Swansea City 3 Norwich City 0 match report: Jonathan de Guzman is too good for Norwich
Dutch midfielder makes case for an extended stay with two goals to ease Swansea’s relegation fears
Saturday 29 March 2014
Garry Monk wants securing Jonathan de Guzman’s future to become Swansea City’s top priority this summer after the midfielder’s two goals secured his second win from 11 games in charge.
The Dutch international’s strikes came within eight first-half minutes to put Swansea firmly in control, before Wayne Routledge added a third to lift Monk’s side seven points clear of the Premier League bottom four.
De Guzman is coming towards the end of his second season on-loan from Villarreal and now has five goals in his last nine games. In addition to raising his World Cup hopes, yesterday’s display has also increased Monk’s desire to keep him in Wales.
“I would imagine he is a player who is at the top of our list, he is a very good player and he suits how we play,” said Swansea’s interim manager. “He was the man of the match, his movement and desire to get the ball back in an unfamiliar role were excellent and he was rewarded with two goals. He enjoys it here and he has thrived so he would be an important signing, but we have to speak to the player and see what he thinks.”
The opening 20 minutes were scrappy and nervy but, as Swansea settled, Norwich offered an open invitation for the home side to pour forward. They duly fell behind after half an hour. Jonjo Shelvey’s cross was not dealt with and De Guzman rifled a left-foot volley beyond John Ruddy. The second arrived eight minutes later. Wilfried Bony, a target for Norwich last summer, produced a lovely backheel to outfox the Norwich rearguard and allow De Guzman to clip in his second.
Chris Hughton, the Norwich manager, can only have wondered what might have been as Bony brutalised his back four, enjoying an influence on the game that was in stark contrast to the anonymous presence of Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Hughton removed Wes Hoolahan and Jonny Howson at the break to bring on Jonas Gutiarrez and Bradley Johnson and they nearly had a goal back within seconds of their arrival. Robert Snodgrass’s volley proved too good for Michel Vorm, but Ashley Williams was covering to preserve the two-goal lead.
It sparked the visitors’ best spell but their frustrations boiled over as Johnson and Alexander Tettey were booked in quick succession. Swansea always looked dangerous on the break, however, and the final goal arrived with 15 minutes to play. Shelvey surged forward from midfield and played in Routledge for the winger to fire low across Ruddy.
There is work still to be done for Swansea to ensure survival, but Monk has more cause for optimism than Hughton on this evidence.
Norwich are six points clear of the bottom three but their daunting final four fixtures are against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
“We didn’t deserve anything at all,” said Hughton. “Apart from the chance for Snodgrass, we were second-best for the rest of the game. We were so far sort of what is required at this level that we never gave ourselves a chance in the first half.”
Swansea City (4-2-3-1): Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Britton, Shelvey; De Guzman (Dyer, 75), Michu (Hernandez, 73), Routledge; Bony (Vasquez, 87).
Norwich City (4-4-2): Ruddy; Martin, Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Howson (Johnson, 45), Tettey, Hoolahan (Gutierrez, 45); Elmander, Van Wolfswinkel (Hooper, 73).
Referee: Jonathan Moss.
Man of the match: De Guzman (Swansea)
Match rating: 7/10
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