Vorm is man in form to save Swans

Swansea City 0 Wigan Athletic 0: Goalkeeper's elementary research sees Wigan's Watson suffer rare failure from the penalty spot

Liberty Stadium

There was no doubting Swansea's belief, on the occasion of the historic first Premier League match to be played outside of England, that they belong in the big-time. "Cyril's gone Premier," it was announced when their famous fluffy swan appeared and the obligatory Max Boyce appearance delivered an updated rendition of "Hymns and Arias" – an anthem generally preserved for the national side.

But the club's deep dependence already on a £1.5m goalkeeper signed from Utrecht – whose penalty save prevented this occasion becoming far removed from the Bob Latchford hat-trick heroics which took Swansea to the top of the First Division when they last arrived in the promised land 30 years ago – is evident already.

Michel Vorm's save from Ben Watson's weak spot-kick followed on from his 11 saves in a 4-0 defeat at Manchester City last Monday: evidence that, even at this formative stage of their top-flight return, Swansea's immaculate ball playing is nowhere near enough. Watson's miss, in a five minute period which saw Jordi Gomez and Victor Moses find the woodwork, left Roberto Martinez understandably disconsolate last night. "When you miss the penalty and you hit the crossbar and the post you think yes, you should have won it," he said. "If you play that game 10 times you are going to win it more than you lose it and draw," said the Wigan manager.

Martinez, the man who took over a shambolic, relegation-threatened Swansea whose routine was "to train and then go over to Tesco for an all-day breakfast" – as their defender Alan Tate remembered his arrival as manager yesterday – was not subjected to the expected vitriol by Swansea's fans, who have never forgiven him for departing to Wigan.

But for half an hour, the Spaniard cannot have failed to be a little haunted by the comparison between his former charges, playing the seamless, passing football he introduced them to, and his present side, who lacked the individuals to provide the same. Danny Graham had three chances in the first 15 minutes alone and it took a fine sliding challenge from Gary Caldwell to prevent Wayne Routledge scoring after Scott Sinclair put him through. The composed midfield intelligence of Leon Britton and Nathan Dyer, a Martinez signing, playing "back to front" as Martinez had always urged them, suggested that one of these two clubs had kicked on more than the other since Martinez headed north in May 2009.

Routledge, whose arrival from Newcastle looks like a very good piece of business, teased the ball out of Manuel Figueroa's reach and shot inches wide of Ali Al Habsi's right post. But Wigan, who had been sitting deep and showing minimal ambition, hurt Swansea when they began to advance. In the space of three minutes, Moses raced into the left hand side of the area and forced a sharp save from Vorm, Gomez lifted an elegant shot against the bar and Moses exposed Steven Caulker to fire against the post.

It was amid this mêlée that Gomez, Wigan's outstanding player on his return to his old club, was clipped by Ashley Williams as he ran into the penalty area.

Martinez said he had not seen Watson, who converted against Swansea in last season's Carling Cup win, miss a penalty but his shot to Vorm's right lacked power and the save was a comfortable one. Swansea's manager,Brendan Rodgers, later revealed that basic research into Watson's penalties showed he preferred to shoot right. The Carling Cup kick and last week's goal against Norwich were both dispatched that way.

"We created chances, which was good to see," Rodgers added. But early signs suggest Swansea will need to be a little less welcoming to visitors, this season

Swansea City (4-2-3-1): Vorm; Rangel, Caulker, Williams, Taylor; Agustien, Britton (Allen, 75); Dyer, Routledge (Dobbie, 75) Sinclair; Graham (Lita, 84).

Wigan Athletic (4-4-2): Al Habsi; Boyce, Caldwell, Alcaraz (Stam, 37), Figueroa; Watson; Gomez, McCarthy (McArthur, 65), Diame, Moses; Di Santo (Rodallega, 70).

Referee Phil Dowd.

Man of the match Routledge (Swansea).

Match rating 7/10.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little