24/01/2016 13:30 v Everton
Francesco Guidolin enjoyed a dream start to his tenure as Swansea City head coach as his side secured a first ever Premier League victory over Everton.
First-half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Ayew helped the Swans earn a 2-1 victory at Goodison Park.
Following a bright start from the visitors, Sigurdsson scored from the penalty spot in the 16th minute after Ayew was fouled by Tim Howard inside the box.
Everton levelled the scores through an unfortunate Jack Cork own goal on 26 minutes after he deflected Gareth Barry's effort in off the post, before Ayew restored Swansea’s advantage with his eighth goal of the season just ten minutes later.
The Swans were made to withstand heavy pressure in the second half as Lukasz Fabianski was on hand to save a Romelu Lukaku header, while Seamus Coleman missed an open goal from six yards out with the last kick of the game.
The crucial win moves the Swans on to 25 points - four above third-bottom Newcastle United - and up to 15th position in the Premier League table.
In what was Everton’s first move of the game, Muhamed Besic fired an early warning to the visitors when he struck the foot of the post from the edge of the box after being released by Lukaku.
But the Swans dominated possession during the opening stages at Goodison Park and pressed high up the pitch during the moments that they were without the ball.
And that high press paid off on 16 minutes when Ayew intercepted a poor John Stones back-pass, only to be brought down inside the area by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Sigurdsson made no mistake from the spot, thundering his 12-yard effort into the top corner.
The hosts then levelled the scores in the 26th minute when Gareth Barry’s flick-on from Kevin Mirallas’ corner nestled into the bottom corner via a deflection off of Jack Cork.
But the Swans wasted no time in restoring their advantage as Ayew struck his eighth goal of the season with a drilled effort that flew past Howard via a touch off Stones.
The third goal of the half ensured that the measured manner in which the game had started was now an open contest.
Just moments after conceding their second, Everton came close to levelling for a second time as Lukaku fired narrowly wide before Neil Taylor made an important block to deny Ross Barkley.
Soon after the restart, the Swans saw a big chance for their third goal go begging as Wayne Routledge struck straight at Howard after being played through on goal by Ki Sung-Yueng.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Barkley was spared his blushes when the linesman’s flag was raised for offside after the English midfielder had volleyed over an open goal from six yards out.
Gerard Deulofeu then created another opportunity for Roberto Martinez’s side, fizzing in a cross from the right flank, but this time substitute Steven Pienaar was the man to fire over the bar from a tight angle.
Everton’s search for an equaliser left an opportunity for the Swans to counter-attack, with space in behind the Toffees defence.
The Swans almost capitalised when Sigurdsson broke clear, shortly before the hour-mark, only for Howard to comfortably save the Icelandic midfielder’s shot.
Deulofeu’s growing influence on the game was becoming increasingly apparent as several more inviting deliveries from the right flashed across the Swans’ six-yard box, while Lukaku saw a curling strike of his own float just wide of the far post.
The Swans were made to withstand heavy pressure late on, with defender Jordi Amat entering into the fray in an attempt to quell the onslaught.
With five minutes left on the clock, Fabianski then made the save of the match, stretching to his left to deny Lukaku’s downward header, before Deulofeu hit wide of the target after cutting inside from the right.
And in what was the last kick of the match, Seamus Coleman missed an open goal from less than six yards out when he prodded over the bar following a goalmouth scramble.
EVERTON: Tim Howard, Leighton Baines, John Stones, Bryan Oviedo (Seamus Coleman, 67), Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, Muhamed Besic (Tom Cleverley, 11), Gareth Barry (capt), Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley, Ramiro Funes Mori.
SUBS: Joel Robles, Arouna Kone, Aaron Lennon, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar.
SWANS: Lukasz Fabianski, Angel Rangel (Kyle Naughton, 90), Federico Fernandez, Ashley Williams (capt), Neil Taylor, Leon Britton, Jack Cork, Ki Sung-Yueng, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Routledge (Jordi Amat, 77), Andre Ayew (Eder, 88).
SUBS: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Jefferson Montero, Modou Barrow, Marvin Emnes.