Swansea City 2-3 Bournemouth: Swans crash out after five-goal thriller in South Wales

With both sides winless thus far in their respective leagues, the Championship’s Swansea City would face Premier League AFC Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup Second Round, looking to kickstart their relative campaigns. The Swans would come into the game as heavy underdogs without a win against their South Coast opposition in eleven games, but would be buoyed by seeing mass changes in the visitors lineup.

SWA: Rushworth, Naughton, Cabango, Darling, Abdulai, Allen, Grimes, Key, Cooper, Cullen, Ginnelly

BOU: Radu, Aarons, Mepham, Senesi, Kelly, Billing, Rothwell, Brooks, Traore, Anthony, Mepham

It would be a bright start for the Swans with the lion’s share of possession, with plenty of zip to their play in the early periods.  

They would be rewarded for their efforts with the ideal start, taking the lead from the penalty spot as Mepham handled Liam Cullen’s half-volley after a Swans corner, leaving referee Matthew Donahoe no choice but to point to the penalty spot. Captain Grimes showed excellent composure to bury the spot-kick into the top corner, much to the vocal satisfaction of the home faithful and the displeasure of debutant visiting goalkeeper Andrei Radu. 

The shell-shocked visitors would respond well and dominate the midfield with a series of searching moves, but it would be the Swans who would look the more adventurous in the final third. Josh Key, a constant threat on the right-hand side, industrious and inventive, nearly found Cooper – only for the Cherries defence to stem the home attack. 

In a half of few chances, Bournemouth would have their best moment on the stroke of half-time. Hamed Traore smashed a first-time effort from a Lloyd Kelly cross against the base of the post, and past a diving Carl Rushworth.

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After a spate of substitutions at the break the visitors would come out of the traps with purpose, forcing a series of corners but initially struggling to penetrate the Swans stubborn backline. Harry Darling and Ben Cabango stood tall to deal comfortably with the aerial threat that had been the Swans‘ achilles heel in recent weeks. 

The visitors though would equalise against the run of play as the game sprung into life. Jaidon Anthony picked the ball up on the left-hand-side, feeding Welshman Brooks to drill home an effort low into the bottom left-hand corner beyond Rushworth. 

The Cherries thought they had taken the lead ten minutes later as Iraola’s side started to gain a foothold. Traore’s cross found the head of Jaidon Anthony, only for the forward’s effort to be ruled out for offside. 

It would be a warning to the Swans that would not be taken, as another searching ball into the box from Brooks would fail to be cleared – with substitute Dominic Solanke ghosting in at the far post to head against the woodwork. With the Swans defense slow to react, Ivorian Traore was first to hand to bury the rebound into an empty net from close range. 

The Swans would show resolve to defend astutely as Bournemouth looked to put the game out of sight. Both Darling and Naughton making crucial blocks from Solanke to keep Duff’s side in the game. 

The pendulum though would swing once more as the home side fought back to level the scores. Substitute Paterson picked the ball up on the left-hand-side, driving a low effort through a crowd of bodies. The former Coventry forward’s effort took a wicked deflection off a Cherries defender, before finding the back of the net via the post. 

In a frantic few minutes, the Swans would send on Jerry Yates in search of a winner – but it would be Bournemouth who would go closest as the dreaded thought of penalties entered both managers’ minds. Anthony’s cross-come-shot on the left-hand-side escaped everyone, drifting narrowly over the crossbar. 

As stoppage time, began the visitors would manage to break through once more to break Swans hearts. Substitute Christie was the beneficiary of a rapid counterattack, clipping a low finish into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal. 

Duff’s side would throw the kitchen sink at the Bournemouth defense with both Cooper and Abdulai going close late on, but it would be the Premier League side that progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup despite suffering a serious scare in South Wales.

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