Swansea 1-2 Burnley: Ian Maatsen’s early double tries enough for Clarets | Football News

Two screamers from Dutchman Ian Maatsen enabled Championship table-toppers Burnley to kick-off their New Year with a sixth win in a row as they completed the double over Swansea in a 2-1 win at the Swansea.com Stadium.

Burnley’s energetic high press forced Swansea into some errors, and it was Vincent Kompany’s side who bossed the early exchanges. Not many teams get better possession stats than Russel Martin’s men, but the visitors were dominant to begin with.

They forced the first corner of the game and then pressurized Ben Cabango into selling his defensive partner Harry Darling short with a pass 30 yards out and he was forced to foul the slippery Nathan Tella. He picked up a yellow card and Maatsen lined up his free kick.

Burnley put two men in the defensive wall, and they did their work perfectly as they dropped to the floor to provide Maatsen with the perfect hole to shoot through and beat Steve Benda in the home goal with a shot that went in off the left hand upright .

Swansea slowly worked their way back into the game and by half-time were functioning on their normal possession ratio of 65 per cent. Ollie Cooper gave Liam Cullen the chance to shoot for a possible fourth goal in as many games in the 18th minute.

The home striker forced a good save out of Arijanet Muric with his left-footed effort. Having posed their biggest threat of the game so far, they then got caught out as Tella for once held off Ryan Manning on half-way and then carried the ball infield.

As he ran from right to left he found Maatsen in space on the left edge of the Swansea area. This time he looked up and rifled an unstoppable shot that flew through the hands of the stunned Benda in goal.

That made it 2-0 to the visitors with only 23 minutes on the clock and it looked as though they might rival the 4-0 scoreline they posted when the two teams met at Turf Moor earlier in the season.

But Swansea stuck to their guns and Cooper grabbed his fourth goal of the season as he followed up a fumble by Muric as he failed to hold a Jay Fulton shot in the 28th minute. The home fans thought they should have had a penalty when wing back Joel Latibeaudiere was brought down moments later, but referee Oliver Langford was having none of it.

Swansea were in the ascendancy as the first-half ended, but after a strong talking to by Kompany in the break Burnley kept the home side on a long leash in the second half and were able to comfortably see out a highly competitive game and move six points clear of title rivals Sheffield United ahead of the Blades’ late kick-off.

What the managers said…

Swansea’s 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 lost to two such poor goals – it’s always the same thing, isn’t it. 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 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. We should have made more of the good moments we had.

“I think over the two games against Watford and Burnley, if there is anything the players can take from them it is that we can put ourselves right in the mix. There’s a big opportunity for the players this season. I really believe that. I think hopefully we have shown that in the last two games, that we can really compete and cause some problems of our own.”

Burnley’s Vincent Kompany: “We started the first half extremely well and recovered a lot of balls and created moment, and changes in transition and out of our possession. Then for about 20-25 minutes they were better than us and on top of us. That’s because they changed it, as Swansea do.If you get a press on them and get a hold on them they change it around and move positions.

“We weren’t able to get the same pressure on them. If Swansea have time on the ball then they are going to hurt you. We went a little bit more compact, but that didn’t work massively for us. In the second half it was an even game. We got a press on for the full 45 minutes in the second half and that made us a better team. We also had the better chances in the second half, although the result is the most important thing. We burned up a lot of energy and I could see a lot of tired legs at half-time.Then in the second half they just went again.That’s the strength of this team – they just keep going when you think they are about to bend or break.”

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