Championship - Rodgers hails Drogba influence on Borini

Sun, 10 Apr 10:23:00 2011

Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers lavished praise on his "magnificent" side after their crucial 3-0 win over Norwich and was left to thank the impression Didier Drogba made on Fabio Borini after the on-loan Chelsea striker`s stunning free-kick.

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Swans could have slipped seven points behind second-placed Norwich had they have lost Saturday evening`s crunch Liberty Stadium showdown, as it is they now lie just one point adrift and level with third-placed rivals Cardiff ahead of what promises to be an enthralling final six matches.

The Canaries had chances to open the scoring before Borini did just that with a perfectly-executed set-piece from 25 yards after just five minutes.

Mark Gower showed great technique to add a second just before the half-hour mark and, following a host of Norwich pressure after the break, on-loan Ipswich striker Tamas Priskin added a third in injury time.

Rodgers said: "It was a key game for us and the players were magnificent against a top side. We were rewarded for our efforts. Tactically we were outstanding and we showed great control. We had our hands full but we coped well after the first 10 minutes and the first goal settled us down.

"We were practising free-kicks in midweek and Fabio hit the ball like Drogba. He has obviously worked with him at Chelsea and his execution was terrific. He was outstanding. It was nice to see Mark Gower score. The strike was a great piece of technique while Tamas showed great courage to go in for the ball."

Norwich manager Paul Lambert was naturally disappointed to lose the crucial meeting at the Liberty Stadium but acknowledged his battling side remain in the driving seat for the second automatic promotion spot.

"The pleasing thing is we never wilted. I'm disappointed at losing but we are still sitting second," Lambert said. "The players are giving me everything they have got but I can't dictate results. I can only get them ready for the game and it's up to them but I'm glad we have another game on Tuesday to bounce back."

Reflecting on the game, the Scot added: "We should have scored before Swansea did. Dani (Pacheco) and Grant (Holt) had good chances but their goalkeeper made two saves.

"You have to hold your hands up and say it was a brilliant free-kick. We couldn't do anything about it. The second goal was disappointing because we should have shut the ball down earlier but it was a good strike."

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