Swansea 1-1 Kuban Krasnodar Post Match Review

Swansea tried to be too clever and tossed away victory in the second minute of added time but Michael Laudrup still believes his team have one and a half feet in the knockout stages of the Europa League.

The Swans remain on top of Group A but they lost their 100% record in the tournament when, 1-0 up in the dying seconds, first Roland Lamah and then Jonjo Shelvey neglected the corner-flag option in favour of a quest for personal glory. Both conceded possession and on the second occasion the substitute Ibrahima Baldé was brought down by Gerhard Tremmel to gain the penalty with which Djibril Cissé equalised.

“It’s disappointing, of course, but sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn,” Laudrup said. “We still have three games left and we may need another three points. We can decide ourselves if we want to move on to the next stage.”

Swansea should have won, which is not to say they deserved to do so. Showing half a dozen changes to their regular line-up, Laudrup’s team never approached their cohesive best and the Russians, who had more class than one might have expected from a team standing 11th in the domestic league, were good value for their point.

Despite the importance the Dane had said he attached to the game, only five first-teamers remained from the drubbing of Sunderland last Saturday and, inevitably, cohesion was a casualty of all the changes.

Kuban had won just one of their previous nine matches, falling away so badly since beating Motherwell and Feyenoord en route of the group stage that they changed manager on 12 October. Nevertheless they were always pacy and dangerous on the break and for a long time the same could not be said of Swansea. Shelvey, with only the goalkeeper to beat, fired wide of the gaping target from near the penalty spot. Wilfried Bony did no better from a similar position, then Shelvey was again off target.

The Russians countered incisively. Maksim Zhavnerchik threatened with a dipping shot, Chico Flores had to clear a cross from Arsen Khubulov over his own crossbar to deny Cissé and Dwight Tiendalli was happy, and probably fortunate, to get only a yellow card for flooring Lorenzo Melgarejo as he shaped to cut into the penalty area.

Kuban edged the first half and, not for the first time recently, Laudrup had to spend the interval spelling out to his team the necessity to step up both the tempo and the intensity in the second.

Instead José Cañas passed the ball straight into touch, which seemed to sum up Swansea’s shoddy performance. Like the missing six, their customary slick movement of the ball was conspicuous by its absence.

Laudrup made a double substitution, in particular looking to Angel Rangel to open up the right flank, and at last Swansea gained the initiative.

They had their reward midway through the second half, when a sweeping passing move culminated in Alejandro Pozuelo lifting the ball deftly into the penalty area where Michu just beat the keeper to it, scoring from eight yards. The goal should have been decisive and would have been but for the senseless gift of possession which led to Tremmel bringing down Baldé and Cissé tucking the penalty in to the reserve goalkeeper’s right-hand corner.

Still, Laudrup had no complaints with the outcome. He said: “Kuban defended well and were very good on the counter-attack. Overall, I think the draw is a fair result.”

Popups Powered By :
Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