Matt Grimes scored the only goal of the game to give the Swans a third successive league win at home and keep us within touching distance of the top of the league in a game where we could have won by more but three points is three points.
Steve Cooper was forced into some changes largely due to injuries to both Marc Guehi and Andre Ayew. Ayew’s place was given to Liam Cullen who made a start for the Swans, fourteen years after he was the mascot for a league game at the Liberty against the same opponents. Guehi’s absence at the back allowed us to field a back three of Naughton, Bennett and Cabango with Matt Grimes back in the Swans midfield.
In truth this was a game that the Swans dominated but again we have to look back on a ninety minutes where our dominance was not rewarded with the comfort of a two or three goal advantage that – certainly at half time – would have done justice to the way that we played the first half.
The opening twenty minutes were scrappy but as the game started to unfold the Swans dominance started to take hold with Cullen having tested the keeper from a corner.
And it was from another corner that the Swans opened the scoring. Roberts’ corner was only half cleared by Rotherham and Grimes hit a first time shot through a crowded area and under the keeper to opening the scoring. The goal could be classed as somewhat fortuitous when you look back on it but the keeper was likely unsighted not that any of us as Swans fans really care.
Shortly after we really should have doubled our lead through another good chance that was wasted by Lowe. As Roberts kept the ball in as the keeper tried to run it out of play the ball broke to Lowe who crashed his shot against the post with the net unguarded and the Swans had to settle for just a one goal half time advantage.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first twenty minutes of the game with it being very scrappy to watch and neither side managing to get a hold fully on the game. That said, the Swans were by far the stronger side and could – and probably should – have extended the lead to avoid the usual worry of the last few minutes as to whether we could hold our lead.
Bidwell had a shit brilliantly blocked by a desperate Rotherham defender whilst another header flashed across the goal with it just needing a touch from any attacking player to find the back of the net.
The visitors for their worth may count themselves a little unlucky not to get a penalty for handball against Bennett whilst from the resulting corner Freddie Woodman almost dropped the ball at the feet of an attacking player as the missed chances of both halves threatened to come back and haunt the Swans when we least needed them to.
Cooper had made three of his five available substitutes by the time the game headed into five minutes worth of stoppage time that started with the Swans on the back foot for the first real time in the game which took us back to many of the home games last season where we just looked as if we were happy to settle for the one goal.
Thankfully Rotherham never really capitalised on that advantage at this point and the Swans hung on to record a third successive league win at the Liberty and start this busy period of games in the perfect way.
Next up Sheffield Wednesday on – ironically – Wednesday night and the chance to continue what is promising to be a proper promotion push.
RATE THE PLAYERS
MATCH FACTS AND LINE UPS
OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS