Barclays Premier League: Swansea City v Crystal Palace
6th February 2016
Francesco Guidolin's first home fixture as Swans head coach ended in a 1-1 stalemate with Crystal Palace.
After Gylfi Sigurdsson's stunning free-kick opened the scoring for the home side, Scott Dann's second-half equaliser earned the Eagles a share of the spoils.
Sigurdsson fired the Swans in front on 13 minutes with a trademark set-piece, bending the ball beyond an outstretched Wayne Hennessey.
The Swans had chances to extend their lead through Andre Ayew and Wayne Routledge, but Dann levelled the scores from close range shortly after the interval.
Guidolin's side pressed for the winner and Hennessey was called into action to prevent Sigurdsson from curling home his second free-kick, while Federico Fernadez headed wide from the resultant corner and Ashley Williams saw a volley blocked inside the six-yard box.
The point means the Swans remain 16th in the Barclays Premier League on 27 points.
The Swans handed Alberto Paloschi his first start in the only change to the starting XI while Leroy Fer, who joined on loan from QPR on deadline day, was included among the substitutes.
Ki Sung-Yueng, replaced by Paloschi in the draw at West Brom last time out, missed out due to concussion he suffered at the Hawthorns.
Palace gave former Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Real Madrid striker Emmanuel Adebayor his first start for the club, while Yohan Cabeye had recovered from injury to feature.
Midfielder James McArthur and Jason Puncheon were both ruled out for the Eagles, who were also without Yannick Bolasie and Dwight Gayle.
SWANS: Lukasz Fabianski, Angel Rangel (Kyle Naughton, 86), Federico Fernandez, Ashley Williams (capt), Neil Taylor, Leon Britton, Jack Cork, Andre Ayew, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Routledge (Modou Barrow, 61), Alberto Paloschi (Bafe Gomis, 87).
SUBS: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Jordi Amat, Leroy Fer, Jefferson Montero.
CRYSTAL PALACE: Wayne Hennessey, Joel Ward, Scott Dann, Yohan Cabeye (Hiram Boateng, 72), Wilfried Zaha, Lee Chung-yong (Marouane Chamakh, 45), Mile Jedinak (capt), Jordon Mutch, Pape Souare, Emmanuel Adebayor (Fraizer Campbell, 86), Damien Delaney.
SUBS: Alex McCarthy, Brede Hangeland, Martin Kelly, Sullay Kaikai.
After a cagey opening ten minutes, the Swans were the first to find the back of the net through a Gylfi Sigurdsson stunner - his seventh goal of the season and his fifth in the last six games.
The Icelandic midfielder, himself, won a free-kick on the edge of the box, before bending the set-piece inside Wayne Hennessey's post in trademark fashion.
Buoyed by their 12th-minute opener, the hosts nearly scored a second, just three minutes later, when Andre Ayew nearly hit home following a goalmouth scramble, only to see his effort blocked.
At the other end, Crystal Palace saw their first chance of the match go begging in the 19th minute when Emmanuel Adebayor headed over the bar from Yohan Cabaye's free-kick.
But the Swans continued to dominate proceedings with half-an-hour on the clock as Ayew went close again to prodding home from close range, before Wayne Routledge curled narrowly wide of the far post following an Angel Rangel cutback.
The visitors came close to an equaliser on the brink of half-time as Eagles centre-back Scott Dann connected well with another Cabaye set-piece, but his header was just off target.
HALF-TIME: Swans 1-0 Crystal Palace
Two minutes into the restart, though, and Dann did find the back of the net. The English defender was on hand to meet Damien Delaney's flick on and fire home from close range to level the scores.
The early second-half equaliser rallied the Eagles, who then had opportunities through Emmanuel Adebayor and Yohan Cabaye, whom were both unable to find a way past Lukasz Fabianski.
After weathering the Palace pressure, the Swans again began to enjoy the vast majority of possession.
Just past the hour-mark, Ayew attempted an audacious overhead kick from the left-hand side of the box, which nearly caught Hennessey off guard but dropped just wide of the far post.
With the rain pouring down on a floodlit Liberty Stadium, Swans skipper Ashley Williams then nearly restored Swansea's lead, attempting to bundle a bouncing ball into the net, only for Hennessey to dive on the ball a yard from his line.
The introduction of Modou Barrow added speed to the Swans front line, and the Gambian winger went close to scoring his first league goal when he cut inside from the right flank before firing an effort that whistled just over the bar.
At the other end, another substitute came close to making an immediate impact as Hiram Boateng's low strike form 20 yards fizzed narrowly wide of Fabianski's left-hand post.
But the chances were piling up for the Swans as Hennessey did superbly to keep out another sensational free-kick, before Fernandez again headed wide from Sigurdsson's follow-up corner and Williams saw a volley blocked inside the six-yard box.
The Swans pressed for a late winner, but the visitors were able to hold on for a share of the spoils.