19/04/2019 14:00 v Rotherham United

19th April 2019
First team

Swansea City twice came from behind to make it six league victories in a row at the Liberty Stadium with a fine second-half comeback to win a seven-goal thriller against Rotherham.

The Swans trailed early on to a Michael Ihiekwe header and again at the break as Matt Crooks finished from close range.

Oli McBurnie had levelled the opener, but the Swans took control as Barrie McKay, McBurnie’s second and a George Byers effort put them 4-2 up.

Captain Will Vaulks smashed home to narrow the visitors’ deficit but the Swans emerged victorious in a remarkable seven-goal thriller.

It continues Swansea’s best run of home form since the 2007-08 campaign and saw Potter’s men climb to 11th place in the Championship table with four games to play,

The Swans showed two changes from the defeat at QPR as Byers and Nathan Dyer made way for Jay Fulton and Barrie McKay.

Having had their difficulties dealing with set-pieces in recent weeks, the Swans had to defend an early corner and long throw but passed those two tests before getting on the front foot themselves.

Wayne Routledge did superbly to keep a raking Fulton pass in, but the winger’s cross was well cleared, before the visitors took the lead in the 10th minute.

Swansea switched off as a Will Vaulks cross came in from the left, and Ihiekwe glanced a header beyond Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

The Sweden international then had to gather a fierce shot from the edge of the area from Jon Taylor as the Swans struggled for fluency.

The hosts were sluggish on the ball, lacking the zip of recent Liberty showings, with their opponents offering a threat when countering after mopping up loose play.

Their first real opening arrived in the 29th minute, Routledge producing a fantastic cross that Connor Roberts got to but could not guide into the net.

The ball was cleared for a corner, with Mike van der Hoorn heading agonisingly wise from an excellent Matt Grimes corner.

And it was another Grimes corner that produced the equaliser in the 36th minute, the midfielder planting a superb inswinging delivery onto the head of McBurnie, who nodded home his 20th goal of the season.

But parity lasted less than two minutes. Vaulks long throw was not cleared and Crooks volleyed the ball into the far corner.

Michael Smith so nearly had another for the visitors before the break, getting on the end of a flighted delivery, only for Nordfeldt to superbly palm his header away, with Van der Hoorn just about completing the mopping up job.

Potter elected to send on Byers for Fulton at the interval and the hosts started the second half on the front foot, a lovely clipped pass finding Daniel James’ run in behind, but the winger skied his attempted volley.

But the winger – who regularly found himself marked by three Millers’ defenders – made no mistake as he turned his man to clip in an inviting cross that McKay arrived late to head into the far corner and level matters.

There was a greater crispness to Swansea’s play, exemplified by a lovely exchange between Byers, Roberts, McKay and Routledge that so nearly ended up with the Scot sending the latter in on goal.

Crooks had been excellent for the visitors, but when he was robbed of possession in the 61st minute Swansea came so close to taking the lead for the first time.

Byers fed McKay, who bided his time to pick out James at the far post, but the winger’s effort struck the post, and the follow-up was blocked.

But the Swans did hit the front with 22 minutes to play.

A lovely reverse pass from Routledge sent Roberts into space and, when keeper Marek Rodak could only parry, Byers volleyed the loose ball goalwards and it found the net via a deflection.

But the game was far from done, and Nordfeldt made a brilliant save as Crooks powered another header towards goal after Smith had nodded back across the face of goal.

Play swept up the other end, with lovely play from Routledge seeing Roberts set up James again, only for Rodak to get off his line quickly to block the Wales international’s shot.

However, the Slovakian keeper had no chance when McBurnie got his second with 11 minutes remaining, running onto a cleverly disguised and perfectly-weighted pass from Naughton to fire into the far corner.

But Rotherham would not lie down as Vaulks hammered home a ferocious volley from another Smith knockdown.

They pressed and pressed for an equaliser, Smith seeing a glorious chance saved by Nordfeldt but the Swans just about held out over eight minutes of stoppage time on a remarkable afternoon.

Swansea City: Kristoffer Nordfeldt; Connor Roberts, Mike van der Hoorn (capt), Cameron Carter-Vickers, Kyle Naughton; Jay Fulton (George Byers 46), Matt Grimes; Wayne Routledge (Courtney Baker-Richardson 88), Barrie McKay (Joe Rodon 75), Daniel James; Oli McBurnie.

Subs not used: Steven Benda, Declan John, Nathan Dyer, Joel Asoro.

Rotherham: Marek Rodak, Zak Vyner, Michael Ihiekwe, Clark Robertson, Joe Mattock; Semi Ajayi (Ritchie Towell 57); Jon Taylor (Ryan Williams 79), Will Vaulks (capt), Matt Crooks (Ben Wiles 82), Anthony Forde; Michael Smith.

Subs not used: Lewis Price, Richard Wood, Kyle Vassell, Joe Newell.