12/02/2017 16:00 v Leicester City

16th June 2017

Swansea City made it four wins in six Premier League games thanks to a 2-0 victory over Leicester City.

Paul Clement’s men were under pressure to perform against last season’s champions, who have dropped into the relegation picture after a desperate run of form, and they duly delivered.

It was not always pretty, but the Swans were comfortable defensively for the majority of the contest and claimed all three points thanks to two goals which came late in the first half.

Alfie Mawson netted for the third time in his last six games to set Clement’s side on the path to victory.

And the Swans’ second was a first for the club from January signing Martin Olsson.

The victory is another major boost for the Swans, who have been transformed since Clement was appointed at the beginning of January.

Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Southampton and Leicester have all been beaten in a run which has seen the Swans climb up to 15th in the Premier League table, with 24 points from 25 games.

Another big plus here was a clean sheet - their first in 10 top-flight games.

The significance of this game to both sides was obvious given their respective league positions.

And in a nervy opening half hour, the tension made for a scrappy contest.

The Swans were tentative in possession, with their passing lacking the tempo and precision to trouble Leicester for the most part.

Claudio Ranieri’s team were also struggling to produce any constructive football, although they did look menacing on the counter thanks to the pace of the likes of Jamie Vardy and Demarai Gray.

The Swans were not helped by the disruption of an early injury, with Nathan Dyer lasting only seven minutes against the club he played for so memorably on loan last season.

There was half an appeal for a home penalty when Gylfi Sigurdsson’s shot appeared to strike Wes Morgan’s arm, but referee Jon Moss was not interested.

Vardy led a rapid Leicester counter midway through the first period, but his shot was well blocked.

Gradually, the Swans began to use the ball better.

A Sigurdsson free-kick had alarm bells ringing in the Leicester defence, with Danny Drinkwater stretching to clear as white shirts hovered.

The first genuine chance of the game arrived on 34 minutes, when Sigurdsson flicked an Olsson cross on to Wayne Routledge at the back post.

The Swans substitute’s volley was creeping inside the near post, but Kasper Schmeichel dived to his left to save.

Clement’s side were soon on the front foot again, with Fernando Llorente’s clever ball finding Leroy Fer.

He squared for Sigurdsson, but his left-foot curler drifted a couple of yards wide of the target.

The Swans were improving as each minute ticked by, and the breakthrough they craved came eight minutes before half-time.

Sigurdsson’s free-kick from near the centre circle was partially cleared by Robert Huth, but Federico Fernandez headed the ball back into the danger area.

The Argentine’s touch saw the ball drop perfectly for Mawson, who drilled home a thumping volley from point-blank range.

With nerves eased somewhat by the goal, the Swans continued to press before the break.

And their second goal arrived in stoppage time thanks to a classy passing move which involved Tom Carroll and Llorente before Sigurdsson’s perfect pass sent Olsson scampering in behind the Leicester defence.

The Swedish international took his chance in style, smashing a low shot past Schmeichel to double the Swans’ advantage.

The challenge facing the Swans in the second half was to carry on where they had left off in the closing stages of the first.

Ranieri made two changes at the break, sending on Ben Chilwell and Islam Slimani, but it was the Swans asking questions one more soon after the interval.

Llorente nodded wide after meeting Kyle Naughton’s cross from the right, then Sigurdsson drew a save from Schmeichel after a purposeful run from Fer.

But it was Leicester who carved the first big opportunity of the second half – and their first of the game – on 63 minutes.

Vardy’s flick-on found Mahrez, and his pass sent Slimani clean through on Lukasz Fabianski.

The Swans’ keeper saved the day, racing off his line and spreading himself to block Slimani’s shot with his leg.

This was a big let-off for the home side, because Leicester’s Algerian striker seemed certain to score.

Next Mahrez swung in a cross which had the Swans worried, but the ball missed everyone and bounced wide of the far post.

Clement sent on Jordan Ayew for his debut, the former Aston Villa man replacing Llorente after he had put in a big shift.

Ayew did his best to put himself about up front, while Sigurdsson had a late chance to extend the Swans' lead but sliced his volley over the top.

 

SWANS: Lukasz Fabianski, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson, Martin Olsson, Jack Cork (capt), Tom Carroll, Leroy Fer, Nathan Dyer (Wayne Routledge, 7; Luciano Narsingh, 89), Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente (Jordan Ayew, 72).
SUBS: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Angel Rangel, Jordi Amat, Stephen Kingsley.

LEICESTER CITY: Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Drinkwater, Wes Morgan (capt), Robert Huth, Jamie Vardy, Marc Albrighton (Islam Slimani, ht), Danny Simpson (Daniel Amartey, 70), Demarai Gray, Wilfred Ndidi, Riyad Mahrez, Christian Fuchs (Ben Chilwell, ht).
SUBS: Ron-Robert Zieler, Ahmed Musa, Andy King, Shinji Okazaki.