For the second time today, a team from the EPL registered 5 goals in a Europa league qualifying match as Swansea City duplicated Tottenham’s feat, although theirs was not near as impressive. Regardless, the Swans put together another splendid display at home by seeing off Romanian side Petrolul Ploiești by a 5-1 final score.
Swansea scored early and often in the first half, with the first goal coming at the 14th minute mark through Wayne Routledge, who finally smashed the ball into the back of keeper Pecanha’s net after it made its way through a mass of bodies in the box following a Jonjo Shelvey ground-cross. Swansea then doubled their delight only 8 minutes later through the prolific Michu as the Spaniard cleaned up in front of goal after teammate Pablo Hernandez’s back-post effort was parried into his path by the overworked Pecanha. Hernandez went on to assist Swansea’s 3rd goal as well, which came only a mere 3 minutes later with Routledge netting his brace by way of a FIFA-esque unmarked diving header at the back post to turn in Hernandez’s silkier-than-silk floated cross. Petrolul came out with a bit more gusto and attacking intent after the break, but they were repelled again with a 4th Swansea goal right before the hour mark as new signing Wilfried Bony got on the end of a Michu through ball right in front of goal and steered it in, although it really should have been an own-goal as it was Pecanha who ultimately nudged the ball over the line in a continuation of his horrific night in-between the sticks. The Welsh side decisively took control of the game after that and a 5th goal was always on the cards, and finally produced in the 70th minute with Alejandro Pozuelo (formerly of Real Betis) calmly chipping over an over-eager Pecanha after being played through on goal by Michu, who got a second assist to go with a goal to cap off his lively evening. The match began to wind down after that with both sides seemingly resigned to their respective fates, but out of nowhere Petrolul (specifically Gheorghe Grozav) produced an extreme (and their only) moment of quality. It came in the 87th minute when a seemingly harmless Petrolul cross floated into the penalty box, only for it to be spectacularly bicycle kicked into the bottom right corner of goal by Grozav to score the game’s best goal by far. It all came just a hair too late for Petrolul though (sarcasm), as they still fell by 4 goals against a determined Swansea side that should have NO issues advancing to the group stage.Stat of Match: Goal Attempts (Shots) Swansea City: 12 Petrolul Ploiești: 6