Saturday 24th February 2024
Stadium of Light

SUN Sunderland


SWA Swansea

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24th February
Ronald second celebration Sunderland

Ronald’s first Swansea City goals rewarded a fine away performance and secured three points against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

The Swans completely dominated the opening half, and deservedly led after the Brazilian first steered home a rebound following a flowing team move, before volleying home at the end of a rapid counter-attack.

The visitors could, and perhaps should, have been further ahead at the break, but they claimed the three points despite Luke O’Nien’s header pulling a goal back for the hosts.

Head coach Luke Williams had wanted his players to produce a performance that would lay a platform for the remainder of the season and beyond, and they certainly delivered on Wearside.

Ronald will take the headlines, but the likes of Joe Allen, Ben Cabango and Kyle Naughton – the latter on his 300th Swansea appearance – were outstanding as part of an all-round team display.

The Swans had shown two changes from defeat to Ipswich as Liam Cullen and Przemyslaw Placehta came in for Jerry Yates and Ollie Cooper respectively.

Naughton made his 300th appearance for the Swans after bringing up nine years in club colours.

The visitors started brightly, Placheta winning a corner and Ronald just unable to pick out Cullen at the back post.

Joe Allen and Placheta then won possession back in quick succession. Allen’s cross had too much on it for the teal shirts in the middle, while Placheta was guilty of failing to spot Ronald in acres of space on the right as he broke forward, with his pass to the left leading to the attack petering out.

Sunderland responded by crafting an opening for Nazariy Rusyn, but the striker’s lofted effort was well over the bar.

But Swansea got the reward for their smart start by taking a 19th-minute lead through Ronald.

A flowing attack saw the visitors work the ball quickly down the left flank for Josh Tymon to deliver.

Cullen’s header was saved, but Ronald was on hand to put away the rebound.

Liam Cullen

It was nearly 2-0 a few moments later as Jamie Paterson fed Placheta after nicking the ball, with the winger driving into the area to fire a rising drive that Anthony Patterson in the Sunderland goal just about managed to parry.

Placheta then spurned a glorious opportunity when Ronald picked him out at the far post, only for the Poland international to sky his effort over the bar from close range.

However, Ronald made no mistake when presented with a chance to double his and Swansea’s tally just before the half-hour mark.

Allen was involved again, winning the ball and surging forward before lofting a lovely ball to the Brazilian, who controlled before dispatching a volley into the bottom corner.

Ronald could have had a hat-trick inside 33 minutes. Sunderland switched off and Paterson picked out his out-to-in run, but the winger sent his shot agonisingly wide.

Placheta was next to go close, sending a near-post header against the woodwork from another Tymon cross.

At the other end Ben Cabango made a tremendous block when the ball rolled out as the Swans held a deserved lead at the break.

Joe Allen Sunderland

Swansea picked up where they had left off at the start of the second period, winning the ball before Grimes’ final pass for Placheta just had too much on it and forced the winger wide.

However, Sunderland began to have a better spell and enjoyed a concerted period of pressure.

Cabango made two important clearances before Carl Rushworth palmed an Abdoullah Ba cross away from danger.

Jenson Seelt then wildly flashed a drive over after finding space just inside the Swansea area, before Rusyn’s effort was held by Rushworth.

The Black Cats continued to press but Swansea looked assured in protecting Rushworth’s goal heading into the final 20 minutes.

O’Nien got the hosts on the scoresheet as he headed in a deep free-kick at the far post with 13 minutes to play, but the Swans saw the game out to secure a valuable win with Rushworth making a superb save to deny a header from opposite number Patterson in a remarkable conclusion.

Sunderland: Anthony Patterson, Jobe Bellingham, Luke O'Nien (captain), Nazariy Rusyn (Luis Hemir 72), Abdoullah Ba (Chris Rigg 72), Jenson Seelt, Dan Neil, Callum Styles (Romaine Mundle 60), Trai Hume, Leo Hjelde (Adil Aouchiche 85), Pierre Ekwah.

Unused Substitutes: Nathan Bishop, Timothee Pembele, Mason Burstow, Caden Kelly, Thomas Lavery.

Swansea City: Carl Rushworth, Ben Cabango, Joe Allen (Jay Fulton 63), Matt Grimes (captain), Jamie Paterson (Jerry Yates 63), Josh Tymon, Przemyslaw Placheta, Liam Cullen (Charlie Patino 78), Nathan Wood, Kyle Naughton (Harry Darling 89), Ronald (Ollie Cooper 89).

Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Mykola Kuharevich, Charles Sagoe Jr, Filip Lissah. 

Referee: Keith Stroud

Attendance: 41,777