FULL-TIME: Reading 0 Swans 3
27th July 2013
The Swans geared up for their Europa League opener against Swedish side Malmo with a comfortable 3-0 win over Championship outfit Reading 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium.
Wilfried Bony made his first start as a Swan and he helped create two goals as Michu, Jonjo Shelvey and Pablo Hernandez struck to ensure the Swans completed the pre-season campaign with a perfect 100 per cent record.
Michu opened the scoring after 11 minutes as his shot deflected off Alex Pearce and squirmed past Alex McCarthy after 11 minutes.
Then came two goals in three minutes, as Jonjo Shelvey linked with Bony to fire in the second via the post, and then the striker sent Hernandez racing in as the Spaniard slotted under the keeper to round off the scoring before the hour mark.
It proved a comfortable afternoon for Michael Laudrup's men, and this win meant they ended their warm-up matches with 28 goals scored and just one conceded from seven games.
Bony led the line as the Ivory Coast international, who was granted his work permit in midweek, looked to build on the second-half performance against ADO Den Haag during the tour of Holland.
With the Europa League opener with Malmo next Thursday, this fixture with the Royals gave Bony - a £12million signing from Vitesse Arnhem - the platform to build on his match fitness.
Bony was backed up with the support of Michu, who started in the attacking midfield role, while Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez were out wide.
Jordi Amat was also given the nod at centre-back alongside captain Ashley Williams, while Michel Vorm made his second appearance of pre-season.
Chico Flores was the only absentee as the Spaniard was still recovering from a thigh problem.
Reading: Alex McCarthy, Stephen Kelly, Jem Karacan (Jake Taylor, 83), Alex Pearce, Adam Le Fondre, Royston Drenthe, Jobi McAnuff (capt), Sean Morrison, Wayne Bridge, Hal Robson-Kanu (Hope Akpan, ht), Danny Guthrie.
Subs not used: Adam Federici, Chris Gunter, Adrian Mariappa, Pavel Progrebnyak, Garath McCleary, Kaspars Gorkss, Shaun Cummings, Gozie Ugwu, Jordan Obita, Lawson D'Ath.
Swans: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams (capt), Jordi Amat, Ben Davies (Neil Taylor, 72), Leon Britton (Jose Canas, 62), Jonjo Shelvey (Jonathan de Guzman, 62), Michu (Alejandro Pozuelo, 65), Pablo Hernandez (Nathan Dyer, 62), Wayne Routledge, Wilfried Bony.
Subs not used: Gerhard Tremmel, Jazz Richards, Garry Monk, Ki Sung-Yueng, Roland Lamah.
After the Swans threatened early on through Wilfried Bony and Michu, Reading hit back with a neat move of their own as Royston Drenthe linked with Adam Le Fondre before screwing his effort wide.
Wales international Hal Robson-Kanu then scuffed a 20-yard shot well wide when he was in space before Drenthe's long-range free-kick failed to trouble Michel Vorm as it sailed over the crossbar.
Then, with 11 minutes on the clock, the Swans took the lead.
Michu made inroads towards goal before linking with Wayne Routledge, and when the Spaniard controlled the return pass in the Reading area, Michu's low shot deflected off the boot of Alex Pearce and left keeper Alex McCarthy wrongfooted.
It could have been 2-0 shortly afterwards as Michu's excellent control from a Ben Davies cross saw him nip around the Reading defence before directing his shot straight at McCarthy.
Routledge was the next to go close to doubling the lead as McCarthy's throw fell short, and the winger's 30-yard chip dropped just over the crossbar.
The Swans continued to probe, and Angel Rangel latched onto a neat through ball into the Reading area, but he opted to cross along the face of goal instead of shooting and the chance went astray.
Rangel was at the heart of the next attack, running onto Routledge's excellent pass down to the right flank before touching inside to Bony, but the Ivorian's right-footed curling strike was swatted out for a corner by McCarthy.
It took a superbly-timed sliding tackle from Ashley Williams to deny opposing skipper Jobi McAnuff when the midfielder was about to unleash his shot in the box, but the home pressure didn't last for long as Michu teed up Bony, but the striker's powerful low drive bounced past the post.
He went even closer shortly before half-time as his dipping shot looked destined for the bottom corner, but McCarthy reacted well to stop it with a one-handed save.
Half-time: Reading 0 Swans 1
The Royals started the second half more positively, and substitute Hope Akpan should have levelled when Drenthe's cross found him unmarked in the box, but he flashed his header wide.
But the Swans had the killer touch, with Bony and Shelvey linking well to double the lead in the 56th minute.
Shelvey found the striker on the edge of the box, and after a neat first touch he sent Shelvey racing into the box. The England international controlled well before he fired past McCarthy via the inside of the post.
And that killer touch was evident two minutes later, with Bony again the architect. His through ball sent Pablo Hernandez into the box, and the Spaniard shot under the onrushing keeper.
It proved Hernandez's last involvement, with Laudrup making four changes just past the hour.
On came Jose Canas, Jonathan de Guzman, Alejandro Pozuelo and Nathan Dyer replacing Leon Britton, Shelvey, Michu and Hernandez.
Dyer got his first taste of action when Bony neatly chested down Rangel's cross, but the winger fired high and wide, and then Dyer's inviting cross along the face of goal headed towards the feet of Bony, but he failed to make contact.
And that was the end of the action as the Swans capped off a perfect pre-season thanks to seven straight victories.
But now the serious competition starts, with the Europa League opener with Malmo up next Thursday on August 1 at the Liberty.