31/01/2017 19:45 v Southampton

16th June 2017

Paul Clement celebrated his maiden Liberty Stadium victory as Swansea City made it back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season thanks to a 2-1 triumph over Southampton.

Clement’s message in the wake of that rousing success over Liverpool was that his team must build on their Anfield heroics with another result against the Saints.

And after a nervy closing spell in which they were forced to hang on to their slender advantage, the Swans delivered three more vital points.

The Swans deservedly led 1-0 at the break thanks to a first home goal for summer signing Alfie Mawson.

Southampton came right back into the contest in the second period, and deservedly levelled through Shane Long.

But just as they had done against Liverpool, the Swans came through a tricky spell and then found a way to win courtesy of a sweet goal on the counter-attack from Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The victory, only the Swans’ third at home this season, means they have 21 points from 23 Premier League games.

The Swans were unchanged from the side that beat Liverpool. Head coach Clement kept faith with the same XI that picked up the club's first ever league victory at Anfield to lift the Swans out of the relegation zone.

Tom Carroll and Martin Olsson make their home debuts after they played key roles in the 2-1 win over the Reds, while Jack Cork captained the Swans against his former club.

The Swans were a little slow out of the blocks, with Southampton enjoying plenty of possession in the opening minutes.

There was an early scare for the hosts when Dusan Tadic rolled a ball in behind for Shane Long, though with the angle tight, the Irish international sliced his shot harmlessly wide of the target.

Gradually, the Swans began to impose themselves.

Their first sight of goal came on 17 minutes, when Kyle Naughton’s drive was deflected and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s follow-up effort was well blocked.

The Swans then saw a big appeal for a penalty turned down. Sigurdsson’s corner was flicked on by Fernando Llorente and the ball struck Saints defender Jack Stephens on the hand.

But to Southampton’s relief, referee Roger East waved play on.

The Swans were improving as the contest wore on, and Sigurdsson drew the first save of the night as his long-ranger was gathered by Fraser Forster.

Carroll, who was bright again in midfield on his second home debut for the club, then rifled over from Cork’s pass before Forster made a very sharp stop to repel Leroy Fer’s fierce half-volley.

The Swans were knocking at the door, and the breakthrough eventually came seven minutes before the break from another Sigurdsson corner.

Mawson made a near-post run and met Sigurdsson’s delivery with a firm header which deflected off his marker, Oriol Romeu, and went in off the upright.

The Swans were worth their lead, and they almost made it 2-0 just before the break when Sigurdsson’s run and shot forced another fine save from Forster.

The home side’s challenge after the break was to produce more of what had been seen in the first half.

But inevitably, perhaps, Southampton stepped up a gear having spent so much of the first period on the back foot.

Boss Claude Puel sent on record signing Sofiane Boufal, and the visitors swiftly equalised with their first genuine chance of the evening.

Jordy Clasie rolled the ball down the left flank for Ryan Bertrand, and the England left-back’s low centre was steered into the net by the unmarked Long.

Clement’s response was to throw on Narsingh to replace Wayne Routledge.

But it was Southampton who were soon threatening again, with Boufal getting the better of Federico Fernandez before pulling back for Nathan Redmond.

Fortunately for the home side, the winger sliced his shot horribly wide of the target.

Next Redmond drilled in a long-range effort which Lukasz Fabianski helped over the bar.

Suddenly, it was Southampton who were in control of the contest.

But to their credit, the Swans did not crumble.

Instead they weathered the storm and then found a way to retake the lead.

The home side’s second goal of the night came as the result of a fine counter-attack.

Cork started the move on the edge of his own penalty area, lifting a pass to Carroll.

He then played a sweet ball to Narsingh, and the Dutch international’s pace took him into space down the left flank.

Narsingh then steadied himself before centring for Sigurdsson, whose fine support run was rewarded as he steered a left-foot volley inside the post to send the Liberty into raptures.

Back came Southampton, with Boufal seeing one drive blocked by Maswson and then claiming a penalty after a challenge from Swans substitute Angel Rangel.

As in the first half, referee East turned down appeals for a spot-kick.

With that, the Swans held on for another morale-boosting win.

 

SWANS: Lukasz Fabianski, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson, Martin Olsson (Angel Rangel 76), Jack Cork (capt), Tom Carroll, Leroy Fer (Ki Sung-Yueng 72), Wayne Routledge (Luciano Narsingh 60), Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente.
SUBS: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Jordi Amat, Nathan Dyer, Borja.

SOUTHAMPTON: Fraser Forster, Cedric Soares, Maya Yoshida, Jordy Clasie (Sam McQueen 77), Shane Long, Steven Davis (capt), Dusan Tadic (Sofiane Boufal 56), Oriol Romeu, Ryan Bertrand, Nathan Redmond (Josh Sims 77), Jack Stephens.
SUBS: Stuart Taylor, Harrison Reed, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Florin Gardos.