Football

Swans thump Freedman's Eagles

Swans thump Freedman's Eagles (©PAphotos)
Swans thump Freedman's Eagles (©PAphotos).

Dougie Freedman's first match as manager of Crystal Palace ended in a convincing defeat as Swansea claimed a deserved 3-0 victory to climb up to second in the npower Championship ahead of Saturday's 3pm kick-offs.

The hosts dominated affairs at the Liberty Stadium but looked set to be punished for a lack of cutting edge in the first half before influential midfielder Darren Pratley converted the vital breakthrough in the 43rd minute.

Swansea remained firmly in control and a quickfire penalty brace from Scott Sinclair on the hour mark made it a miserable start to life in the Eagles hot-seat for fans' favourite Freedman, who was promoted from caretaker boss on Tuesday after first choice Eddie Howe opted to stay with Bournemouth.

Mark Gower enjoyed the first opening of the game for Swansea after seven minutes but could only head Nathan Dyer's lobbed right-wing cross over the bar. Dyer then tested Julian Speroni at his near post before the Argentinian tipped over an effort from Luke Moore, who was making his league debut, as the game started to open up with half-hour gone.

Dorus de Vries was virtually a spectator in the City goal but just as it appeared Swansea would fail to make their first-half dominance count, Pratley popped up with his fifth league goal of the campaign.

Sinclair played a neat one-two with Gower and got to the byline before squaring for the unmarked Pratley to wrongfoot Speroni from just behind the penalty spot.

Swansea started the second half immediately where they left the first and went in search of a killer second goal. And they were rewarded in the 56th minute when Dyer' jinking run was ended by David Wright in the penalty area, although contact was minimal.

Sinclair stepped up to send Speroni the wrong way, and he got the chance to do so again from the spot just five minutes later - this time instead opting for the left corner. The second spot-kick came after Steffen Iversen handled Alan Tate's header from Gower.

Jermaine Easter got his introduction as a result, and the Wales international was only denied a debut goal by a superb stop from De Vries when clean through.

The remaining minutes were played out at a decent tempo, considering the scoreline, and despite Palace's attempts to snatch a consolation it was Swansea who celebrated the final whistle boasting a conclusive triumph.

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Topics:
Dorus De Vries
Alan Tate
Luke Moore
Jermaine Easter
Dougie Freedman
Darren Pratley
Mark Gower
Football
Bournemouth
Championship
Julian Speroni
David Wright
Crystal Palace
Scott Sinclair
Nathan Dyer
Eddie Howe
Swansea City

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