Report | Queens Park Rangers 0 Swansea City 2
Andre Ayew and Jamal Lowe were on target as Swansea City beat Queens Park Rangers to move up to second in the Championship table on Boxing Day.
The front two found the net either side of half-time to lift the Swans above Bournemouth and climb into the automatic promotion places.
After defending well for most of the first half, Steve Cooper’s side hit the front just before the break through Ayew’s eighth goal of the season – his first in five matches.
And the in-form Lowe netted his fourth goal in as many games nine minutes into the second half to give the Swans their first away win on Boxing Day since a 3-1 success against Crewe Alexandra in 2006.
It also gave them their 11th victory of the season - taking them onto 39 points - as well as a fifth clean sheet in six games and 12th overall.
Head coach Cooper named an unchanged side from last weekend’s 2-0 win over Barnsley as they prepared to face QPR, who were looking to end a run of seven games without victory.
The first chance of the contest fell to Lowe after just four minutes. Some neat link-up play with Yan Dhanda saw the striker found inside the area, but he could only shoot straight at Seny Dieng.
At the other end, Freddie Woodman demonstrated tremendous reflexes to turn away Macaulay Bonne’s header from a deep cross.
The Swansea keeper was not tested too much thereon despite QPR having the better of possession, while disrupting the visitors’ natural flow.
However, he did well to keep out Dominic Ball’s flick at the neat post, and the same player headed over from six yards out towards the end of the half.
But it was the Swans that broke the deadlock in the 44th minute with Ayew finding the net on Boxing Day for the second year running, having also scored in the 3-1 defeat at Brentford 12 months ago.
The Ghanaian was in the right place to nod home the rebound after a looping Jake Bidwell header from Connor Roberts’ cross deflected off the post.
The Swans had lost each of their last four Boxing Day fixtures, but doubled their lead just nine minutes after the restart.
Matt Grimes demonstrated terrific vision to pick out the run of Lowe, who raced away from the defence before showing brilliant composure to slot the ball past Dieng.
QPR – now with just one clean sheet in 11 games – looked to respond soon after, but Bonne was unable to head on target from Rob Dickie’s deep cross.
At the other end, Ben Cabango’s looping header dropped just the wrong side of the crossbar from Roberts’ inviting free-kick.
Exactly a decade on from a comprehensive 4-0 defeat here in the Championship, there was to be no such painful memories for the Swans 10 years on as they professionally saw out a fourth win in six games.
Queens Park Rangers: Seny Dieng, Todd Kane (Albert Adomah, 77), Rob Dickie, Yoann Barbet, Niko Hamalainen (Bright Osayi-Samuel, 66), Geoff Cameron (captain), Dominic Ball, Tom Carroll (Chris Willock, 77), Ilias Chair, Macauley Bonne (Charlie Kelman, 66), Lyndon Dykes.
Subs not used: Liam Kelly, Conor Masterson, Faysal Bettache, George Thomas, Stephen Duke-McKenna.
Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Ben Cabango, Ryan Bennett, Marc Guehi; Connor Roberts, Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain), Jake Bidwell; Yan Dhanda (Korey Smith, 65); Andre Ayew, Jamal Lowe.
Subs not used: Steven Benda, Ryan Manning, Joel Latibeaudiere, Kasey Palmer, Oli Cooper, Wayne Routledge, Jordon Garrick, Viktor Gyokeres.
Referee: Stephen Martin