When Swansea City won promotion to the Premier League in 2011, few outside South Wales would have wagered the Swans would remain at British football’s top table five years down the line.
Yet as Bob Bradley prepares his squad for a clash with Watford at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, the club prepares to celebrate the 100th Premier League game to be staged at the stadium. Without a single year in the Championship wilderness to speak of, it is the earliest possible moment Swansea could have reached the landmark.
But just how have they fared at the Liberty Stadium since that debut season? How does Swansea’s record stand up since they first took the Premier League by storm?
There is no doubt the club and its loyal supporters have enjoyed some of their finest (and not so fine) moments at the stadium.
Here, we take a look at some of the key players , matches and moments that have helped shape Swansea’s Premier League identity in their new home. Call it a statistical history of Premier League football at Liberty Stadium…
Swansea’s Premier League record at the Liberty?
Swansea have retained a respectable record at The Liberty over the past five years. While not necessarily a fortress, they have won and drawn more often than they have lost and accrued 143 points. It is a record Bob Bradley will be hoping to build upon with more home successes throughout the coming campaign.
Wilfried Bony 15
The Ivorian was prolific for the Swans in the 2013/14 season, scoring 10 at home before adding another five in the next campaign before his big money move to Manchester City beckoned.
Swansea’s top Premier League goalscorer may have upset a few with his move to Manchester, but his Liberty have earned him iconic status among the Jack Army — many of whom wanted to see him back in South Wales this season before a loan move to Stoke City.
Spanish Michu scored 11 at home in the 2012/13 season, a record home tally for the Swans in the Premier League. His unique celebration became routine, but his career has gone downhill since his exit the following year. A sad end to one of Swansea’s finest goalscorers.
Danny Graham 11
This may come as a surprise, given the consistency of Gylfi Sigurdsson down the years, but Graham was especially prolific in front of his own fans.
He only managed 15 goals in his entire Swansea league career, but struck nine at The Liberty in the Swans’ debut top flight season in 2011/12, before being replaced by Michu the next season when the Englishman returned with just two more home strikes. But that was enough to earn the much-maligned Graham a place in the Liberty record books.
Ashley Williams 92
One-time club captain Williams has epitomised Swansea’s Premier League era with imperious leadership and dependable defending since their promotion in 2011. One of the rare constants for the club in the past five years, Williams missed just three of Swansea’s Premier League home games before his move to Everton this season.
His absence remains a concern for fans, with Jordi Amat and Federico Fernandez struggling to fill the gaping hole left by Williams. The Swans have shipped 11 goals in five home matches this season without their talismanic former skipper.
4-0 v Sunderland
Under Michael Laudrup’s cool-headed control, Swansea delivered their most emphatic victory over struggling Sunderland in October 2013.
Two own goals from Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley and Steven Fletcher helped the cause, with Swansea pair Jonathan de Guzman and Wilfried Bony adding to the Jack Army’s joy. It’s a shame they couldn’t add one more to the 3-0 win over Cardiff City a year later.
5-0 v Chelsea
In the year Chelsea were crowned champions, Swansea were one of many victims to Jose Mourinho’s rampant Blues who were en route to a comfortable title victory.
It was a bleak and miserable day at The Liberty, but it could have been a lot worse given that the score was 4-0 at half time. Swansea’s back four that day was the now-released Dwight Tiendalli alongside Federico Fernandez, Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor, all of whom fell victim to an unstoppable Diego Costa.
West Brom (12 points)
Barring a defeat to West Brom in 2013/14, Swansea have enjoyed four wins over the Baggies at the Liberty Stadium qualifying the Baggies for the title ‘team who have been most generous to the Swans’ — at the Liberty at least.
It’s usually fairly comfortable too, with two 3-0 victories for the Swans , one of which came in that astonishing debut season under Brendan Rodgers.
Premier League bogey teams?
Tottenham Hotspur and Everton (2 points)
Despite beating Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs at the Liberty, Swansea are yet to vanquish Spurs or Everton at home in the past five years. And if you want to talk about real bogey teams, then Tottenham are the team with a hoodoo over Swans. The North London club have yet to taste defeat to Swansea in the Premier League era.