Report | Swansea City 1 Brentford 1

27th January
First team
Conor Hourihane

Conor Hourihane’s first goal for the club ensured 10-man Swansea City extended their unbeaten run and climbed back into second place in the Championship table with a hard-earned point against Brentford.

Steve Cooper’s side had looked set to suffer a rare defeat when Tariqe Fosu-Henry headed home with 16 minutes to play, shortly after Kyle Naughton had seen red after receiving two yellow cards from referee John Brooks.

But Hourihane, on his first league appearance for his new club, caught out the Brentford defence and keeper with a whipped free-kick that found the far corner of the net.

It was reward for a gritty performance from the hosts and stretches their unbeaten run to eight games, while they are 11 games without losing at the Liberty.

The Swans had shown one change from their last league game against Barnsley, with Hourihane featuring in place of the injured Korey Smith.

Fellow new signing Jordan Morris was on the bench, having completed his loan move from Seattle Sounders on Friday.

It proved an even start between two sides who know each other well, with this the ninth meeting since the start of December 2018.

Jay Fulton

Jake Bidwell and Matt Grimes produced two excellent bits of defending for the Swans as the visitors looked to get in behind, while Mads Sorensen did likewise for Brentford as Connor Roberts delivered following a threatening Swansea break.

Neat link work nearly allowed the Swans to put Jamal Lowe in on goal, but David Raya was out quickly to snuff out the danger.

The Bees should have taken the lead in the 21st minute when a long ball found the run of Rico Henry down the left, but he dragged his effort narrowly wide of the far post.

Bryan Mbuemo then missed another good chance after Henry had lofted an inviting cross to the back post, the Frenchman heading over the bar.

The Swans responded, good work by Lowe and Roberts teeing up a chance for Hourihane, but the Irishman’s shot was blocked.

Naughton was then booked for a foul on Ivan Toney on halfway as the first 45 minutes ended goalless.

Vitaly Janelt fired an angled drive over the Swansea bar early in the second half as the visitors had the better of the possession and territory without working Freddie Woodman.

Swansea went on the offensive, Bidwell seeing a volleyed cross claimed by Raya after good work by Grimes, Jay Fulton and Roberts.

Freddie Woodman

But the clearest chance yet fell to Josh Dasilva, who was found unmarked near the penalty spot, but Woodman made a strong save.

Swansea’s task got even harder when Naughton was handed a second booking for a challenge on Sergi Canos with 22 minutes to play.

Canos immediately headed over from a Henry cross as Brentford sought to capitalise on the numerical advantage.

Woodman parried a Mathias Jensen strike but could not prevent substitute Fosu-Henry heading home a Henrik Dalsgaard cross in the 75th minute.

However, the Swans once again showed tremendous character to respond, with Hourihane curling a free-kick over the head of David Raya and into the far corner of the net.

Woodman still had to make saves to deny Marcus Forss and Jensen, but the Swans ground out a point.

Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Kyle Naughton, Ben Cabango, Marc Guehi; Connor Roberts, Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain), Jake Bidwell; Conor Hourihane; Jamal Lowe (Ryan Manning 90), Andre Ayew.

Unused Substitutes: Ben Hamer, Ryan Bennett, Joel Latibeaudiere, Dan Williams, Jordon Garrick, Yan Dhanda, Ollie Cooper, Jordan Morris.

Brentford: David Raya, Henrik Dalsgaard (captain), Mads Sorensen, Ethan Pinnock, Rico Henry; Josh Dasilva, Vitaly Janelt (Saman Ghoddos 85), Mathias Jensen; Bryan Mbuemo (Tariqe Fosu-Henry 56), Ivan Toney, Sergi Canos (Marcus Forss 79).

Unused Substitutes: Luke Daniels, Mads Roerslev, Jan Zamburek, Fin Stevens, Alex Gilbert, Maxwell Haygarth.

Referee: John Brooks