Report | Swansea City 2 Blackpool 1
Matty Sorinola scored one goal and played a key role in the other as Swansea City returned to winning ways against 10-man Blackpool at the Swansea.com Stadium.
The Swans completely dominated the opening half and led at the break after Sorinola swept in his second goal of the season at the far post.
Blackpool’s Charlie Patino saw red in the early stages of the second half, but the Seasiders levelled matters through Sonny Carey with 20 minutes to play.
But the hosts responded almost immediately as Sorinola’s excellent delivery was put into his own net by Callum Connolly.
The win saw the Swans moved back to within five points of the play-off places at the start of a run of games head coach Russell Martin has identified as key for his side.
It also completed a first league double over Blackpool since the 1978-79 season following victory at Bloomfield Road back in August.
The Swans had made three changes from defeat at Sheffield United as Sorinla, Harry Darling and Luke Cundle came in for Kyle Naughton, Liam Cullen and Olivier Ntcham respectively.
Swansea put the visitors under pressure early, Connolly being booked for a handball as he attempted to stop a ball in behind him, before Joel Piroe forced Chris Maxwell into a sprawling save with an effort from distance.
Ben Cabango’s lovely pass then picked out Cundle, but his shot was blocked by a pair of orange shirts.
Cooper dragged an effort wide from the edge of the area after a corner was half cleared, before a slide-rule pass from the lively Cundle so nearly found the young Welshman in the area.
The Swans were firmly on top and they eventually took the lead in the 22nd minute.
Sorinola got in down the right and found Ryan Manning at the far post. The Irishman could not quite bring the ball under control to shoot, but when he chipped it back cross goal his fellow wing-back was there to send a left-footed volley into the bottom corner.
It could have been 2-0 just a few minutes later, Piroe seeing a shot blocked after Cundle and Manning had again linked well down the left.
Chances kept coming, Maxwell parrying a Manning cross to Cooper, only for Jordan Thorniley to make a terrific challenge to deny the midfielder an easy finish.
Piroe hit the post after a driving run and intelligent lay-off from Cundle, with Maxwell parrying Manning’s fiercely struck follow up.
Blackpool had barely threatened, but they did work Andy Fisher for the first time when Josh Bowler led a quick break and got away a shot from just outside the area.
The visitors’ frustrations were clear to see when Patino was booked for a late challenge on Matt Grimes and the Swans headed back to the dressing room having had over 80 per cents of the ball and 11 shots to Blackpool’s two.
The start to the second half was a more even affair, with Blackpool looking to step higher up the pitch having sat deep for much of the opening 45 minutes.
But the their task became that much more difficult when Patino was dismissed just before the hour mark when a late challenge on Sorinola saw him receive a second yellow card.
Swansea should have immediately capitalised on the numerical advantage when Manning’s clever pull-back found Sorinola’s run.
But the wing-back was denied his second goal of the night by a combination of a deflection and a parry from Maxwell.
Substitute Olivier Ntcham fired straight at the Seasiders keeper from the edge of the area, while the Cameroon international just failed to connect with a Manning cross when the hosts really should have made more of a three on two after winning the ball high on the left.
And they paid for it as a neat passing move down the left-hand side ended with Jerry Yates squaring unselfishly for Carey to sweep the ball into the far corner of the net.
The hosts looked to respond, Sorinola sending an excellent deep cross to the far post where Cundle headed wide.
But the wing-back’s next delivery would restore the Swansea lead as an awkward delivery into the six-yard box was turned into his own net by a stretching Connolly.
Swansea pressed on again, Sorinola just unable to pick out Piroe and then likewise nearly finding Morgan Whittaker.
There was still time for Carey to rattle the post at the other end, but the Swans emerged with the three points.
Swansea City: Andy Fisher; Nathan Wood, Ben Cabango, Harry Darling (Joel Latibeaudiere 78); Matty Sorinola (Liam Cullen 85), Jay Fulton (Joe Allen 63), Matt Grimes (captain), Ryan Manning; Ollie Cooper (Olivier Ntcham 63), Luke Cundle (Morgan Whittaker 78), Joel Piroe.
Unused Substitutes: Lewis Webb, Liam Walsh.
Blackpool: Chris Maxwell (captain), Callum Connolly, James Husband (Jordan Gabriel 87), Jerry Yates, Josh Bowler (Ian Poveda 64), Kenny Dougall, Sonny Carey, CJ Hamilton (Morgan Rogers 64), Andy Lyons (Dom Thompson 87), Charlie Patino, Jordan Thorniley (Curtis Nelson 87).
Unused Substitutes: Daniel Grimshaw, Rob Apter.