Tag Archives: Michu

Memorable Matches: Swansea City 3-4 Norwich City (December 2012)

Goalscorers: Steven Whittaker 16, Sebastien Bassong 40, Grant Holt 44, Michu 51, 90, Jonathan de Guzman 59, Robert Snodgrass 77

Teams:

Swansea City: Gerhard Tremmel, Chico Flores, Ben Davies, Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Ki Sung-Yueng, Jonathan de Guzman, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge, Danny Graham (Itay Shechter 68), Michu

Norwich City: Mark Bunn, Sebastien Bassong, Javier Garrido, Russell Martin, Steven Whittaker (Leon Barnett 90), Jonny Howson, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington, Robert Snodgrass, Wes Hoolahan, Grant Holt (Steve Morison 82)

Referee: Howard Webb, Attendance: 20,294

Norwich City arrived in Wales on an excellent run which was among the best they were ever experiencing in the Premier League. They were eight matches undefeated and had enjoyed recent home victories over Arsenal and Manchester United. It wasn’t going to be an easy match to call though against Swansea City – who were full of confidence themselves after a famous win at The Emirates Stadium a week earlier.

In 2011-2012, the teams shared nine goals in their two matches so a 0-0 was very unlikely and that was guaranteed as early as the 16th minute. Norwich had started well and Jonny Howson hit the post before they took the lead. The excellent Robert Snodgrass started the move with a lovely back heel. This played through the Scottish full-back Steven Whittaker. The former Rangers defender carried on his run into the box and drove a shot past Gerhard Tremmel. It was his first goal for the club but Tremmel was beaten at his near post and would have to be disappointed to have left the gap for Whittaker to aim at.

Danny Graham was denied by the woodwork soon afterwards but the Canaries took a firm grip on the game going into the dressing rooms for half-time. Grant Holt turned provider with a deep cross and it was met by Sebastien Bassong. The Frenchman punished Tremmel, who once again left too much space at his near post. He was in a rich vein of form and now had three goals in his last four matches. Four minutes after going 2-0 up, Chris Hughton’s side increased their advantage further. Holt escaped some slack marking to meet a Snodgrass free-kick and power a trademark header into the net.

Any hope of a Swansea comeback could have been snuffed out in the opening moments of the second half. Snodgrass picked out Bradley Johnson and on the volley, the midfielder was desperately unlucky to see his effort crash off the crossbar. The Swans benefited from this extremely good fortune to reduce the arrears. Michu was picked out by Ben Davies and struck from close-range in the 51st minute to convert his 11th Premier League goal of the season. Faint hope turned into genuine belief for Michael Laudrup and his men when Jonathan de Guzman scored his second of the season just before the hour mark. Nathan Dyer’s cross was only partially cleared and Dutchman de Guzman scored on the half-volley.

It was an entertaining battle but Swansea simply couldn’t cope with Snodgrass who was in formidable form all afternoon. A cracking free-kick with 13 minutes remaining restored a two-goal cushion and virtually ensured that all three points would be going back to Norfolk. There was just about enough time for the Premier League’s top goalscorer, Michu to grab his second of the afternoon, converting de Guzman’s cross. However, Swansea had given themselves too much to do and came away on the day empty-handed. However, they would finish two places ahead of Norwich in the final standings.

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The Clubs: Swansea City

All data correct upto 3rd April 2018

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
258 82 64 112 303 369 -66 310 7

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Wayne Routledge 196
Ashley Williams 181
Angel Rangel 168
Nathan Dyer 158
Leon Britton 148
Lukasz Fabianski 142
Ki Sung-Yeung 133
Neil Taylor 131
Gylfi Sigurdsson 124
Federico Fernandez 112

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Gylfi Sigurdsson 34
Wilfried Bony 27
Michu 20
Nathan Dyer 17
Wayne Routledge 16
Danny Graham 15
Fernando Llorente 15
Bafetimbi Gomis 13
Andre Ayew 12
Ki Sung-Yeung 12

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Queens Park Rangers 0-5 Swansea City 18th August 2012 2012-2013
Swansea City 4-0 Sunderland 19th October 2013 2013-2014
Swansea City 4-1 Queens Park Rangers 9th February 2013 2012-2013
Swansea City 4-1 Aston Villa 26th April 2014 2013-2014
West Ham United 1-4 Swansea City 7th May 2016 2015-2016
Swansea City 4-1 West Ham United 3rd March 2018 2017-2018
Swansea City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion 17th September 2011 2011-2012
Fulham 0-3 Swansea City 17th March 2012 2011-2012
Swansea City 3-0 Blackburn Rovers 14th April 2012 2011-2012
Swansea City 3-0 West Ham United 25th August 2012 2012-2013

