Championship
SwanseaSwansea City4RotherhamRotherham United3

Swansea City 4-3 Rotherham United: Swans hurt Millers survival hopes

By Gareth VincentBBC Sport Wales
Oli McBurnie heads Swansea level
Oli McBurnie reached 20 goals for the season when he headed Swansea level

Rotherham's survival hopes were dented in controversial fashion as Swansea City edged a thrilling contest 4-3.

Rotherham led 2-1 thanks to goals from Michael Ihiekwe and Matt Crooks, with Oli McBurnie replying for the hosts.

Swansea improved considerably after the break, levelling through Barrie McKay before their questionable third goal.

Rotherham felt Kyle Naughton handled George Byers' shot to make it 3-2, before McBurnie scored again, only for Will Vaulks' strike to make it 4-3.

Swansea's win was their sixth in succession at the Liberty Stadium, their best home run in 11 years.

But a dreadful sequence of results on the road looks to have ended any hope of a late-season play-off push.

Away form has also been the problem for Rotherham, who have managed just one win on their travels all season.

They looked intent on making it two from the outset in south Wales, with Paul Warne's physically imposing side proving too strong for Swansea in the first half.

Graham Potter's team have had trouble defending set-pieces in recent months and their problems continued here, as Rotherham's first-half goals came from Vaulks' long throws.

The first was initially cleared by Swansea, but Wales international Vaulks sent the ball back into the box and centre-back Ihiekwe got a touch to beat Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

The second was more straightforward, with Crooks hooking home on the half-volley after Swansea failed to deal with Vaulks' delivery once more.

The home side had briefly levelled through McBurnie, who headed in from a Matt Grimes corner, but Rotherham were worth their half-time lead.

The Millers' greater need for points had been apparent up until that point, but Swansea emerged with more purpose after the break.

Daniel James, hailed by Warne before the game as one of the Championship's standout players along with Aston Villa's Jack Grealish, was well dealt with by Rotherham in the first period.

But when he finally found some space on 50 minutes, James waltzed past his marker and delivered the perfect cross for McKay to head home.

Swansea took control, with James going close himself before George Byers' shot went in, possibly thanks to a touch from Naughton.

Rotherham were furious, and the contest looked over when McBurnie curled home his second goal.

But the Millers were not finished, with Vaulks volleying in via the underside of the bar seven minutes from the end.

Nordfeldt made a sharp save to deny Michael Smith as Swansea held on to condemn Rotherham to what may prove a key defeat.

Swansea manager Graham Potter told BBC Sport Wales: "It's not easy to play against Rotherham. They make it really difficult with their style but credit to the boys, they've scored four goals and come through.

"I am really proud of the players. You can see it mattered to us against a team who are fighting to stay up.

"We are feeling good at home. I always thought this would be a tricky game but the fans helped us and we showed character to come back.

"I couldn't see (whether Kyle Naughton handled) from where I was. I remember the first goal they scored up there earlier in the season was an offside goal and the second was a dubious handball. I've not seen it back so I don't know, but that's life sometimes."

Rotherham manager Paul Warne: "You'll be surprised to know I think it was a handball. I haven't seen it back, but I've never seen my players react like they did.

"I think it hit his arm and was deflected away from the keeper. If I'm wrong I apologise in advance, but I don't usually see our players react like that.

"I am not disappointed with the result. We have had better days at the office obviously, but we are a positive group.

"We will lick our wounds and try to win the three games we have left. There's no reason why we can't do that."

Line-ups

Swansea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Nordfeldt
  • 23Roberts
  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 17Carter-Vickers
  • 26Naughton
  • 27FultonSubstituted forByersat 45'minutes
  • 21Grimes
  • 19McKaySubstituted forRodonat 75'minutes
  • 15RoutledgeSubstituted forBaker-Richardsonat 89'minutes
  • 20James
  • 9McBurnie

Substitutes

  • 12Dyer
  • 13Benda
  • 16Asoro
  • 22Rodon
  • 24John
  • 28Byers
  • 46Baker-Richardson

Rotherham

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Rodák
  • 2Vyner
  • 20Ihiekwe
  • 15Robertson
  • 3Mattock
  • 5AjayiBooked at 13minsSubstituted forTowellat 57'minutes
  • 7Forde
  • 4Vaulks
  • 17CrooksSubstituted forWilesat 82'minutes
  • 11TaylorSubstituted forWilliamsat 79'minutes
  • 24Smith

Substitutes

  • 6Wood
  • 12Price
  • 13Towell
  • 19Vassell
  • 22Newell
  • 23Williams
  • 25Wiles
Referee:
Keith Stroud
Attendance:
18,527

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamRotherham
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home15
Away16
Shots on Target
Home8
Away8
Corners
Home6
Away9
Fouls
Home4
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Swansea City 4, Rotherham United 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Swansea City 4, Rotherham United 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Daniel James (Swansea City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by George Byers.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Matt Grimes (Swansea City).

  5. Post update

    Clark Robertson (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Williams (Rotherham United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Wiles.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Mike van der Hoorn.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Will Vaulks (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Richard Towell.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Courtney Baker-Richardson (Swansea City).

  11. Post update

    Clark Robertson (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Anthony Forde (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Richard Towell.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Smith (Rotherham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Will Vaulks with a cross.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Oliver McBurnie.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. Courtney Baker-Richardson replaces Wayne Routledge.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Joe Rodon.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Connor Roberts (Swansea City).

  18. Post update

    Will Vaulks (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Offside, Swansea City. Joe Rodon tries a through ball, but Wayne Routledge is caught offside.

  20. Post update

    Matt Grimes (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich432512687533487
2Sheff Utd432410971393282
3Leeds432571170442682
4West Brom4322101184582676
5Aston Villa431915979582172
6Middlesbrough431813124536967
7Bristol City421812125647966
8Derby421713126152964
9Preston431612156459560
10Hull43179176362160
11Sheff Wed431515135457-360
12Swansea42178175957259
13Nottm Forest431415145654257
14Blackburn431511175965-656
15Brentford431413166759855
16Stoke431119134148-752
17QPR43139215167-1648
18Birmingham431317136056447
19Reading431015184864-1645
20Wigan431112204763-1645
21Millwall421013194760-1343
22Rotherham43816194976-2740
23Bolton4388272974-4532
24Ipswich43416233372-3928
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