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Match Report: Swansea City 0-2 Newcastle United (Newcastle fan's perspective)

Saturday 7th April 2012
It's rather strange watching Newcastle right now, because when you've become accustomed to an underachieving side who are prone to mistakes, it comes as a surprise when you get a season in which said team becomes a real force in such a short space of time, but a pleasant surprise!

This was a game in which Newcastle were searching for a fourth straight win, and coming off the back of a superb performance and result against Liverpool last week, it was quite possible we could go to Swansea, one of the other success stories of this Premier League season, and come away with some points. However, Brendon Rodgers is favourite for Manager of the Year, and you could see why, his team weren't going to lie down and give us the points.

The team news for Newcastle was very straight forward and predictable, as Alan Pardew decided to stick with a winning formula, as he should do. The core of the team was once again built around the front three of Demba Ba, Hatem Ben Arfa and of course Papiss Cisse. Perhaps one issue for us was the absence of our captain Fabricio Coloccini, but James Perch was an able deputy last week, and he proved so again. Davide Santon also came in at left back, as Jonas Gutierrez, captain for the day, moved into the midfield.

The game started as it was to go on, Newcastle holding firm while Swansea had possession, a lot of possession, but no real threat. The first moment of real importance in the game was actually the first goal, five minutes had past when Gutierrez picked up the ball on the right hand side, he then found Yohan Cabaye who played a magnificent pass through to our man in form, Papiss Cisse. A lot of work was still to be done, but it was done with ease as Cisse just opened up his body and slotted past the on coming Michel Vorm. 0-1.

This was disaster for Swansea, as the early goal ripped their game plan of wearing us down by keeping the ball and picking us off. They now had to be more direct in order to get back on level terms, from that moment on the game was being played right into Newcastle's hands.

Credit to Brendon Rodgers though, as I say, you can see why they are where they are, if that style of football is played right, it is fool proof. Keep the ball until the other team tires, so when they do eventually lose it, they have all the energy preserved in order to get it back, all Swansea need is a real finisher, and that is why it was such a surprise to see Geordie boy Danny Graham on the bench!

Swansea were always dangerous though, but much like Norwich and Liverpool, they didn't create much real danger to Tim Krul's goal. Potent threats however, were Nathan Dyer, playing on the right side of an attacking three and Gyfi Sigurdsson, a midfielder with a superb shot and an eye for goal, a dangerous combination.

This current Newcastle team are fast becoming the most professional side we've had in a very long time, this was evident yet again as we saw out a dangerous first half, and went into the break losing 82-18% on possession but winning 1-0 on goals, and that suited us just fine.

The second half didn't start too well for us, as Cheik Tiote had to be substituted at half time, and was replaced by Ryan Taylor, the bad news didn't end there as it has now become apparent that Tiote will not be fit for Monday's encounter at St James' Park against Bolton.

The game carried on in much the same fashion, with all the possession going Swansea's way but STILL no sign of the threat needed to get back into the game, Luke Moore was a bad choice to start ahead of Danny Graham, and I'm sure Rodgers now regrets it. Newcastle however were looking ever more dangerous on the break, though we needed to see more of Ben Arfa, as he was getting lost in the game a little.

I also feel very sorry for Demba Ba, the star man earlier in the season is now being nullified in order to accommodate Cisse, when they could quite clearly work as a partnership. He was substituted and replaced by Shane Ferguson with around half an hour of the game remaining and he was very unhappy about it. Rumours that he isn't happy that Cisse is scoring all the goals and taking all the credit were further fuelled when the second goal went in, and he really took the Papiss (sorry). Another lovely ball from Cabaye was met by a brilliant lob from Cisse, one that I could watch all day and never get tired of. What was telling was that apparently everyone on the Toon bench was celebrating, except Demba Ba.

I'm not for one second trying to fuel yet another fire of lies, but it is understandable that Demba Ba is a frustrated man, any one would be.

Anyway, now that the second was in, Swansea had nothing left from where I was sitting. As I said, if Swansea play that way and get it right it is unplayable, but unlike Arsenal and even Barcelona, they don't have the firepower to get themselves back into games once going a couple of goals behind, especially against a team as confident as Newcastle.

We saw the game out with few problems, except yet another knock, this time for Cabaye, and with Bolton only two days away, he must surely be doubtful. Looking at the positives though, Newcastle are looking to slip under the radar and into the Champions League, is it possible?
Harry De Cosemo
19 years old, Newcastle season ticket holder. European football enthusiast and aspiring football writer. Currently doing a Journalism degree at Teesside University. You can follow me on Twitter: @harrydecosemo

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