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Liverpool FC 5-0 Swansea City 17th February 2013 2012-2013
Swansea City 0-5 Chelsea 17th January 2015 2014-2015
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Swansea City 3rd December 2016 2016-2017
Liverpool FC 5-0 Swansea City 26th December 2017 2017-2018
Manchester City 4-0 Swansea City 15th August 2011 2011-2012
Leicester City 4-0 Swansea City 24th April 2016 2015-2016
Swansea City 0-4 Arsenal 14th January 2017 2016-2017
Swansea City 0-4 Manchester United 19th August 2017 2017-2018
Swansea City 0-4 Manchester City 13th December 2017 2017-2018
Chelsea 4-1 Swansea City 24th September 2011 2011-2012

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Brendan Rodgers 1 1st June 2012
Michael Laudrup 2 4th February 2014
Garry Monk 3 9th December 2015
Francesco Guidolin 2 3rd October 2016
Bob Bradley 1 27th December 2016
Paul Clement 2 20th December 2017
Carlos Carvalhal 1  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Swansea City 0-0 Southampton 20th April 2013 22,561 2012-2013
Swansea City 3-1 Liverpool FC 1st May 2016 20,972 2015-2016
Swansea City 1-0 Chelsea 9th April 2016 20,966 2015-2016
Swansea City 1-3 Manchester United 6th November 2016 20,938 2016-2017
Swansea City 0-3 Arsenal 31st October 2015 20,937 2015-2016
Swansea City 1-1 Manchester City 15th May 2016 20,934 2015-2016
Swansea City 1-0 Norwich City 5th March 2016 20,929 2015-2016
Swansea City 0-1 Southampton 13th February 2016 20,890 2015-2016
Swansea City 2-1 West Bromwich Albion 21st May 2017 20,889 2016-2017
Swansea City 1-0 Liverpool FC 22nd January 2018 20,886 2017-2018

 

Intro

Swansea City became the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League when Brendan Rodgers guided them into the top-flight in 2011. The Swans have been a fixture in the Premier League ever since and achieved a top half finish in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 under the guidance of Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk. American investment has led to some chaotic moments in the last couple of seasons but under Carlos Carvalhal, the south Wales club look set to extend their Premier League stay to an eighth successive campaign.

 

2011-2012

Swansea City became the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League and found the going tough initially; failing to score or win any of their first four matches. However, a 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion in September was the galvanising result that lifted their season. Brendan Rodgers’ side played expansive, attacking football throughout the season using a 4-3-3 formation. Arsenal, Liverpool FC and champions Manchester City were among the sides beaten at The Liberty Stadium.

The Swans also scored the fastest goal of the season, as Andrea Orlandi netted after just 24 seconds in a fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers which ended in a 4-4 draw. Swansea were never under any serious relegation threat and finished a tremendous 11th in their debut Premier League season. However, they lost their manager in the summer as Rodgers left to fill the vacancy at Liverpool.

 

2012-2013

It was another successful season for Swansea who had a new manager with Michael Laudrup succeeding the departing Rodgers. The club celebrated its centenary, and to mark the occasion released a new crest. In keeping with the centenary theme, the home kit for the season used the colours white and gold, rather than the more traditional white and black.

There was trophy success in the League Cup and a top 10 finish in the Premier League, despite with one fewer point than they amassed in 2011-2012. With 18 goals, new summer acquisition Michu was one of the surprises of the season and the best results came on the road. A 5-0 opening day success at Loftus Road over Queens Park Rangers remains Swansea’s biggest Premier League victory, whilst two Michu goals sank Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium in early December.

 

2013-2014

Swansea broke their transfer record in the summer, paying Vitesse Arnhem £12 million for the services of Ivorian forward Wilfried Bony. Bony was the star turn in a frustrating third campaign at this level for the Swansea faithful. He scored 16 Premier League goals which ultimately kept the team away from relegation trouble.

