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Opening days: Four memorable curtain raisers

PUBLISHED

07:00 13th June 2017

. . . reliving some of the Swans' best starts to a campaign


With the 2017-18 Barclays Premier League fixtures set to be announced at 9am on Wednesday, we continue to look at the Swans’ best opening-day games.
Following the first installment of some classic matches, below are the final four choices of unforgettable Swans opening-day encounters.
The season's fixtures and reaction from the club will be published on this website at 9am on Wednesday.
You can also follow the Swans' fixture release on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Alan Curtis

Division One: Swans 5 Leeds United 1
August 29, 1981

Arguably the finest opening-day victory in Swansea City's proud history.
John Toshack's newly-promoted team, who had earned successive promotions from Division Four, faced a Leeds side that had finished ninth the previous season in English football's top flight.
But they were simply blown away as the Swans made a fairytale start to their first ever fixture in Division One.
Jeremy Charles got the ball rolling after five minutes as he directed Alan Curtis' cross from the left flank past keeper John Lukic.
Derek Parlane's diving header put Leeds back on level terms before summer signing Bob Latchford was denied a certain penalty for the hosts.
But the second half was all about the Swans.
Latchford's powerful half-volley gave Lukic no chance as he put the Swans ahead with his first goal for the club.
The striker then earned the Swans some breathing space as he tucked home Neil Robinson's low cross from the right.
And a remarkable debut was topped off with a hat-trick for Latchford as he rose highest to meet Leighton James' pinpoint cross to head into the far corner of the net.
But the last word went to Curtis. Against his former club, the man now known around Swansea as 'legend' picked the ball up from Ante Rajkovic and cut inside from the flank before his famous swerve saw him back on his right foot and send a thunderous effort into the top corner.
It set the tone for the season, where Toshack's men would finish the campaign in sixth place.
Swans: Dai Davies, Neil Robinson, Dzemal Hadziabdic, Ante Rajkovic, Colin Irwin, John Mahoney, Alan Curtis, Robbie James, Leighton James, Jeremy Charles, Bob Latchford.
Attendance: 23,489


Bafe Gomis

Premier League: Chelsea 2 Swans 2
August 8, 2015
A trip to the defending champions on the opening day is never an easy way to kick off the campaign, but the Swans came away from Stamford Bridge with a point.
Despite falling behind to Oscar’s free-kick, the Swans were back on level terms as Andre Ayew marked his debut with a goal with the Ghanaian coolly slotting home from close range.
Chelsea regained their lead a minute later, however, as Willian’s cross deflected off Federico Fernandez and looped over Lukasz Fabianski and into the net.
The Swans, though, were not to be denied.
Jonjo Shelvey’s through ball sent Bafe Gomis racing in on goal, and when keeper Thibaut Courtois clattered into him inside the box, the Belgian keeper was dismissed.
Gomis dusted himself down before firing home the resulting spot-kick and earning a 2-2 draw.
Swans: Lukasz Fabianski, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernandez, Ashley Williams (capt), Neil Taylor, Ki Sung-Yueng (Jack Cork, 41), Jonjo Shelvey, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andre Ayew, Jefferson Montero (Wayne Routledge, 71), Bafe Gomis (Eder, 79).
Subs not used: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Angel Rangel, Kyle Bartley, Franck Tabanou.
Attendance: 41,232


Leroy Fer

Premier League: Burnley 0 Swans 1
August 13, 2016
Leroy Fer marked his second Swans debut with a winning goal as newly-promoted Burnley suffered a rare home defeat.
The Dutch midfielder slammed home from close range in the 83rd minute after Tom Heaton had spilled Fernando Llorente header.
That proved the difference in a closely-fought encounter at Turf Moor, which saw a frantic finish as Burnley threw everything forward to claim a point.
But Francesco Guidolin's side held on to clinch three points from the opening game.
SWANS:
Lukasz Fabianski, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernandez, Jordi Amat, Stephen Kingsley, Leon Britton (capt, Gylfi Sigurdsson, 60), Jack Cork, Leroy Fer, Wayne Routledge (Angel Rangel, 87), Modou Barrow (Jefferson Montero, 64), Fernando Llorente.
SUBS: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Mike van der Hoorn, Jay Fulton, Nathan Dyer.


Roger Freestone

Second Division: Swans 3 Shrewsbury Town 1
August 12, 1995
A season that would ultimately end in relegation started brightly as the Swans saw off Shrewsbury Town at the Vetch.
Carl Heggs got the Swans' opening goal before John Cornforth scored one of his two league goals for the campaign.
And it got even better for the hosts as keeper Roger Freestone slotted home a penalty to earn all three points.
Freestone would take his tally to two goals in three games after scoring the opening goal in a 3-2 home win over Chesterfield.
Despite an encouraging start to the season, a run of one win in 17 league matches meant the Swans - who signed Jan Molby in February - dropped into the Third Division for the first time in eight years.
Swans: Roger Freestone, Steve Jenkins, David Barnhouse, Keith Walker, Christian Edwards, Colin Pascoe (Kwame Ampadu), Jonathan Coates (David Beresford), Carl Heggs, Steve Torpey, John Cornforth, John Hodge.
Sub not used: Mike Basham.
Attendance: 3,588

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