Carlos proud after Arsenal triumph

30th January 2018
First team

Carlos Carvalhal saluted his players after Swansea City climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone thanks to a memorable 3-1 win over Arsenal.

Having stunned Liverpool last week, Carvalhal’s men made it back-to-back top-flight victories as they deservedly toppled Arsene Wenger’s side.

The Swans fell behind against the run of play on 33 minutes when Nacho Monreal scored from close range.

But the hosts were level within a minute as Sam Clucas swept home his first goal at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans took the lead on 61 minutes after Petr Cech’s howler allowed Jordan Ayew to roll in a fifth goal in his last 10 games.

And they sealed a famous victory four minutes from time when Ayew centred for Clucas to double his tally.

“I think we prepare very well for the game, but even if you prepare well, you will get nothing if the players do not believe in what you are doing,” Carvalhal said.

“So all the credit must go to all my players.

“All of the players I think are improving. When the dynamic of the team is good, that happens.

“One day it can be Sam Clucas (who impresses), one day Jordan Ayew, one day Leroy Fer, who is jumping to another level.

“One day it could be Ki Sung-Yueng, who is running at his best level right now. Also the centre-backs are doing well, the full-backs are doing well, Lukasz Fabianski is one of the best keepers in the competition.

“On another day it could be Wilfried Bony or Tammy Abraham. When the dynamic of the team is good, the confidence goes up and individuals can shine.”

The Swans are out of the bottom three – for 24 hours at least – for the first time since early November thanks to Carvalhal’s spectacular first month in charge.

Carvalhal’s side have taken 10 points from a possible 15 since the Portuguese took over, with their one defeat in that period coming in contentious circumstances against Spurs.

Including Emirates FA Cup games, the Swans have lost only once in their eight matches since Carvalhal was appointed.

The joy of the Arsenal triumph was that there was no doubt the best side had won.

“We knew what would happen in this game – we knew Arsenal would have the ball more because they do that against almost every side,” Carvalhal added.

“But we blocked their dynamic. They like to play between the lines and we blocked them, which meant they had a huge problem creating goalscoring situations.

“A fundamental thing in the game was that our defensive transitions were very strong. Arsenal can hurt you in these situations, but Jordan Ayew was absolutely amazing in the way he received the ball and waited for the second line of players.

“This was crucial for us. We knew if we could do it, we would create chances and we had three or four in the first half.

“In the second half it was more difficult because they put two players out wide, but we waited for our moment and we scored.

“In the end, although they had more possession, we had more chances and the score was 3-1, so we are happy about that.”