Report | Swansea City 1 Blackburn Rovers 1

11th December 2019
First team
Blackburn Bersant Celina

Andre Ayew’s seventh goal of the season saw Swansea City come from behind to draw with Blackburn in a game that saw both sides reduced to 10 men.

The hosts, seeking to end a five-match winless sequence, trailed early as former Swan Danny Graham punished some slack Swansea passing.

But Ayew headed in from a corner to quickly level matters as Steve Cooper’s side had the better of the opening half.

But their momentum was sapped when Tom Carroll was sent off for the first time in his career after receiving a second booking early in the second period.

Rovers themselves lost Bradley Dack to a second yellow card but neither side was able to take advantage of the extra space that stretched the game during its final stages.

Cooper had made four changes from the defeat at West Brom. Ben Cabango making his full league debut, with Carroll, Jake Bidwell and Bersant Celina also recalled.

The Swans were desperate for a good start, instead they fell behind inside four minutes as former Swan Graham swept Rovers into the lead.

A slack pass was picked off and smart work between Dack and Adam Armstrong teed up Graham to find the far corner.

The Swans needed a response and they got one in the 10th minute through Ayew.

Blackburn Andre Ayew goal

The Ghanaian rose highest to meet Matt Grimes’ corner and glance his header into the bottom corner.

That restored confidence and George Byers fired over after a lovely lay-off from Carroll had found him just inside the Blackburn area.

Excellent pressing work from Ayew and Sam Surridge then allowed the latter to run in on goal, but the finish was dragged well wide of goal.

There was far greater urgency in Swansea’s play, and when Carroll took a quick free-kick in the 27th minute he sent Ayew racing at a retreating defence.

The winger cut onto his left foot and fired a fizzing effort narrowly wide of the target.

Grimes and Carroll soon broke up another Rovers attack, which ended with Ayew being denied by Blackburn keeper Christian Walton from a Celina pass.

Carroll and Ayew were particularly busy for the hosts, and the former nearly inadvertently teed up Surridge after he had snaffled a loose ball and gotten away a right-footed strike.

Blackburn had barely threatened since Graham’s opener, but it was all-square at the interval.

The Swans quickly got back on the front foot after the break, Ayew seeing a firm volley parried away by Walton.

Byers failed to connect with a Grimes corner with the goal gaping, and the Swans then had strong handball appeals waved away as the visitors struggled to clear.

Blackburn George Byers

But their momentum was stymied when they had Carroll dismissed after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Lewis Travis.

And Swansea had more grounds for complaint when Elliott Bennet’s foul on Surridge after he had beaten Walton to a chipped pass, only resulted in the Swans striker being penalised.

The numbers were soon even though as Dack, booked in the opening half, saw red after catching Grimes with a high boot.

A game that had meandered along at times, had now become an almost frenzied affair.

Having had to catch their breath following Carroll’s sending off, the hosts started to crank up the pressure as the final 15 minutes arrived.

Blackburn Ben Cabango

Surridge was blocked off by Ryan Nyambe as he tried to turn from an angled Ayew pass, before substitute Aldo Kalulu’s excellent ball across the six-yard box could not find the touch from a white shirt that it deserved.

The Frenchman then narrowly failed to beat Walton to a Surridge pass as his pace nearly surprised the keeper.

The game was stretched, and Freddie Woodman made a fine save to prevent Sam Gallagher finishing a good Blackburn counter, with Connor Roberts then making a crucial clearance.

Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Connor Roberts, Mike van der Hoorn, Ben Cabango, Jake Bidwell; Tom Carroll, Matt Grimes (captain); Andre Ayew, George Byers, Bersant Celina (Aldo Kalulu 78); Sam Surridge.

Subs: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Kyle Naughton, Ben Wilmot, Jay Fulton, Barrie McKay, Borja Baston.

Blackburn Rovers: Christian Walton, Ryan Nyambe, Adam Armstrong, Joe Rothwell (Elliott Bennett 56), Danny Graham (Sam Gallagher 72), Stewart Downing, Bradley Dack, Tosin Aderabioyo, Darragh Lenihan (captain), Corry Evans (Lewis Holtby 65), Lewis Travis.

Subs: Jayson Leutwiler, Bradley Johnson, Ben Brereton, John Buckley.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Attendance:  14,162