min: McKay has been Swansea’s bright spark up front all right. Now he rattles the crossbar! Montero makes good down the left and crosses deep. McKay chests down, cuts across the ball, and sends a curler towards the top left. Henderson is beaten, but the woodwork saves the day for Sheffield United!
82 min: Woodburn drifts in from the left, and lifts long, looking for Sharp. The ball bounces through to Nordfeldt, and rears up while doing so; the Swansea keeper does very well to claim the ball on his line.
80 min: As Baldock punishes himself by punching his own hand, Lundstram is replaced by Sharp.
79 min: Montero dribbles down the left in the baroque style. Baldock gets in the way, and tries to usher the ball out for a goal kick. But Montero battles his way round the defender, and he’s making his way along the byline! He lifts a cross towards McBurnie, who tries to gently help the ball into the bottom right with a deft header. Henderson’s beaten, but the ball agonisingly drifts wide of the right-hand post.
77 min: United have obviously decided to twist. A corner down the left, which leads to nothing. But they’re on the front foot again, having momentarily had the wind taken out of their sails by McBurnie’s equaliser.
76 min: Evans, deep on the right, magic-wands a delicious low cross towards Clarke, coming in towards the left-hand corner of the six-yard box. But the striker can’t quite connect.
75 min: Both teams take turns to stroke it around slowly at the back. Time for a breather, and to decide whether to stick or twist.
73 min: Ben Woodburn comes on to make his debut for Sheffield United. McGoldrick makes way.
McKay has been Swansea’s most potent attacker. He drives down the inside right, and one-twos with McBurnie. Suddenly he’s in the area, on the penalty spot, clean through! Clarke tries to toe the ball away from behind, but only succeeds in sending it towards the bottom right. Henderson saves brilliantly, but can only parry the ball to McBurnie, who slams home from close range and disappears in a glorious bundle of fans behind the goal.
69 min: The resulting corner comes to nought.
68 min: He has now! McKay jinks in from the right and chips towards Fulton, who tries to eyebrow the ball over Henderson and into the top left. It’s going in, but Henderson arcs his back and tips over the crossbar. What a save!
66 min: Swansea ping it around, 30 yards from the United goal. But the hosts are holding their shape well. There’s nothing doing for them in the middle. The young keeper Henderson, who looked nervous in the early exchanges of his debut, hasn’t been tested at all.
64 min: It’s kind of absurd to say, given how the first 50-odd minutes of this match had gone. But that had been coming! Swansea respond by hooking Asoro and sending on Montero.
This is a lovely goal! Fleck slips a pass down the inside-left channel to Stevens, who pulls one back from the byline. To the left of the D, Baldock meets the ball first time, sidefooting gloriously into the bottom left!
60 min: Suddenly we’ve got a game! Carroll glides in from the right and unleashes a rising shot that isn’t far away from the top left at all! Somewhere, in a parallel universe, four goals have been scored in the last seven minutes.
59 min: From a Swansea throw, Lundstram intercepts, one-twos with McGoldrick, then shanks a dreadful effort wide right with the goal begging.
58 min: Swansea ping it around nicely in the Martinez-Rodgers style. But then Celina plays a loose one to McGoldrick, who races towards the Swansea box. McGoldrick opens his body and tries to fashion a low curler into the bottom left. He beats Nordfeldt, but he’s also set the ball too far wide, and it flies past the post.
56 min: Swansea pin United back for a couple of minutes. Some pretty passes back and forth, this way and that across the front of the United box. But there’s no way to prise open some space in the middle. The hosts hold firm.
54 min: Baldock wedges a pass down the inside-left channel for Clarke, who enters the box and tries to dribble inside, where he hopes to shoot. But the ball doesn’t stick to his boot.
53 min: United stroke it around the back awhile. Then Evans gives it away in the midfield. McKay whizzes down the left. He’s in on goal, but opts to roll a pass across for Asoro, who takes a touch and sees his eventual shot blocked at source by O’Connell.
50 min: Clarke and van der Hoorn collide in the midfield, as the pair challenge for a high ball. There’s some rolling about. Other than that, nothing is happening.
