Pilkington double sinks Swans
Canaries too strong for Swansea on home soil
Last Updated: 15/10/11 5:53pm
Anthony Pilkington helped himself to a brace as Norwich City won the battle of the newly-promoted sides at Carrow Road with a 3-1 success over Swansea City.
The Canaries made a flying start with Pilkington scoring within minutes of the kick-off after guiding home Steve Morison's header before Russell Martin doubled their advantage.
Danny Graham pulled a goal back almost immediately for the Swans, but it was all Norwich in the second half with Pilkington adding his second of the game from close range.
Swansea never really threatened another comeback and it was Paul Lambert's troops who ran out deserved winners, making it three wins from their last four Premier League outings.
The defeat leaves the Swans still searching for their first away points this season having now lost all four of their trips away from the Liberty Stadium.
It was clear from the first 10 minutes who was going to win the contest of the two recently-promoted teams.
Just four hours after Wales exited the rugby World Cup, Swansea were looking to restore a bit of happiness to their nation, but they made the worst possible start and went behind after just 50 seconds.
Canaries striker Morison knocked down Elliott Bennett's cross at the back post to find Pilkington, who fired past Michel Vorm from close range with a crisp half-volley.
Morison's hulking figure and sheer pace caused Swansea problems all afternoon and Garry Monk was perhaps fortunate to receive just a booking when he pulled back the Wales striker as he broke through the away defence.
Swansea could not get into the game and they found themselves 2-0 down in the ninth minute when Martin headed home unmarked from 12 yards after getting on the end of David Fox's pinpoint cross.
The two-goal cushion lasted less than two minutes, however, as Swansea raced up the other end to pull one back with their first real chance of the game.
Scott Sinclair skilfully skipped between Bennett and Fox and, despite falling to the ground, stuck a leg out to hook the ball across the box to Graham, who powered home from six yards for his second in two games.
Swansea started to play more confidently and Angel Rangel came close to equalising with a powerful 30-yard shot that flew just over.
Morison then battled his way past three Swansea defenders before laying the ball off to Pilkington, but he hammered in to the side-netting from an acute angle.
Vorm then athletically tipped wide a Morison shot as the big striker kept bullying the away defence.
Swansea ended the first half the stronger side and they thought they should have had a penalty when Nathan Dyer went down after what looked to be a legitimate challenge from Bradley Johnson, but the referee waved played on.
Bennett beat his marker down the right in first-half injury-time and floated over a speculative cross that landed on top of the crossbar and bounced out for a goal-kick.
The start of the second half was nowhere near as entertaining as the opening period of the first, with both sides playing scrappily in midfield and wasting chances up front.
Pilkington went for glory 35 yards out after some good work by Kyle Naughton and Wes Hoolahan but ploughed his shot in to the stand.
Manager Brendan Rodgers, unhappy with Swansea's start to the second half, brought on Stephen Dobbie for Wayne Routledge.
His hopes of a revival were quickly dashed, though, as slack marking allowed Norwich to score their third.
The ball fell to Johnson in the box after Swansea failed to clear a Canaries corner and he laid a calm pass in to the path of Pilkington, who cleverly swivelled and poked home from eight yards.
Morison's afternoon came to a premature end 25 minutes from time when he came off with what looked like an injury and was replaced by Grant Holt.
Rodgers brought on Leroy Lita for Dyer soon after and Vorm then saved well to deny Johnson from 25 yards.
Vorm had to be at his best moments later to keep out Holt's powerful 25-yard piledriver.
Dobbie wasted a chance to put Swansea back in the game when he miscued his shot after Graham had beaten two Norwich defenders to sneak into the box.Lita had an opportunity to pull one back for the visitors in the last minute but his poor header flew at least five yards wide and Swansea went home to a despondent Wales with nothing.
|Norwich City||Team Statistics||Swansea City|
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|6||Shots on Target||3|
|10||Shots off Target||7|
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||15|
|17||West Ham United||16||14|