Soccer  

Swansea City 1-2 Burnley: Ian Maatsen double seals leaders’ sixth straight win

Ian Maatsen celebrates with his team-mates after putting Burnley ahead
Ian Maatsen celebrates with his team-mates after putting Burnley ahead

Leaders Burnley claimed a sixth straight Championship victory as Ian Maatsen’s spectacular first-half double secured a 2-1 win at Swansea City.

Maatsen’s early free-kick put Burnley ahead and he doubled the lead with a drive from outside the box.

Ollie Cooper quickly pulled a goal back for a Swansea side who had some good moments.

But Burnley held on relatively comfortably in a second half where they missed chances to extend their lead.

Their latest triumph – it is now 10 in their 11 league matches – saw Vincent Kompany’s team move six points clear at the top, with second-placed Sheffield United playing later.

More significantly, perhaps, the gap to third-placed Blackburn is 14 points.

Swansea’s third defeat in their last five games saw Russell Martin’s team drop to 14th.

Kompany’s men arrived in Wales in confident mood having beaten Stoke last Friday. Swansea, though, were buoyed by a thumping victory over Watford – which ended their eight-game winless streak – on the same night.

But the Swans were quickly on the back foot as Burnley’s first effort of the game produced the opening goal.

After Harry Darling tripped the livewire Nathan Tella 25 yards out, Maatsen’s whipped free-kick flew beyond Steven Benda and bounced in off the far post.

The hosts almost responded, Cooper feeding Liam Cullen for a shot which was beaten away by Aro Muric, before Burnley made it two goals from two attempts of any note.

On-loan Southampton winger Tella was involved again, dancing in off the right flank before squaring for Maatsen.

The on-loan Chelsea left-back struck a fierce shot from outside the box which flew through Benda and into the net.

Swansea may have felt unfortunate to be 2-0 down on the balance of play, but hit back as Jay Fulton’s deflected drive was parried by Muric and Cooper arrived first to sweep in the rebound.

Ollie Cooper
Ollie Cooper’s goal was his fourth of the season

Cooper had another sight of goal before the break only to slash his shot wide having been picked out by Joe Allen.

Burnley enjoyed greater control in the second period, with Josh Brownhill wasting two chances to extend their lead soon after the restart.

First Benda saved superbly when Brownhill went through on the goalkeeper, then the Burnley midfielder lifted a second opportunity over the bar.

Jay Rodriguez was also guilty of missing a big opportunity as he headed wide after Brownhill flicked on Tella’s cross.

Swansea’s threat faded as the game wore on, yet there was a mighty scare for the visitors in stoppage time when Cameron Congreve’s good work sent Olivier Ntcham galloping into the box only for the Cameroon international to flash his shot across the face of goal.

Swansea head coach Russell Martin:

“I’m really proud of the players. I thought we were very good in large parts, but I’m also very frustrated and disappointed that we lose to two such poor goals.

“The difference between the two teams over the course of the season is they make very few mistakes leading to goals and we make too many. That’s what you have got with youth and I guess that’s the difference with financial power with the players they have.

“But I thought there was very little between the two teams. First 15 minutes we probably paid them a little bit too much respect but after that, for half an hour, I thought we were outstanding. We caused them all sorts of problems.

“Steve [Benda] has been brilliant for us. I am sure he will be disappointed with the goals, but the lead-up to the free-kick we give away is just ridiculous – we miss a five-yard pass and then it’s a free-kick. The second one, Steve will feel he could have done better but he’ll bounce back, no problem.”

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany:

“We started the first half extremely well, recovered a lot of balls and created moments, chances, in transition.

“Then, for 20-25 minutes first half, they were on top of us. They were better. They changed it as Swansea do. If you get a hold of them, they change it around and move positions.

“We were not able to get the same pressure on them and if Swansea have time on the ball, they are going to hurt you. Second half, I thought, was an even game. We got a press on in the second half and we had the better chances.

“We burnt up a lot of energy in the wrong way in the first half. But in the second half we just went again. That’s the strength of this team – when you think they are about to bend and break, they go again.”

Line-ups

Swansea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Benda
  • 22LatibeaudiereBooked at 79mins
  • 5Cabango
  • 6DarlingBooked at 12mins
  • 3Manning
  • 7AllenBooked at 45minsSubstituted forNtchamat 59′minutes
  • 8Grimes
  • 4FultonSubstituted forCundleat 58′minutes
  • 17Piroe
  • 31CooperSubstituted forSorinolaat 85′minutes
  • 20CullenSubstituted forCongreveat 78′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Fisher
  • 10Ntcham
  • 18Cundle
  • 23Wood
  • 26Naughton
  • 29Sorinola
  • 45Congreve

Burnley

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 49Muric
  • 14Roberts
  • 5Harwood-Bellis
  • 36BeyerBooked at 58mins
  • 29Maatsen
  • 4Cork
  • 24Cullen
  • 23TellaSubstituted forManuelat 70′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 8BrownhillBooked at 41mins
  • 19ZarourySubstituted forGudmundssonat 54′minutesBooked at 79mins
  • 9RodríguezSubstituted forBarnesat 88′minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 3Taylor
  • 7Gudmundsson
  • 10Barnes
  • 11Twine
  • 15Peacock-Farrell
  • 17Manuel
  • 26Bastien

Referee:
Oliver Langford

Attendance:
17,699

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