Swansea City were brought down to earth at Bournemouth yesterday afternoon as Scott Parker’s league leaders scored four unanswered goals to bounce back from their midweek defeat and inflict the biggest defeat on a Russell Martin Swansea City team.
In the same way that the good performances of late don’t mean we are heading for the Premier League, a performance like this does not mean that we are heading for relegation either. We all knew this was a transformation and we all knew it would take time. There will be good days, there will be bad days, this was one of those firmly categorised under a bad day where lessons can be learned and we can move on from it.
Martin now has two weeks to work on those mistakes and those lessons in the same way he did in the same international break but we should not lose sight of the fact that 12 of the 18 points in this mini round of games is an excellent return and one, of which, we should be proud and happy.
Unfortunately for us, on two occasions, a third match in a week has seen us come up short which is a concern going forward and maybe it points to the need to rotate the squad more which could be easier in a post Christmas world when we have new additions to the squad to help that particular tactic.
When we look back on this frantic three week spell we should remember the strong performances against Cardiff, West Brom, Peterborough and Coventry rather than the games like this one. Make no mistake Bournemouth are a good side, very likely to take a return to the Premier League, and we won’t be the last to be on the receiving end of a comprehensive defeat there.
As with all things from here though, the key is how we bounce back from such a defeat and, for that, we will have to wait two weeks to find out.
Match Report –BBC Sport
After the Swans dominated early on, the Cherries went ahead when Philip Billing crossed for Dominic Solanke to fire home his 13th goal of the season.
Solanke volleyed in Leif Davis’ cross for 2-0 early in the second half before Ryan Christie had a shot blocked and Jaidon Anthony nodded in the rebound.
Jamal Lowe then teed up Anthony to drive in a fourth in stoppage time.
Swansea rarely threatened home keeper Mark Travers in a bad-tempered game.
Referee Tony Harrington brandished five yellow cards, four of them before half-time, and the match threatened to boil over when players clashed on several occasions while the result was still in the balance.
The visitors began on the front foot, but had little to show from their early possession, apart from a penalty claim when the lively Ethan Laird felt he was tripped by Davis.
It took Bournemouth a while to find fluency in attack, but after Joel Piroe’s shot from distance was beaten away by Travers, the hosts scored against the run of play when Anthony’s measured through ball set Billing away down the left, and the Dane’s cross found top scorer Solanke in acres of space to pick his spot past keeper Ben Hamer.
Billing, never far from the action, was soon involved in an ugly scuffle with Swansea’s Flynn Downes – recalled in place of Korey Smith – for which both players were booked, having been separated by their team-mates, and tempers stayed high for the rest of the half.
Manchester United loanee Laird ensured Davis, on loan from Leeds, had his hands full for most of the afternoon, but when Davis was finally able to escape his defensive duties, he sprinted down the left and hung up a tempting cross for Solanke to acrobatically volley in his sixth goal in five games.
The Swans were at least partially to blame for the third goal which arrived when Kyle Naughton lingered on Matt Grimes’ backpass and was robbed by Christie, whose effort was blocked by Hamer, but the ball fell perfectly for Anthony to pick his spot with a header.
That ended the game as a contest, although Grimes blasted a late free-kick against the wall in a rare Swans attack.
Hamer kept out a curling Anthony shot, but the winger grabbed his second of the afternoon when more defensive dawdling allowed former Swans forward Jamal Lowe to set up Anthony for a fourth which slightly flattered Bournemouth.
It was Swansea’s fifth successive defeat at this ground, and a miserable return to Dorset for Swans boss Russell Martin, whose last game as Milton Keynes Dons boss was a 5-0 thumping here in the Carabao Cup in July, the day before he left to take the Swansea job.
MATCH FACTS AND LINE UPS
OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
NEXT UP FOR THE SWANS