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Liberty Stadium
Swansea City v Arsenal
Premier League
Saturday 28 September 2013, 5.30pm
Christian Stephenson
(Arsenal fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I tend not to get to go to away games much, owing to fatherhood, so I was looking forward to everything that comes with an away trip at Arsenal i.e. vocal away support that travels in good numbers and a few ales. I was also looking forward to seeing the Liberty stadium for the first time.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The game kicked off at 5:30pm for TV reasons, meaning that the last train from Swansea back to London that evening (7:30pm) was impossible to catch, so we drove. I researched the journey beforehand and, despite most advice saying to exit the M4 at Jn 45, got off at Jn 44 and followed the A48 and A4217 - piece of cake. Car parking was easy - there's a very friendly place called the Landore Social Club in a service road right by the stadium, off Neath Road. Parking was 4, and entry to the club is 50p for non-members. Away fans were welcome.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We had a few beers at the Landore Social the car park! (we had a few cans of ale with us already). We had a beer inside the ground also, but it was packed and a nightmare to get served. The beers were unremarkable, Carling I think (why no Brains SA Gold?!), for about 3.50.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The concourse of the ground is like many other new builds - concrete-y, breeze blocks everywhere, etc. The inside (i.e. in our seats) of the ground is nice enough; again a bit too much grey concrete, I think they could give it a lick of paint. The view was fine as is always the case with these new stadiums. I was surprised it was so small, but that's no bad thing, it can make for a better atmosphere. One little architectural feature I did like was the translucent roof at the opposite end to ours and it being staggered along the two sides to eventually be non-translucent at our end. Presumably this is something to do with the sun shining, but I thought it gave a little character to the ground.

View from the away stand

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

As above, pretty functional. The bar could have been bigger, but facilities fine, no wait for the toilet. The chips we had at half time were better than average. Pricing inside the ground was definitely not at 'rip off' level like we see at Arsenal.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Very, very easy. The car park at the social club emptied in seconds. We went back out to Jn 44 M4 again; the route to Jn 45 was blocked as the police shut the A4067, presumably to let all Arsenal coaches leave at the same time. We were on the M4 within ten minutes.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

2-1 to The Arsenal, all good! A very enjoyable day. The game wasn't a classic, we played some lovely football at times, but the match didn't replicate the "two best footballing sides in the league" build-up. I thought the Swansea fans would be more vocal than they were. When they were vocal, they seemed to just boo ex-Cardiff player Aaron Ramsey, who deservedly scored the second goal. I'd be back again, next time I'd hope to be able to get the train, or maybe I'll stay over and do the 'Mumbles mile'! One last thing - tickets were 45! Incredible, do they charge all clubs that fee? Of course they don't. An issue that will no doubt have a lot more exposure again this season, which is no bad thing.

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