Saturday 21 January 2017

Bradley hoping amazing victory will be catalyst for Swansea survival act

Swansea 5 Crystal Palace4

Graham Clutton

Published 28/11/2016 | 11:00

Swansea City's Fernando Llorente and Crystal Palace's Bakary Sako battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. Photo: Nick Potts/PA
Swansea City's Fernando Llorente and Crystal Palace's Bakary Sako battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. Photo: Nick Potts/PA

After so much pain and frustration, Bob Bradley believes that Swansea City have turned the corner.

  • Go To

The same cannot be said for Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace after Saturday's calamitous second-half performance, during which the visitors showed exactly why they are plummeting towards relegation.

Swansea City's Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring their fifth goal with Gylfi Sigurdsson. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
Swansea City's Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring their fifth goal with Gylfi Sigurdsson. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Having led 1-0 and then, with only second-half stoppage time remaining, 4-3, the visitors somehow went down to a sixth successive Premier League defeat.

Bradley will surely take into account that his side's second league win of the season - their first came on the opening day at Burnley - was born as much out of the ineptitude of the Palace back four as it was out of his own side's honest endeavour.

After all, his team's defence was every bit as suspect as that of their opponents. Still, the former United States coach is confident that Fernando Llorente's double whammy in second-half stoppage time, will be the catalyst for better times.

"I am very confident in my ability," said Bradley. "I'm confident in dealing with tough situations and this was one of those. We were in a difficult place.

Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke celebrates scoring their fourth goa. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reutes
Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke celebrates scoring their fourth goa. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reutes

"It was hard. But sometimes, small things can be crucial. For this team to win like that was incredibly important, not only for me but for the players too.

"It doesn't change the way I continue to work, the way I challenge the staff, the way I speak to the team.

"It helps. However, whilst I didn't want to take away the positive part of the game, I will also make sure they know that there is more work to be done."

There certainly is - lots of it. While Wilfried Zaha's opening goal for Palace, after 19 minutes, was as a result of poor defending and the team's inability to deal with corners and free-kicks gifted Palace the chance to recover from 3-1 down in the 75th minute to 4-3 up in the 84th.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's first-half equaliser nine minutes from the interval provided Bradley with hope before Leroy Fer's double in the 66th and 68th minutes put the home side 3-1 to the good.

Still, it was not until stoppage time that Llorente came to the rescue. It was a crazy finish to a game which both teams' defending for set-pieces was lamentable.

Pardew, who will surely single out Christian Benteke for special criticism, will return to the training field this week with much more on his mind.

"You cannot defend like that, not at this level," said the Palace manager who is poised to make changes for the game against Southampton next weekend. Something needs to change, that is for sure. © Daily Telegraph, London.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport