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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:00 1st September 2012

Swans 2 Sunderland 2

Ten-man Swans came from behind twice to claim a draw against Sunderland at the Liberty in a game which was marred by Neil Taylor being stretchered off with a broken ankle.

Taylor went down under a challenge in the 15th minute and called for immediate treatment, and the left-back sent straight to hospital where it was later confirmed he had dislocated and broken his ankle in three places.

Shocked by that major setback, Michael Laudrup's side then rallied together as they looked to overcome the devastating injury of their team-mate, and they were brave in their efforts.

The game really sprung into action in the last five minutes of the half. Steven Fletcher, a big-money signing for Sunderland, took advantage of a rare Ashley Williams mistake and slotted home past Michel Vorm with a neat finish on his league debut.

The Swans were back on level terms soon after as Wayne Routledge fired home after Nathan Dyer's fine flicked pass.

But the visitors were back in front seconds before the half-time whistle as Fletcher met a backpost cross from a free-kick.

The game continued to thrill as Michu headed home Jonathan de Guzman's cross to level with his fourth league goal.

Centre-half Chico Flores then saw red with 20 minutes to go after referee Roger East deemed his challenge on sub Louis Saha too high.

But, despite being a man down, the Swans bravely pushed for a winner to maintain their perfect record.

It didn't come, but a point was a good reward given the circumstances as the Swans headed into the international break with seven points from three games.


The Swans stuck with the same XI that beat West Ham 3-0 last time out in the Premier League.
After making his debut in the Capital One Cup second-round win over Barnsley on Tuesday at the Liberty, Ki Sung-Yueng is included on the bench as he looks to get his first taste of Premier League football since his switch from Celtic.
Striker Itay Shechter, whose loan move from Kaiserslautern was given the green light on Friday, is also among the substitutes while club record signing Pablo Fernandez was signed before the transfer window closed but not before noon, which means he is ineligible to feature.
The visitors, meanwhile, hand Premier League debuts to England international Adam Johnson and Scottish striker Steven Fletcher.

Swans: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Chico Flores, Ashley Williams (capt), Neil Taylor (Ben Davies, 20), Leon Britton, Jonathan de Guzman, Michu (Ki Sung-Yueng, 78), Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge (Alan Tate, 73), Danny Graham.
Subs: Gerhard Tremmel, Kemy Agustien, Itay Shechter, Luke Moore.

Sunderland: Simon Mignolet, Lee Cattermole (capt, David Meyler, 38), Sebastian Larsson, Craig Gardner, Jack Colback, John O'Shea, Adam Johnson, James McClean, Carlos Cuellar, Steven Fletcher (Louis Saha, 67), Stephane Sessegnon (Fraizer Campbell, 84).
Subs: Matthew Kilgallon, Dong-Won Ji, Titus Bramble, Keiren Westwood.

It was the Swans who posed the first threat on goal as Wayne Routledge spread possession to the other flank and Nathan Dyer raced past Jack Colback but saw his low shot well dealt with low down by Simon Mignolet.

Neil Taylor then scuffed a low effort wide before the left-back's game was ended with a nasty foot injury after 15 minutes during a challenge for the ball. It saw the Wales international immediately call towards the bench, and he was stretchered off and replaced by Ben Davies.

Dyer then tested Mignolet with a dipping effort before Craig Gardner was booked for hauling down Routledge some 25 yards out down the left flank.

Sunderland were then forced into a change of their own, David Meyler coming on in place of injured skipper David Cattermole after 38 minutes.

And two minutes later, the away end were celebrating a goal from nothing. Ashley Williams' attempted back pass to Michel Vorm was way short, and Steven Fletcher latched onto it and curled a superb low effort into the bottom corner.

The Swans weren't behind for long though, as the score was level as the game entered the first of six added on minutes. With the Swans camped outside the Sunderland box, Dyer's well-executed chipped pass caught the away defence flat-footed and Routledge latched onto it eight yards out before powering his volley past Mignolet.

But Sunderland were back ahead before the break. An inswinging free-kick dropped at the back post and Fletcher was there to stab home from close range.

Half-time: Swans 1 Sunderland 2

The Swans started the half well, Leon Britton misdirected his volley after Angel Rangel had nodded down Jonathan de Guzman's corner shortly after the Spaniard's own volley was directed into the sidenetting.

Rangel and Dyer then linked up again, Williams' crossfield pass headed into Dyer's path by the Spaniard, and when the winger raced on, Mignolet had to be alert to palm his shot wide.

Sunderland were defending resolutely, and they had to be at their best when de Guzman's free-kick was parried by Mignolet. Rangel and then Dyer got onto the loose, but the defence snuffed out his effort.

The Swans came again, de Guzman's cross this time causing problems and Michu rose highest but his header bounced off the surface and over the crossbar from eight yards out.

Graham was then probing, Dyer's through ball being controlled by the striker as he looked to unload. But the covering Gardner put in a superbly-timed block to put it out for a corner.

The pressure finally told. In the 67th minute, de Guzman's fine curling cross was met by the head of Michu, who nodded into the near corner in the 67th minute.

Martin O'Neill responded by replacing Fletcher with Louis Saha, before a big talking point arrived in the game with 20 minutes to go.

A long ball from the visitors saw Saha and Chico Flores tussling for the ball, and when the the striker went down under as the Spaniard raised a high boot, referee Roger East sent the defender off.

Michael Laudrup replaced Routledge with Alan Tate as the Swans looked to get more numbers at the back.

And, with 12 minutes to go, he made a third and final change as Ki Sung-Yueng came on for scorer Michu to make his Premier League debut.

The Swans kept pushing for a winner, and Dyer's volley was scuffed wide before the game entered four minutes of added on time.

Sunderland were then dealt a chance as the Swans failed to clear their lines, but sub Fraizer Campbell's shot was blocked by the diving Tate.

That was the end of the action as both teams took a share of the spoils.

The outcome mattered little though on a day where everyone's thoughts were with Neil Taylor.
    Data provided by Press Association