Saturday 31st July 2021 Stadium

SWA Swansea


SOU Southampton

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Southampton home Yan Dhanda

Swansea City rounded off their pre-season campaign with defeat to Southampton at the Liberty Stadium.

Alan Tate’s side had taken the lead in SA1 – with over 5,000 Jacks present – as Mohamed Salisu turned Liam Cullen’s threatening cross into his own net.

The Premier League side quickly hit back through Nathan Tella, with further goals from Nathan Redmond and Stuart Armstrong settled the contest.

But this was a valuable run-out and experience for a youthful Swansea side, with a number showing encouraging touches and poise against an almost full-strength Saints team, and they did have chances to add to their tally.

The next time the Swans take to the field it will be against Blackburn in next weekend’s Championship opener, and this was a welcome step up in quality and intensity with the new season just seven days away.

First-team coach Tate made three changes from the midweek win at Forest Green, with Steven Benda, Cullen and Morgan Whittaker coming in for Ben Hamer, Joel Piroe and Ollie Cooper respectively.

It proved to be an open start, with Benda denying Oriol Romeu from a short corner, while Whittaker and Jamal Lowe had some early joy with direct play down the flanks.

Southampton home Liam Cullen

Benda again denied the Spaniard, this time from a header, after the Swans had again been found two on one from a short corner.

But it was the Swans took the lead in the 15th minute, with Liam Walsh battling to win the ball and sending Cullen away down the left.

His cross was threatening and Salisu sliced the ball into the top corner of his own net.

But the lead lasted barely a minute as neat build-up saw Tella slipped in on goal, and he fired through the legs of Benda to make it 1-1.

Bennett then needed to make a superb block to prevent Saints taking the lead, as Stuart Armstrong set his sights from the edge of the box.

However, the visitors did lead after 24 minutes as Redmond and Moussa Djenepo exchanged passes for the winger to find the far corner.

Walsh fired over after good work from Kyle Naughton at the other end, but the midfielder’s encouraging showing was soon brought to a premature end as he came off to be replaced by Dan Williams.

Southampton home Dan Williams

Lowe led a promising counter attack shortly before the break, but the attack broke down as Dhanda looked to find Whittaker’s run in behind the defence.

Che Adams dragged an effort wide just after the resumption before the Swans spurned a big chance to level in the 55th minute.

Williams did well to pressure and rob Saints keeper Alex McCarthy of the ball and then laid off to Cullen, but the striker’s low effort was blocked away to safety.

And Saints made the most of the let-off by extending their lead as Armstrong finished a fine flowing attack by steering into the bottom corner.

The goal prompted a flurry of changes for the visitors, while the Swans sent on Piroe for his first taste of playing at the Liberty in place of Whittaker.

The Dutchman soon showed a number of nice touches as the Swans showed a threat on the counter, and good work by the new arrival and Cullen teed up Jake Bidwell; but the full-back’s right-footed shot was straight down McCarthy’s throat.

Southampton home Jamal Lowe 1

Ben Lloyd, Scott Butler and Lincoln McFayden were all given late cameos as the Swans ended the game having used 12 players aged 22 or under, with six of them being academy players and graduates.

Swansea City: Steven Benda; Kyle Naughton, Ryan Bennett (captain) (Scott Butler 90), Ben Cabango, Jake Bidwell (Lincoln McFayden 90); Korey Smith (Ollie Cooper 75), Liam Walsh (Dan Williams 32), Yan Dhanda (Ben Lloyd 84); Morgan Whittaker (Joel Piroe 60), Liam Cullen (Kyle Joseph 84), Jamal Lowe.

Unused Substitutes: Ben Hamer.

Southampton: Alex McCarthy; Kyle Walker-Peters (Yan Valery 60), Oriol Romeu (captain) (Ibrahima Diallo 46), Shane Long (Michael Obafemi 60), Che Adams (Danny Ings 60), Nathan Redmond (Mohamed Elyounoussi 60), Stuart Armstrong (Ryan Finnigan 73), Moussa Djenepo (Romain Perraud 60), Mohamed Salisu (Jack Stephens 60), Nathan Tella (Theo Walcott 60). Jan Bednarek (Oludare Olufunwa 81).

Unused Substitutes: Harry Lewis, Fraser Forster.

Attendance: 5,091