January 26, 2014 by bluenosebible
Birmingham City 1-2 Swansea City
By Oliver Osborn (The Bluenose Bible)
A second half double from Wilfried Bony guided Swansea to the fifth round of the FA Cup following a tricky tie at St. Andrews against a spirited Birmingham City side.
Lee Novak opening the scoring for the home side, but Bony’s introduction in the second half inspired the Swans to see them through to the last 16.
The home side started fantastically well and were looking to capitalise on Swansea’s sluggish start, and after some heavy pressure they eventually did with 15 minutes on the clock.
A teasing ball to the near post from Paul Caddis was well flicked on by Lee Novak into the bottom corner of the Welsh sides net.
Debutant Albert Rusnak almost doubled Birmingham’s lead as Tremmel dropped the ball at Novak’s feet, but Ashley Williams cleared off the line to keep his side in the tie.
As the game progress, Swansea seemed to settle into the game and started to created chances of their own.
Spanish international Pablo Henandez, who was returning from injury, managed to pass Colin Doyle after beating the offside trap, but couldn’t keep his shot on target as he was off balance.
Henandez almost became provider minutes later from a corner, although midfielder Jordi Amat somehow hit his shot over the bar from inside the six yard box.
Bony’s introduction after half time completely changed the game for a Swansea side looking to get revenge for being knocked out of the Capital One Cup at St. Andrews earlier this season.
The Ivorian’s power and aerial ability up front was what they lacked in the first half and the momentum swung in their favour once he was brought on.
Michael Laudrup’s side dominated the early stages of the half and a good save by Doyle from Alvaro Vazquez was a sign of what was to come.
Two goals in two minutes for the substitute meant that the tiring Blues side went from looking to hold onto a lead to chasing the game.
The equaliser came on the hour mark as Roland Lamah squared to Bony on the penalty spot for the striker the fire low into the bottom corner and send the Swansea fans into raptures.
Lamah again was given plenty of time on the left before squaring to Bony where the striker took the ball onto his left foot and hit a calm finish into the top corner for his sixth goal in five games.
In response, Lee Clark’s side looked to take the tie to a replay, but Tom Adeyemi’s tame effort from ten yards out was their best chance of picking up a deserved draw.
Birmingham City manager Lee Clark:
“Bony is in very good form at the highest level, I watched him over the last few games and he looked very in-form.
“You know you have that to contend with if you get in front.
“His first goal was very good but the second goal we could have done more to prevent.
“You always need that second goal against a Premier League team especially with their fire power, we had chances, but we weren’t able to take them.”
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup:
“He [Bony] scored the two goals so you can say he turned the game for us, but I think the reaction from the team second half is very important.
“In our situation you want to have a win.
“A lot of players first half played much too tense and if you play and you are too tense it is very difficult to play.
“Second half we came out much more relaxed and we saw a bit more of what we are capable of.”
Starting line up: Doyle; Caddis, Packwood, Robinson, Hancox; Brown, Lee (Lovenkrands 81′); Burke, Rusnak, Ferguson (Adeyemi 74′); Novak
Subs not used: Townsend, Mullins, Reilly, Howard, Gray
Man of the match: Will Packwood