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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
11:44 15th April 2011

Final: Swans 3 Norwich 0

Swansea City fired their promotion push right back on course with a superb victory in front of the live Sky cameras at the Liberty Stadium. Two scintillating goals in the first half from Fabio Borini and Mark Gower saw the Swans close the gap on second-placed Norwich to just one point with six big games remaining. Swans boss Brendan Rodgers made two changes to the side that lost at Preston with Angel Rangel replacing Alan Tate at right back and Stephen Dobbie recovering from a back injury to replace Darren Pratley in midfield. Norwich, four points and two places above the Swans in second, were without Wes Hoolahan with a hamstring injury. The two teams will be led out by members of the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Welsh. Swansea City: Dorus de Vries, Angel Rangel, Neil Taylor, Garry Monk (c), Ashley Williams, Joe Allen, Mark Gower, Stephen Dobbie, Nathan Dyer, Scott Sinclair, Fabio Borini. Subs: Alan Tate, Darren Pratley, Craig Beattie, Luke Moore, Yves Ma-Kalambay, Tamas Priskin, Leon Britton. Norwich City: John Ruddy, Russell Martin, Zak Whitbread, Andrew Crofts, Grant Holt (c), Andrew Surman, Henri Lansbury, David Fox, Elliott Ward, Marc Tierney, Dani Pacheco. Subs: Declan Rudd, Rob Edwards, Simeon Jackson, Korey Smith, Simon Lappin, Anthony McNamee, Sam Vokes. Ref: A Bates Att: 19,094 The atmosphere was electric as the game got underway with Stephen Dobbie carving out an early opening only for his shot to be blocked. But it was Dorus de Vries in the Swansea goal who had to make the first save of the game as early as the fourth minute. And it was a great double save from Dani Pacheco and then Grant Holt. Norwich certainly hadn't come for a point, but they were soon chasing the game as the Swans took a spectacular fifth minute lead. Fabio Borini was fouled 25 yards out by Zak Whitbread and the loan signing from Chelsea picked himself up to curl a superb free-kick over the wall and beyond John Ruddy into the top corner. Norwich picked themselves up and were quick to prove themselves as an attacking force as Ashley Williams and Garry Monk had to stay strong to contain striker Grant Holt. But Scott Sinclair looked on top of his game as well tight on the left flank as his pace forced Elliott Ward to bring him crashing down for the game's first yellow card in the 18th minute. This was a good Norwich side though as they probed for the equaliser; Holt firing just wide of the far post after a neat build up on the edge of the area with 21 minutes gone. Three minutes later and the division's leading goalscorer headed into the side netting. But again it was Swansea who were the clinical side as they stole into a 2-0 lead in the 29th minute - and what another cracker. Borini played in the overlapping Rangel down the right and when his shot was blocked by Ruddy and cleared to the edge of the area, Mark Gower arrived to unleash a 25-yard thunderbolt which flew home for his first of the season. Swansea were flying now as Nathan Dyer and Sinclair tried their luck. And the third nearly arrived in the 41st minute when Dyer's through ball split the Canaries defence. Borini was onto it like a flash, but Ruddy was down well to save. Half-time: Swans 2 Norwich 0 Norwich made a change for the start of the second half as Simeon Jackson came on for Andrew Surman to add another attacker to the Canaries front-line. The Swans couldn't afford to sit back on their lead though and Dyer darted forward to force a foul from Mark Tierney who was booked for his troubles. Andrew Crofts fired a 20-yard shot narrowly wide with 57 minutes gone as Swansea made their first substitution a minute later as Tamas Priskin replaced the hard-working Stephen Dobbie. Priskin was straight into the action as Dyer played him in, but his shot flew straight at Ruddy. Norwich were enjoying more of the possession though as the hour-mark passed as Sinclair had to do some good tracking back to prevent Russell Martin sneaking in at the far post. Norwich made a double substitution with 65 minutes gone with Sam Vokes and Korey Smith replacing Dani Pacheco and Crofts as the visitors went three up front. It left them prone to the counter-attack as Dyer send Sinclair racing down the left wing before he cut in to force Ruddy into a good save form his deflected shot. De Vries was in even better form at the other end as he pulled off a magnificent double save from substitute Korey Smith with 18 minutes remaining. Swansea were being forced to defend in numbers now as Norwich threw everything forward in search of a lifeline. There was some respite though as Priskin pulled the trigger from the edge of the area; forcing Ruddy to push his effort behind for a corner. Gower worked it short and Angel Rangel's drive from 20 yards was deflected just wide. With 11 minutes remaining, the outstanding Borini was replaced by Leon Britton and Alan Tate came on for Dyer to tighten up the Swans defence. Four minutes into injury time and the Swans made it safe as Priskin beat Ruddy to a through ball to tap home the third.
    Data provided by Press Association