Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Night Football: Swansea rises above relegation

Swansea City 1-0 Watford
Swansea had fallen down the the relegation zone thanks to a run of poor results and the performance of Newcastle over the past week. A win over surprising Watford would go a long way towards keeping them alive in the Premier League. On the day the appoint a full time manager, they got just that.

While Francesco Guidolin was not on the bench for this match, he had to be satisfied with what he saw from his new squad.

Ashley Williams's floating header in the 27th minute finished off a cross from Ki Sueng-yung to give them the three points necessary to rise above the drop. Swansea had quietly controlled proceedings before the goal, and continued to do so afterwards. Watford may have outshot them 13-12 on the night as a whole, but that's mostly to do with the more daring chances the Hornets took in the dying minutes. Swansea's 57% possession illustrated how much control they actually had.

The Swans take the three points and climb into 17th place, just a single point away from safety. The sale of Jonjo Shelvey could be considered a negative step in their quest to stay alive, but the England international had only scored once and assisted twice in 16 appearances for the Swans. Bafetimbi Gomis, who did not start today, is probably a more important cog for them. In the post Gary Monk era, it might be better off for him to have departed.

Watford is still mired in mid-table irrelevancy. They're in 12th on 29 points and should be able to accrue enough points to stay up when all is said and done.

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