06/05/2017 16:30 v Everton

16th June 2017

The Swans moved out of the Premier League dropzone after Fernando Llorente's first-half header was enough to beat Everton at the Liberty.

On a tense afternoon in SA1, the Spaniard's 13th goal of the season proved the difference as the Swans recorded their first home league victory against Everton.

With Hull City suffering a shock 2-0 home defeat to Sunderland earlier in the day, the Swans knew victory would be good enough to send them up to 17th in the table.

And they did just that, with Llorente heading home Jordan Ayew's 29th-minute cross.

Ayew later hit the post in an impressive display which saw the Swans soak up late pressure from the visitors.

Paul Clement's side move up to 17th in the table - one point clear of Hull - with two games remaining.

There were few chances to report in the opening exchanges of this game, but the tension was enough to keep the home fans on the edge of their seat.

The Jack Army were on their feet just before the half-hour mark as Gylfi Sigurdsson went down in the box under Gareth Barry's challenge. No penalty was awarded, despite the strong appeals.

But just seconds later the emotions quickly switched from disappointment to joy.

The Swans worked the ball down the right flank and the impressive Jordan Ayew sent in a backpost cross which Fernando Llorente directed in from close range.

It was the Spaniard's 13th goal of the campaign - his tenth at the Liberty - and it was one which was met with a rapturous applause from the home crowd.

Buoyed by their lead, the Swans could and should have doubled the advantage in the 33rd minute.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross found it's way to Alfie Mawson, and the defender was only denied from six yards out by Mason Holgate's superb block as he looked destined to score.

The Swans kept plugging away and they looked dangerous down the flanks, with the returning Martin Olsson seeing his effort snuffed out.

It came following some fine work by Ayew, who had kept the ball in play after Phil Jagielka looked to guide it out. The winger fed the onrushing Olsson, but his thunderous effort was deflected wide for a corner.

That was it for the first half, with the Swans heading into the break delighted with their lead.

If the first half seemed tense, then the following 45 included even more nerve-jangling moments.

Almost ten minutes had passed in the second half when only the woodwork denied the hosts a second goal.

Ki Sung-Yueng's intended shot skewed off Alfie Mawson and when Jagielka headed to Ayew, his volley left Maarten Stekelenburg stranded but his effort cannoned off the post.

Everton were starting to enjoy more of possession, and with it came some chances.

Lukaku's cross from Everton's right bounced four times along goal before going out for a goal-kick.

After that let-off, the striker then tried his luck from 25 yards but Lukasz Fabianski easily collected.

At the other end, the Swans kept probing for the goal that would give them even more space to breathe.

It almost came as Sigurdsson's delightful corner found Federico Fernandez, but his header deflected off sub Ross Barkley and just over the crossbar.

From the resulting set-piece, Llorente climbed highest once more but Stekelenburg dived across goal to collect.

Then it was a case of Everton applying the pressure as the Swans sat deep to soak up the pressure.

The final 20 minutes were full of tense action.

Tom Davies' cross dropped to Kevin Mirallas, and when his shot cannoned into Ki it took a quick reaction from Sigurdsson to get a touch before Ki cleared the danger.

 After another deep breath came another closs call. Lukaku drove into the sidenetting before Ashley Williams almost levelled after he just failed to get onto the end of Mirallas' flick-on from a Barkley free-kick.

The Swans countered, with sub Leroy Fer being denied superbly by the Everton stopper before the loose deflected off Leighton Baines and just wide of the post.

A late Everton foray saw Lukaku's drive deflected over for a corner by Fernandez, but fortunately that was the end of the action as the Swans picked up three precious points.


SWANS: Lukasz Fabianski, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson, Martin Olsson, Leon Britton (capt, Jack Cork, 73), Ki Sung-Yueng (Leroy Fer, 75), Tom Carroll, Jordan Ayew, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente (Borja, 87).
SUBS: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Jordi Amat, Stephen Kingsley, Luciano Narsingh.

EVERTON: Maarten Stekelenburg, Leighton Baines, Ashley Williams, Phil Jagielka (capt), Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, Idrissa Gueye, Gareth Barry (Enner Valencia, 65), Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Ross Barkley, ht), Mason Holgate (Jonjoe Kenny, 78).
SUBS: Joel Robles, Ademola Lookman, Matthew Pennington, Joe Williams.