Report: Watford 1 Swans 2

30th December 2017
First team

Swansea City launched a stunning late fightback to claim a 2-1 victory over Watford in Carlos Carvalhal’s first game in charge.

The Swans were heading for defeat as they trailed 1-0 heading into the last five minutes.

Andre Carrillo had put Watford in front early on, but his header was cancelled in a dramatic finale.

Jordan Ayew levelled the scores on 86 minutes before Luciano Narsingh’s first goal for the club clinched a memorable win in the last minute of normal time.

Carvalhal, playing a 4-4-2, made three changes to the side that Leon Britton picked at Liverpool.

In came Sam Clucas, Renato Sanches and Tammy Abraham in place of Wayne Routledge, Leroy Fer and Oli McBurnie.

The Swans started with plenty of energy and purpose as good battling from Ayew saw him come away with the ball before firing a 25-yard effort against the bar ith five minutes gone.

It was quickly developing into an open game as Richarlison fired a low effort towards the far post which Lukasz Fabianski pushed wide.

A minute later Watford were ahead. Stefano Okaka’s through ball saw Richarlison break clear and although Fabianski saved his first effort, Carrillo was on hand to head the rebound home in the 11th minute.

The Swans steadied the ship after conceding so early and enjoyed their fair share of possession but without penetration in the final third.

A decent move involving Kyle Naughton and Sam Clucas after 23 minutes ended with Roque Mesa letting fly from distance, but his shot drifted over the top.

Watford were attacking with more pace than Swansea as Daryl Janmaat’s cross found Richarlison in the 38th minute. The Brazilian got up well, but Fabianski saved easily.

Narsingh replaced Roque Mesa at the start of the second half with Clucas moving inside to partner Tom Carroll in the middle of midfield.

Watford thought they had doubled their lead in the 54th minute when Molla Wague headed home a Tom Cleverley corner, but referee Martin Atkinson, who had missed a foul on Federico Fernandez in the build-up to the corner, disallowed the goal for a push.

Swansea’s second substitution soon followed as Oli McBurnie replaced the injured Tammy Abraham with 57 minutes gone.

Alfie Mawson headed a corner onto the roof of the net a minute later, while Narsingh forced an easy save from Gomes after Ayew broke clear.

With Swansea struggling to create anything, Carvalhal played his last card with Nathan Dyer replacing Clucas with 10 minutes remaining.

Dyer’s pace immediately won a free-kick that sparked a late surge for the visitors. But as the Swans pushed for the equaliser it took a fine save from Fabianski to deny substitute Gray with five minutes remaining.

Just when all seemed lost, Swansea grabbed the equaliser.

Narsingh delivered a deep cross from the right which McBurnie headed into the path of Ayew and the striker made no mistake from close range in the 86th minute.

And there was more to come from the Swans.

Sanches’ free-kick was half-cleared, Dyer unleashed a long-range volley which Gomes could only parry and Narsingh swept the ball home.



Watford: Gomes, Janmaat, Wague (Prodl 64), Kabasele, Zeegelaar, Doucoure, Watson, Cleverley, Carillo (Pereyra 81) Okaka (Gray), Richarlison.

Subs (not used): Karnezis, Capoue, Holebas,, Sinclair.

Swans: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez (capt), Mawson, Olsson, Clucas (Dyer 80), Carroll, Mesa (Narsingh 45), Sanches, Ayew, Abraham (McBurnie 57).
Subs (not used): Nordfeldt, Rangel, van der Hoorn, Fer.