Swansea City 2 QPR 0
By James Smith THEY say a week makes a real difference, but on this occasion, the margin between success and failure hinged on a matter of seconds. There were 10 seconds, in fact, between Wayne Routledge missing a golden opportunity to put Rangers ahead,
By James Smith
THEY say a week makes a real difference, but on this occasion, the margin between success and failure hinged on a matter of seconds.
There were 10 seconds, in fact, between Wayne Routledge missing a golden opportunity to put Rangers ahead, and Martin Rowlands getting his marching orders for a second bookable offence - a moment that changed the whole context of the match.
It allowed former Rs boss Paulo Sousa and his Swansea troops to get a foothold in the game, and take the lead late on through Mark Gower.
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Further drama was to follow, as Ben Watson was also sent off for a second bookable offence, before Lee Trundle made no mistake from close range to take the points for the hosts.
Rangers remained unchanged for the trip to City - little surprise given that Jim Magilton's men had gone six matches unbeaten in the league.
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The visitors, therefore, probably had the greater momentum going into the match, and that showed early on.
Akos Buzsaky's 25-yard effort hit the roof of the net and Routledge should have done better than to drag his shot wide of the post from the edge of the area.
But Swansea were probably the better side for the remainder of the half and only an expert block from Damion Stewart prevented Scott Dobbie from finding the net.
That proved to be a wake-up call to the Rs, and after the interval they went looking for that elusive opener. Routledge was involved again, jinking past two players before only shooting straight at Swans keeper Dorus de Vries.
But from the resulting clearance, Rowlands lunged in on Nathan Dyer and was sent off for a second yellow card.
Then after a clever centre from Angel Rangel, Gower made no mistake from close range in the 74th minute.
Watson was given his marching orders three minutes later, adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball in midfield.
To Rangers' credit, though, the two red cards were the only difference against a less than convincing Swansea team before Trundle put the game beyond doubt with a tidy finish five minutes from time.
ROWLANDS and Watson will both be serving a one-match suspension when the Rs return to league action at home to Preston on Saturday October 17.