48 min: We begin again where we left off. It’s very, very scrappy. Celina bursts down the left but clips the heel of Egan, who falls on his face while conceding a corner. But Swansea won’t get the set piece because United get the foul.
46 min: McKay tears down the left and zips past a static Egan. He enters the box but O’Connell comes over at pace. McKay panics, and toe-pokes the ball out of play for a goal kick. A promising run, though.
And we’re off again! No changes. United get the ball rolling for the second half.
Half-time reading: Today’s Football League round-up, for your pleasure.
It’s going to be a long season if they keep this up.
45 min: From a throw-in on the left, needlessly conceded by Henderson, Swansea fashion a half-chance. The ball’s sent in from the wing by Olsson. Asoro brings it down and pokes goalwards; Egan clears off the line. But Asoro had handled, so it matters not.
44 min: McKay and Olsson combine nicely down the left. The latter looks for McBurnie in the middle. Nope. McBurnie has been a virtual spectator.
42 min: McGoldrick drops deep and takes a run at Swansea. His rising shot from distance is deflected out for a corner; there’s a suggestion that had it not been, Nordfeldt could have been in a world of trouble, his feet planted. United unlucky. The resulting corner is a waste of time.
41 min: Evans blooters a shot high into the stand behind the Swansea goal. Then up the other end, Roberts crosses from the right, sending the ball into the stand on the left. Dearie me.
39 min: Basham drives into the Swansea box down the right. He opts to fall into Fernandez’s leg, hoping for a penalty kick. He should be booked for a dive, but isn’t. Olsson is livid.
37 min: Now Asoro is clattered by O’Connell. This has descended into a scrappy nonsense.
36 min: After a wash down with the magic sponge, Fernandez is good to go again.
34 min: Evans tries to sidefoot one into the bottom right from the edge of a crowded Swansea box. It’s predictably blocked. Fernandez shapes to make off with the loose ball, and is accidentally kicked in the mush by Stevens. The boot on the other foot all right.
33 min: Stevens takes an accidental elbow across the nose from Asoro. He’s down and not particularly happy. Then he gets up. Still not chuffed. The referee waves play on.
31 min: United win a corner down the right. Nothing comes of it. Bramall Lane is a quiet place right now.
29 min: This match has failed to deliver so far. In the stands watching it unfold: former Blade and England star Harry Maguire, and Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia. We just need a minor member of the royal family and a category-C British movie star, and this will be just like Wimbledon.
27 min: United waste it, Fleck curling to the far post, where O’Connell has gone way too soon and is flagged offside. The free kick was overhit anyway.
26 min: Olsson and Carroll come together down the United right. The decision’s a free kick to United; Swansea were claiming one the other way. This is in a dangerous position.
24 min: United are beginning to worry Swansea with a series of crosses into the box. Fleck nearly finds McGoldrick. Van der Hoorn clears. Then Swansea counter, McKay confusing Basham down the left with a cute flick and dropped shoulder. He slips the ball to the right for Asoro, who reaches the byline and sashays along it with the grace of Philippe Petit, but his pullback into the centre doesn’t find a team-mate.
22 min: Olsson takes an absolute age over a throw-in. He eventually flings it to Carroll, who immediately shanks it out of play. What a fiasco.
20 min: McGoldrick fizzes a low ball in from the right. Fernandez is forced to slide it out for a corner on the left. United work it back up the flank, Evans finally curling one to the far post. It’s just too high for O’Connell and Egan. But Swansea hearts would have been in mouths for a second there.
19 min: Swansea ping it around in the pretty fashion. For a minute, it’s like 2011 all over again. Possession is eventually lost, nothing having been achieved, but then that’s not really the point: it’s a very early sign that Graham Potter is trying to reinstate the club’s trademark pass-and-move style.
17 min: It’s all a bit frenetic. No discernible pattern to this game.
15 min: Olsson tries to release McKay down the left from deep. He overhits the pass by a couple of inches. A shame for Swansea, because McKay would have sprung the United trap.
13 min: Stevens, Baldock and Fleck triangulate nicely down the left, but after a few crisp passes threaten to bamboozle Swansea, a heavy one scuppers the move.
