SWANS PAY PENALTY AS MANNING COMPLETES COMEBACK
SWANSEA City let slip a golden opportunity to secure three league wins in a row for the first time in 18 months as two highly debatable penalties condemned them to defeat at Rotherham.
Graham Potter’s men completely dominated at the New York Stadium and took a deserved lead through Oli McBurnie’s close-range strike from a Daniel James cross.
They had chances to pout the game to bed and their inability to take them proved costly when Kristoffer Nordfeldt was adjudged to have fouled exSwan Jamie Proctor as they contested an aerial ball.
Ryan Manning tucked that spotkick away, and then did the same when Tony Harrington decided Leroy Fer had handledWill Vaulk’s shot.
It was a sickener for the Swans, who had totally bossed the vast majority of the contest playing some of their best football since Potter’s appointment.
They started on the front foot and rarely relented from there, although they had to deal with some rather agricultural challenges - particularly on winger James - during the early going, much to the frustration of visiting players and staff.
However, with James continuing to threaten and Bersant Celina on inspired form, they caused all man- ner of problems for their hosts without quite finding the killer touch in the final third.
But that all changed in the 25th minute. Celina’s clipped pass sent James scurrying forward once more, and his cross was on the money as McBurnie tucked in from the edge of the six-yard box.
Opportunities kept coming. James fired over after excellent work from McBurnie and Connor Roberts, while Celina could not beat Marek Rodak in the Millers’ goal after pulling down a lofted pass superbly.
Rodak made a vital stop four minutes into the second half as the hosts were cut open again, Kyle Naughton and Roberts linking well to find Leroy Fer, but the captain’s shot was well saved by the Slovakian keeper.
Swansea remained firmly in the ascendancy with Jay Fulton firing high and wide after a driving forward run.
Rotherham briefly mustered a meaningful attack as a Jon Taylor cross caused consternation in the Swans defence on the edge of the sixyard box. Swansea scrambled clear before Nordfeldt made a sharp stop to keep out Manning’s dipping free-kick.
Celina was denied by Rodak again after James’ pace led an end-to-end counter-attack before Swansea were stung.
Nordfeldt hesitated to claim a cross that held up in the breeze and when he jumped with Jamie Proctor the referee judged that he had fouled the striker and Manning netted from the spot.
Then, with three minutes left, short free-kick was played to Will Vaulks whose powerful shot was adjudged to have been handled by Fer.
Manning again stepped up and fired into the top corner to seal an astonishing turnaround.