Swansea City’s chances of automatic promotion were never strong before tonight but they have now effectively ended as Steve Cooper’s side served up another pathetic display to be beaten 1-0 at home by QPR in a game where yet again we looked like doing anything other than scoring.
Steve Cooper made three changes from the side that started against Wycombe on Saturday recalling Jake Bidwell, Wayne Routledge and Corey Smith into the line up as he went in search of the win that could keep alive the faded automatic promotion dream.
The Swans started brightly and dominated possession in the opening 10-15 minutes and had some chances at goal although none were testing of a visiting goalkeeper despite the Swans bright play. However, the longer the half developed the more the visitors came into it with a passing game that the Swans used to be known for. It is clear to see why APR have moved themselves up the league table in recent weeks as they continued to press hard on the Swans defence the longer the half went on.
By the time the half time interval had come you had to ask the question as to how the game was 0-0 with the two sides between them managing 18 shots at goal although only 3 on target but the post had been hit three times. QPR were often frustrated by some good blocks in the Swansea defence whilst the visitors were grateful for a poor Wayne Routledge first touch and a great save from a Smith effort right on the whistle to keep the game tied.
The Swans could possibly be lucky to have ended the half with 10 men after a poor challenge midway through by Fulton which on another day could easily have seen a red card waved but as the 45 minute mark was reached the game really could go either way although news of a Watford win at Norwich faded the dream so much that the result probably wasn’t going to matter either way with the Swans being forced to accept play offs at best following the Watford win.
The second half opened with a very similar to the first and for large periods of the first third of the half the Swans found themselves chasing shadows with the visitors comfortable on the ball on all occasions and the Swans not able to get close to the ball to even try and penetrate the QPR defence.
Liam Cullen was introduced to the action in the 70th minute as Cooper looked to try and make a change to the pattern of play in a game that seemed increasingly likely to be settled by a single goal if there was to be one at all. For all the QPR domination they had not broken us down and the Swans were gradually coming into a game although a strike from Grimes shortly after the introduction of Cullen was a rare sight at goal for the Swans.
Dhanda replaced Fulton as Cooper made a second change but it was Warburton in the opposite dug out who was making more changes and trying to shake things up as the visitors got more on top again and, not for the first time in the game, the Swans were chasing the ball all over the park but seemingly unable at times to get near it.
With five minutes to go Morgan Whittaker was added to the fray which says much about how much we were actually trying to win a game. On a night when only a win would do it was a shambles of a substitute from a team that has completely lost its way.
All the chances were still coming from QPR who closed in on 20 attempts at goal as the game headed towards injury time but their play finally paid dividends for them in the 90th minute when they broke the deadlock with a fine strike from Dykes which was the bare minimum that they deserved on another poor night for the Swans.
It is difficult to see where the Swans will head from here. The play off spot is all but guaranteed but we will be the weakest team in the play offs and that is despite holding the highest place of the competing teams at the moment. We just seem to have lost any will to win games and continue to push the ball around largely finding the opposition as best we can.
You get what you deserve in football and tonight we got just that. Again. Sit back and wait for the excuses to roll again.
RATE THE PLAYERS
MATCH FACTS AND LINE UPS
OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
NEXT UP FOR THE SWANS