Looking back at Francesco's Swans stint
3rd October 2016
Francesco Guidolin arrived at Swansea City intent on proving he could thrive in the Premier League - and determined to ensure his new club would stay in the division.
A surprise appointment, he watched his first Swans game from the directors' box at the Liberty on January 18 this year, when a rare Ashley Williams goal clinched a narrow win over Watford.
That victory meant Guidolin, who originally signed a short-term deal until the end of the season, took charge of a team who had just climbed out of the top-flight relegation zone.
Over the next four months, he would play his part in lifting them into mid-table.
His reign began in spectacular fashion, as goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Ayew delivered the Swans' first ever league victory over Everton.
The Swans ought to have won again at West Brom in their next fixture, but a late Baggies equaliser was the start of a four-game winless sequence.
Guidolin's team were deep in trouble, while the Italian himself spent a week in a London hospital in early March as a result of a lung infection.
While Guidolin was bedridden, his team lifted his mood by chalking up crucial victories over Arsenal and Norwich City.
He returned to the dugout for a home clash with Aston Villa on March 19, and saw his players scrape a 1-0 win.
Guidolin may not have been delighted with the display, but it was results that mattered as the Swans battled to pull clear of the relegation places.
They claimed a satisfactory draw at Stoke next, then landed a first Premier League victory over Chelsea to reach 40 points for the season.
Guidolin's job was almost done.
Dismal away defeats at Newcastle and Leicester followed, but the Swans would finish the season with a flourish.
First they overcame Liverpool, then romped home 4-1 at West Ham United.
Within a few days of the Upton Park triumph, Guidolin was handed a new two-year contract.
He was all smiles when the Swans finished the campaign with a creditable draw against Manchester City which saw them finish in a respectable 12th place.
From that point the Swans' focus was on 2016-17, and on trying to ensure it would be a more enjoyable season than the last.
The signs were good when Guidolin's team opened up the new campaign with victory at Burnley courtesy of Leroy Fer's late goal.
But since then, the Swans have struggled.
The first home game of the new season ended in a frustrating 2-0 defeat to newly-promoted Hull City.
An EFL Cup win at Peterborough United came next, but league defeats followed against Leicester City, Southampton, Manchester City - who also ended the Swans' interest in the cup - and Liverpool.
The only top-flight point since the opening day came courtesy of a home draw with Chelsea.
The Swans showed character to fight back having gone 1-0 down that day, while, against Liverpool, the Swans impressed for 45 minutes but ended up with nothing after the Reds fought back from 1-0 down.
And with that, Guidolin's time in Wales came to an end.
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