Report | Swansea City 0 Queens Park Rangers 1
Swansea City’s 2021-22 season ended with a defeat as substitute Andre Gray struck a late winner for Queens Park Rangers at the Swansea.com Stadium.
Russell Martin’s side had the clearer of the chances with Cameron Congreve, Joel Piroe, Michael Obafemi and Hannes Wolf all denied by Seny Dieng in the R’s goal, while the Austrian had a first-half effort ruled out for a marginal offside call.
But it was Gray who found the net from close range after a defensive lapse had allowed Andre Dozzell in behind the Swans rearguard.
It was just the visitors second shot on target in the contest but it proved the one that made the difference.
The result ensures the Swans finish the season 15th in the table. Martin’s side lost just two of their last 11 games but the head coach has already made clear he expects them to be an improved proposition next term and to be turning some frustrating draws into wins.
He had named an unchanged starting line-up from the defeat at Nottingham Forest, but it proved a quiet start as there was little of action of note during the opening exchanges, with both sides having decent spells of possession without really threatening.
However, that changed nine minutes in when a long ball down the middle caused problems for the Swans, with Lyndon Dykes dragging a volley wide of the post when he should have opened the scoring.
Rangers probed again, with Ryan Manning making a fine block as Sam Field got away a strike from a Dykes’ flick on.
Ilias Chair then tricked his way between two players and fizzed an inviting ball across the six-yard box only to find no-one waiting to turn it in.
A few moments later and the Swans thought they had taken the lead. Joel Piroe sent Hannes Wolf scurrying down the left before the Austrian cut inside and fed Cyrus Christie.
Christie’s shot was parried by Seny Dieng and Wolf turned in the rebound, only for the offside flag to quickly quell any Swansea celebrations.
Congreve so nearly marked his full home debut with his first Swansea goal as Wolf picked him out on the counter. The teenager beat a defender superbly, but his right-footed shot was pushed away by Dieng.
Wolf was proving a bright spark for the Swans, and he nearly slid Michael Obafemi in on goal just before the interval as the half ended goalless.
The hosts started the second half on the front foot, Congreve sending Christie into the area where he was again denied by Dieng after beating a defender at close quarters.
Obafemi nearly played Congreve in with a beautiful lofted pass a few seconds later and there was far more purpose and zip to the Swans play.
Obafemi was at it again seconds later, another magnificent pass landing at the feet of Piroe, but he could not connect cleanly with his shot and Dieng saved.
Yoann Barbet had a shot saved at the other end before Martin made a double change as Olivier Ntcham and Jamie Paterson came on for Piroe and Congreve respectively.
Swansea’s last change was an enforced one as injury saw Joel Latibeaudiere depart, with Korey Smith coming on for his final outing as a Swansea player.
Manning nearly picked out Obafemi’s run with a diagonal ball before the Republic of Ireland internationals combined again, with the striker spooning his final effort into the arms of Dieng.
Paterson steered wide from Wolf’s lay-off as Swansea pressed, but instead it was the visitors who landed the key blow.
A ball into the channel on the Swansea right unlocked the home side far too easily, and Gray was on hand to finish from Dozzell’s unselfish lay-off.
Swansea City: Andy Fisher; Joel Latibeaudiere (Korey Smith 64), Kyle Naughton, Ryan Manning; Cyrus Christie, Flynn Downes, Matt Grimes (captain), Hannes Wolf; Joel Piroe (Olivier Ntcham 61), Cameron Congreve (Jamie Paterson 61), Michael Obafemi.
Unused Substitutes: Ben Hamer, Jay Fulton, Korey Smith, Azeem Abdulai, Joel Cotterill.
Queens Park Rangers: Seny Dieng, Yoann Barbet (captain), Luke Amos, Lyndon Dykes (Andre Dozzell 64), Ilias Chair, Dominic Ball, George Thomas (Andre Gray 64), Sam McCallum, Dion Sanderson (Osman Kakay 46), Sam Field, Albert Adomah.
Unused Substitutes: Joe Walsh, Murphy Mahoney.
Referee: Stephen Martin