That didn’t look so secure in early February and after a 2-0 loss at West Ham which was their sixth Premier League reverse in eight games; owner Huw Jenkins sacked Michael Laudrup with the club just two points above the drop zone. Former skipper Garry Monk took over on an interim basis and was given the job permanently in May after securing safety with the Swans ultimately finishing 12th.

This was the only season the Welsh Derby took place in the Premier League. Swansea won 3-0 in February in Monk’s first game in-charge to make amends for the 1-0 loss they suffered to Cardiff City in November.

 

2014-2015

2014-2015 remains Swansea’s best season, both in terms of finishing position and points tally. They finished in eighth position, amassing 56 points and they never dropped outside of the top 10 throughout the season. In his first full season as a manager, Garry Monk was a revelation as his side recorded some amazing results.

This included league doubles over both Arsenal and Manchester United, whilst Bony scored nine further Premier League goals before he moved to Manchester City in the January transfer window. There was a heavy 5-0 loss at home to champions Chelsea in January but this was a blot in an impressive campaign which saw cracking performances from the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Lukasz Fabianski and returnee Gylfi Sigurdsson.

 

2015-2016

Swansea went through the first month of the 2015-2016 Premier League campaign undefeated with two wins and two draws. Among those results was an opening day draw at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea and a third successive victory over Manchester United.

However, it all started to unravel from September onwards. A run of one victory in 11 games followed which saw Swansea drop from fourth to 15th in the table. After a lifeless display at home to Leicester City which ended in a 3-0 defeat, the club made the difficult decision to sack Monk. He was replaced a month later by the former Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin. He guided Swansea away from danger and they finished 12th, with late season victories at home to Chelsea and Liverpool FC among the highlights.

 

2016-2017

This was a chaotic season for Swansea City which nearly cost them their Premier League status. Guidolin started the campaign as manager but was sacked in early October after a 2-1 loss to Liverpool FC. Swansea had just four points on the board when he was dismissed. American boss Bob Bradley succeeded him but his reign was even worse and he was axed after a Boxing Day beating at home to West Ham United.

Swansea went into 2017 bottom of the Premier League and favourites to be relegated. Paul Clement, a former no.2 to Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, was chosen as the man to lead them away from danger. Four wins in his first six games in-charge showed a rapid improvement and gave them a fighting chance. A run of five defeats in six games in March and early April looked set to cost the club but a 1-0 victory in early May over Everton, coupled with Hull’s shocking home loss to Sunderland put their fate in their own hands.

A week later, a 2-0 success away at Sunderland ensured safety when Hull were beaten 4-0 by Crystal Palace 24 hours later. Swansea finished in 15th place, helped by 15 league goals from new signing Fernando Llorente and some more sizzling displays from the influential Sigurdsson.

 

2017-2018

Despite the return of Bony and the excitement over the loan arrival of Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich, there was concern around The Liberty Stadium as Sigurdsson was sold to Everton and Llorente joined Tottenham Hotspur on transfer deadline day. Those fears looked to be fully warranted as Swansea won just two of their opening 15 matches.

Clement was sacked five days before Christmas following a 3-1 loss to Everton and Swansea spent Christmas Day bottom of the Premier League table. Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal came in as Clement’s successor and has inspired the club away from danger. Swansea go into the final six matches of the season with Premier League safety firmly in their own hands.

Premier League Rewind: 18th-20th August 2012

Results: Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland, Fulham 5-0 Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers 0-5 Swansea City, Reading 1-1 Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Liverpool FC, West Ham United 1-0 Aston Villa, Newcastle United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Wigan Athletic 0-2 Chelsea, Manchester City 3-2 Southampton, Everton 1-0 Manchester United

After a summer of amazing sport and many golden moments at the London Olympics, the Premier League season of 2012-2013 was ready for kick-off. 27 goals were scored across the 10 matches on a weekend which produced some one-sided matches and a real scare for the reigning champions.

The biggest story of the opening weekend would come in the final match which was a Monday Night Football showdown between Everton and Manchester United. Still feeling sore from the previous season’s last-gasp title defeat to Manchester City, Sir Alex Ferguson had vowed his team would never get beaten on goal difference again. However, they would be trailing their city rivals by three points after this defeat at Goodison.

Marouane Fellaini’s header in the second half gave traditional slow starters Everton a fantastic 1-0 victory. Manchester United had lost their first game of the Premier League season for the first time since 2004. Fellaini was in fantastic form and his goal was richly deserved for a committed and dominant display.