11 min: Fleck scampers into space on the left, then very nearly finds McGoldrick in the middle. This is a nice open match, with both teams showing willing to attack.
9 min: O’Connell bombs down the left and Fosbury flops over the static Roberts. He wants a free kick - the crowd certainly do - but the referee simply isn’t interested.
7 min: Celina sends the free kick straight down Henderson’s throat. But Swansea soon get another free kick as they come again through Asoro, brought down by Stevens on the right. Olsson looks for the top right but Henderson claims that one too. Some early nerves from the keeper though, in so much as he slipped while trying to quickly throw upfield after claiming the first free kick, then fumbled the second before gathering. Still, no great mistakes, and it’s onwards and upwards.
5 min: Asoro picks up a loose ball in the midfield and drives upfield. He slips the ball to McKay on his left. McKay turns neatly and is dragged down by Basham. A free kick in a dangerous position, just outside the United box.
3 min: There’s early joy for United down this left flank. O’Connell drives down the wing and fires low into the centre. Nordfeldt gathers at the near post, with Fleck lurking.
2 min: It’s a bright start by United, who pin Swansea back in their final third. Fleck fizzes a low cross into the box from the left, but the ball refuses to break to McGoldrick.
And we’re off!
Swansea City get the ball rolling to a huge start-of-the-season roar. Followed by a chorus of The Greasy Chip Butty Song. A fine atmosphere in this wonderful old-school ground.
The teams are out! Sheffield United are in their famous old red and white stripes. Swansea City are dressed like Dundee United circa 2013. We’ll be off very soon!
Then Graham Potter speaks! “I want this challenge, and I’m looking forward to it. We’re at the start of a process, a few weeks of pre-season doesn’t count for much. The real learning and understanding starts today. But we’re happy with the players we’ve brought in. We will find out a lot today and in the coming weeks.”
Some pre-match confidence from Chris Wilder: “We looked at our squad, statistically and with our own eyes, to see what we needed to do to make us better. And we think we’ve done that.”
Some pre-match reading: Our man Stuart James met up with new Swans boss Graham Potter. Here’s the interview!
Chris Wilder scribbles down three new names on the Sheffield United teamsheet: goalkeeper Dean Henderson, on loan from Manchester United; former Brentford centre-back John Egan; and striker David McGoldrick, once of Southampton, Nottingham Forest and Ipswich. On-loan Liverpool winger Ben Woodburn is named as a sub, but Kean Bryan, secured on a free from Manchester City, sits it out.
Graham Potter names three debutants as well, in his first competitive Swansea starting XI: 19-year-old Swedish striker Joel Asoro, signed from Sunderland; winger Barrie McKay, formerly of Rangers and Nottingham Forest; and Kosovan winger Bersant Celina, brought up by the Manchester City academy.
Swansea haven’t won at Sheffield United in the league since March 1939. This would be some time for them to register their first away win of 2018, wouldn’t it?
After a miserable Premier League campaign, the Swans are desperate for something to arrest their downward plunge. New manager Graham Potter might do the trick: having worked wonders at Östersunds in Sweden, he’s determined to revive progressive philosophies at a club that had lost its mojo after the joy of the Martinez-Sousa-Rodgers-Laudrup era.
The Swansea Football Club News Archives are as follows:
Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:13:54 +0000: Britton signs improved Swansea contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Swansea City | BBC Midfielder Leon Britton signs an improved one-year deal with Swansea City, with an option for another year.
Wed, 28 Jun 2017 15:43:20 +0000: Swansea striker Gomis joins Galatasaray - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Swansea City | BBC Turkish side Galatasaray sign striker Bafetimbi Gomis from Swansea City for an undisclosed fee.
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:59:28 +0000: Swansea close in on £10m midfielder Mesa - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Swansea City | BBC Swansea City are in advanced talks to sign Spanish defensive midfielder Roque Mesa for more than £10m from Las Palmas.
Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:46:11 +0000: Swans to sign Chelsea's Abraham on loan - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Swansea City | BBC Swansea City are to sign striker Tammy Abraham on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:01:12 +0000: Swans at Southampton for season opener - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Swansea City | BBC Swansea City's 2017-18 Premier League campaign starts at Southampton on Saturday, 12 August.