Swansea City v Villarreal at the Liberty Stadium
9th August 2014
The Swans were well-beaten in their final pre-season fixture as La Liga side Villarreal won 3-0 at the Liberty.
The Spanish visitors were ahead after just three minutes as Ikechukwu Uche side-footed home from close range, while the Swans saw Wilfried Bony's effort cleared off the line.
But Villarreal's quality finishing after the break earned them victory as skipper Bruno Soriano curled a delightful 20-yard free-kick into the top corner before sub Denis Cheryshev headed home from close range after Luciano Vietto's shot was deflected onto the crossbar by Lukasz Fabianski.
Garry Monk's side pushed to cut the deficit, with Gylfi Sigurdsson going close, but the visitors comfortably held on to claim victory.
This concludes the pre-season programme for the Swans, who now face Manchester United in the opening Barclays Premier League fixture at Old Trafford on August 16.
Lukasz Fabianski, Jefferson Montero, Bafetimbi Gomis and Gylfi Sigurdsson - who made his second debut for the club - appeared at the Liberty for the first time since joining the club in the summer.
The hosts were without the injured Leon Britton, Jay Fulton, Marvin Emnes and Wayne Routledge, who had an injection on his foot problem but will return to training on Monday. Nathan Dyer also missed the friendly due to personal reasons.
SWANS:Lukasz Fabianski, Angel Rangel, Kyle Bartley (Jordi Amat, 60), Ashley Williams (capt), Neil Taylor, Ki Sung-Yueng, Jonjo Shelvey, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jefferson Montero, Bafetimbi Gomis, Wilfried Bony (Alex Bray, 83).
SUBS NOT USED: Gerhard Tremmel, Jazz Richards, Dwight Tiendalli, Stephen Kingsley, Josh Sheehan, Adam King.
VILLARREAL: Sergio Asenjo (Juan Carlos,ht), Mario Gaspar (Antonio Rukavina, 33), Ikechukwu Uche (Denis Cheryshev, ht), Giovanni Dos Santos (Gerard Moreno, 52), Cani, Manuel Trigueros (Sergio Marcos, 68), Jose Antonio Dorado (Israel Puerto, 68), Juame Costa (Bojan Jokic, ht), Gabriel Paulista, Bruno Soriano (capt, Jonathan Dos Santos, 63), Javier Espinosa.
SUBS NOT USED: Matias Nahuel, Luciano Vietto.
Villarreal made a stunning start as they raced into the lead after just three minutes.
After seeing Ikechukwu Uche flick a header wide from corner with just 90 seconds on the clock, Villarreal struck with a fine goal.
Juame Costa touched down for Giovanni Dos Santos, and the former Barcelona and Tottenham striker found Cani in space, and when he crossed for Uche, he turned in from eight yards.
Villarreal went close to doubling their lead shortly after as Dos Santos was again the provider, but when his cross found Cani the Spaniard saw his close-range effort nudged wide by the boot of Angel Rangel.
The visitors continued to probe and Manuel Trigueros headed wide before the Swans made their first real threat on goal with 14 minutes gone.
Jonjo Shelvey's perfectly-judged cross found Wilfried Bony, but his looping header dropped comfortably into hands of keeper Sergio Asenjo.
Bony was on the end of another cross, this time from Rangel, but Asenjo was again up to the task.
The Ivorian went even closer soon after as Bafetimbi Gomis beat Asenjo to nod down Jefferson Montero's cross to Bony, but his header was cleared off the line by Juame Costa.
Bony was at the heart of every Swansea attack, and his delightful back-heel pass almost sent Gomis in on goal only for Gabriel Paulista to intercept.
The Swans looked settled after their early setback and Gyfli Sigurdsson saw his low shot gathered by Asenjo before Bony's appeal for a penalty was waved away.
The visitors, though, always looked dangerous on the counter and Dos Santos flashed his low drive wide after the Swans had conceded possession in their own half.
That was the end of the action in a lively first half, with the Swans starting to dictate matters as the game progressed.
HALF-TIME: Swans 0 Villarreal 1
While the Swans had ended the first half brightly, they again found themselves conceding shortly after the restart.
After Rangel had scuffed a volley wide, the visitors doubled their lead after 52 minutes as captain Bruno Soriano curled a delightful 20-yard free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.
And things got worse for the Swans in the 58th minute as the ruthless visitors made it 3-0.
After sub Luciano Vietto saw his shot deflected onto the bar by Lukasz Fabianski, fellow sub Denis Cheryshev nipped in to head home the loose ball from close range.
Vietto was again involved soon after, with his overhead kick from a deflection flying into the hands of Fabianski while the Polish keeper then had to twice deny Gerard Moreno on two separate occasions.
Sigurdsson then saw his deflected effort fall into sub keeper Juan Carlos' hands before Gomis rose highest to Montero's cross but the Frenchman failed to keep it on target.
Villarreal, though, continued to attack and Cheryshev was denied by a fantastic reaction save from Fabianski as the visitors looked to add to their lead.
And they almost got goal number four in the dying moments as Vietto's effort bounced out off the post.
That was the end of a frustrating afternoon for the Swans, who now prepare for next weekend's Premier League opener at Manchester United.