24 hours earlier, the reigning champions began their title defence in slightly unconvincing fashion. They needed a late goal from Samir Nasri to defeat plucky Southampton 3-2. The Saints were back in the top-flight after an absence of seven years and they had enjoyed back-to-back promotions. They showed no fear at The Etihad Stadium and this approach would work well for them throughout the campaign.

Fellow Premier League returnees Reading and West Ham United enjoyed undefeated openings. Reading needed a 90th minute penalty from Adam Le Fondre to rescue a 1-1 draw at home to Stoke City, whilst Kevin Nolan scored the only goal at Upton Park to guide West Ham to a 1-0 win against Aston Villa. This meant it was a losing start for new Villa manager Paul Lambert.

Lambert had left Norwich City in the summer for the job in the Second City and his predecessor, Chris Hughton, experienced a torrid start away at Fulham. Craven Cottage has never been a lucky ground for the Canaries. They experienced relegation here in 2005 from the top-flight after a 6-0 loss. This time, the margin was only slightly worse, going down 5-0. Croat Mladen Petric scored two of the Fulham goals.

It wasn’t a good beginning to the Brendan Rodgers reign either at Liverpool FC. Rodgers witnessed his side lose 3-0 at The Hawthorns to West Bromwich Albion and the margin could have been greater, if Shane Long didn’t have a weak spot-kick saved by Pepe Reina. One of West Brom’s goalscorers was Romelu Lukaku. It was his first-ever Premier League goal and the Belgian, on-loan from Chelsea was about to embark on a hugely successful season in the Midlands. To compound Liverpool’s woes, Daniel Agger was sent off.

However, the result of the weekend came at Loftus Road. Having invested heavily in his playing squad in the summer, Mark Hughes was expecting big things in his first full campaign in the Queens Park Rangers hotseat. So, a 5-0 battering at home by Michael Laudrup’s exciting Swansea City side already saw some alarming signs for the season ahead. Both Michu and Nathan Dyer helped themselves to two goals each and Scott Sinclair struck too. It would be his final goal for Swansea, as he was set to move to Manchester City before the close of the transfer window.

Michu would have an outstanding season at Swansea but Soccer Saturday pundit Paul Merson had a few problems confusing him with fellow Spanish player Chico Flores!

What else happened in August 2012?

  • The London Olympics conclude with Team GB finishing in a fabulous third in the medals table, winning 65 medals in total, 29 of those being gold. This includes six golds on “Super Saturday.”
  • The InterCity West Coast franchise is won by the UK’s largest rail operator, First Group. However, current owner Virgin Trains keeps the franchise after the discovery of irregularities in the franchise letting process.
  • Mark Thompson, who is leaving his post as Director-General of the BBC, is appointed CEO of The New York Times.
  • Singer and variety performer Max Bygraves dies aged 89.
  • Rory McIlroy wins the USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
  • Frenchman Romain Grosjean becomes the first driver since 1994 to be banned from a Formula One race after triggering a first-corner pile-up at the Belgian Grand Prix. Four drivers are eliminated in the shunt, including Britain’s Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Fernando Alonso.
  • The Mars Science Laboratory mission’s rover, ‘Curiosity,’ successfully lands on the planet.

Premier League Files: Michu

Premier League Career: Swansea City (2012-2014)

He arrived quietly, became one of Swansea’s most revered players and then left almost as silently as he arrived. Michu will sadly go down as a one-season wonder in the Premier League. He was sensational in 2012-2013, scoring 22 goals in all competitions during his first season in south Wales and being linked with clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. He also won one international cap for Spain.

Unfortunately, injury struggles hindered his progress afterwards and in 2017, he decided to call time on his career at the age of just 31. Born in Oviedo, Michu started his career with his hometown club, playing 100 times from 2003 to 2007. He had a good goalscoring pedigree even as an attacking midfielder in Spain and that reputation continued during stints with Celta Vigo and Rayo Vallecano. He even scored twice in the Bernabeu with the latter club, although this did come in a 6-2 loss to Real Madrid.

