Oxford United 3, Swansea City 2
Oxford United manager Michael Appleton hailed his giant killers after the League Two side knocked Premier League Swansea out of the FA Cup on Sunday in the biggest shock of the third round.
Two goals in the space of 10 second-half minutes from in-form midfielder Kemar Roofe saw Oxford come from behind to secure their place in tonight’s fourth round draw.
Top-flight strugglers Swansea had taken an early lead at the Kassam Stadium through winger Jefferson Montero’s deft back-heel but Liam Sercombe’s penalty levelled for the underdogs, who held on despite striker Bafetimbi Gomis pulling a goal back for the visitors.
“I thought the performance was magnificent. To beat a Premier League team on your own patch is one thing, but the way we did it, the way we passed the ball and the chances we created at times was great,” said Appleton.
“We had to dig deep when it was 3-2 but we showed a lot of composure in defence. We knew if we stuck to what we do best we’d get opportunities. We pressed as high as we could and it unsettled them.”
Roofe’s brace made it three goals in two games and 15 for the season, but the 23-year-old former West Brom trainee played down his heroics.
“It’s not every day you play against a Premier League side so you just want to do your best,” he said. “It’s not just me, it’s the whole team. Everyone put in a shift. We had no nerves as we were the underdogs.”
Swansea manager Alan Curtis, who was taking charge of his first game since his appointment until the end of the season was confirmed last week, defended his decision to make 10 changes.
“There was a certain amount of rustiness but I am disappointed,” he said. “The team we picked was strong enough to win, but all credit to Oxford – they were the better team and deserved to win.
“The league was always going to be the priority but we wanted a cup run and to get some momentum going. It’s a huge setback for the club.”