Michu joined Swansea in July 2012, costing the club £2 million. He was seen as a replacement for the Tottenham-bound Gylfi Sigurdsson, playing in just behind the main striker. He made an electrifying start to Premier League life, netting twice on his debut in Swansea’s excellent 5-0 away win on the opening weekend of the season at Queens Park Rangers. Goals followed in home matches with West Ham United and Sunderland. He didn’t stop scoring for the majority of the season, also netting in Swansea’s 5-0 League Cup victory against League One outfit Bradford City. In total, he scored 18 Premier League goals and 22 in all competitions and swept the awards’ board with both fans and his fellow teammates.

There were high expectations going into the 2013-2014 season and there were early season strikes to save a point at home to Liverpool FC and then, opening the scoring in a 2-0 away triumph at Crystal Palace. However, this turned out to be his last goal in the Premier League. He was loaned to Napoli for the following season but only appeared six times for the Italian giants due to injury and was eventually released by Swansea in November 2015. After one final year back at Real Oviedo, he hung up his playing boots in July 2017, with recurring ankle injuries to blame for his fall from grace. He has since stated he would like to remain in football in a coaching capacity.

Premier League Rewind: 14th-16th September 2013

Results: Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace, Aston Villa 1-2 Newcastle United, Fulham 1-1 West Bromwich Albion, Hull City 1-1 Cardiff City, Stoke City 0-0 Manchester City, Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Norwich City, Everton 1-0 Chelsea, Southampton 0-0 West Ham United, Swansea City 2-2 Liverpool FC

The 2013-2014 Premier League campaign was a year where plenty of change was happening at the top clubs. This was the first season since 1986 that Manchester United were experiencing a campaign without Sir Alex Ferguson as their manager. Manchester City also had a new boss with Manuel Pellegrini in charge and Jose Mourinho was back at Chelsea for his second spell.

The leaders going into this weekend were Liverpool FC. Brendan Rodgers’ side had won their first three matches by a scoreline of 1-0. They would remain top at the end of the weekend but forfeited their 100% record in the process. The Reds travelled to Swansea City on a night in the Sky studios when Jamie Carragher revealed in a tactical discussion about full-backs that “no-one wants to grow up to be a Gary Neville” right infront of his fellow pundit!

In the match itself, Jonjo Shelvey had an eventful night. Playing in his first game against the Merseysiders since leaving them for the Welsh club in the summer, Shelvey put Swansea ahead inside the opening two minutes, before making two careless mistakes to allow Liverpool FC to take the lead, through Daniel Sturridge and new on-loan arrival, Victor Moses. The midfielder made amends with a neat header to tee-up Michu for the equaliser in the second half. The match finished 2-2.

After losing on the opening day to Aston Villa, Arsenal fans had lost patience with Arsene Wenger, urging him to spend some money in the transfer window on new players. On deadline day, he broke their club-record fee to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. He made his debut at The Stadium of Light against Sunderland and immediately set-up the opening goal of the game for Olivier Giroud. Arsenal won 3-1 to go just a point behind Liverpool. Sunderland had boss Paolo di Canio sent to the stands as they tumbled to a third defeat in four games.

Manchester United bounced back from their recent loss at Anfield. David Moyes’ side won 2-0 in the lunchtime kick-off against newly-promoted Crystal Palace. Robin van Persie’s penalty and a Wayne Rooney free-kick helped United to three points but it was a match overshadowed by accusations that were made about diving from winger Ashley Young. Even Moyes had to warn his midfielder on his future conduct afterwards.

Chelsea suffered their first defeat in the second Mourinho reign, going down 1-0 to Everton at Goodison Park. Steven Naismith’s header in first half injury-time was enough to give Roberto Martinez his first win since being appointed Everton boss in the summer. It was a frustrating afternoon also for Manchester City as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

Elsewhere, Gareth McAuley’s injury-time equaliser earned West Bromwich Albion a late point in a 1-1 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage. It was West Brom’s first goal of the 2013-2014 season. Also, Newcastle United recorded an excellent 2-1 away win at Aston Villa.

What else happened in September 2013?

  • The Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya is attacked by Islamic militants. At least 62 people are killed and 170 others injured.
  • The IOC awards the 2020 Summer Olympics to the Japanese capital, Tokyo.
  • Following a trial in Manchester, Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is cleared of child sex allegations.
  • The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Nigel Evans resigns after being charged with sexual offences.
  • Prime Minister David Cameron rejects an invitation for a head-to-head TV debate on Scottish independence with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond.
  • The UK’s largest public library is opened in Birmingham.
  • The founder of Dolby Laboratories, Ray Dolby, dies from leukaemia at the age of 80.