Report | West Brom 0 Swansea City 2
Late goals from Joel Piroe and Cyrus Christie gave Swansea City a deserved win at West Brom as Russell Martin’s side picked up three points on their travels for the first time since November.
It was no less than the performance merited, as the visitors bounced back from a poor showing at Sheffield United by growing into the game, taking control and creating the clearer openings.
Piroe had earlier struck the post, while the dangerous Hannes Wolf had gone close, while Michael Obafemi had been unable to convert two gilt-edged chances.
But the Dutchman made no mistake when steering in an Olivier Ntcham cross for the opener, before Christie netted his second goal in three games when Wolf’s cross came through to him at the back post.
At the other end, Albion twice hit the woodwork through Callum Robinson but rarely worked Andy Fisher in the Swansea goal as their wretched run of form continued.
There had been three changes from the defeat at Sheffield United for the Swans, with Kyle Naughton and Wolf back from injury, with Obafemi also handed a recall.
The Baggies enjoyed a few opportunities to deliver from set-piece situations during the early going, one coming after Robinson had stretched the Swans down the visitors’ right flank.
But the Swans dealt with those early tests and responded with Jamie Paterson’s free-kick requiring stout defending at the near post from the Baggies.
The visitors soon settled, taking control of the ball and penning Albion in their own territory.
Grady Diangana did lead one breakout that ended with him flashing a ball across the face of goal, before the Swans launched a threatening attack through Piroe that ended with Christie having a shot blocked, although the offside flag was soon raised.
Christie was involved again after nice play between Flynn Downes, Matt Grimes and Paterson, as Swansea began to ask more questions of their hosts.
But it was Albion who had the first clear opening 20 minutes in, Robinson heading Dara O’Shea’s cross from the right against the far post.
Obafemi then drove forward with purpose from an excellent Ben Cabango pass at the other end, with O’Shea making an important intervention with two coral shirts lying in wait behind him.
Play was soon back at the other end, Downes recovering superbly to cut off Diangana’s route to goal.
Piroe nearly fed Obafemi in on goal with Sam Johnstone alert to get off his line and intercept as the striker closed in, before Wolf and Paterson very nearly linked to great effect a few moments later.
Skipper Grimes then curled agonisingly wide after the Swans had played their way out all the way from keeper Fisher to work their way into the final third.
More lovely link play saw Wolf have another effort blocked, while Christie forced Johnstone into a firm parry at the far post from Ryan Manning’s pin-point cross.
More good play saw Paterson pick his way through a handful of defenders but just fail to connect with his final shot before the half-time whistle sounded, and was greeted by a chorus of boos from the home support.
The Swans had built up a good head of steam heading into the break and it continued early in the second half as Piroe struck the outside of the post after good work from Wolf and Christie.
At the other end Manning made a superb block to block Jayson Molumby’s shot, after Diangana had picked off a Downes pass.
Cabango saw a firm strike blocked from a Christie lay-off, while Wolf’s goalbound volley was also well blocked by Semi Ajayi as the hour mark came and went with the game still goalless but the Swans in the ascendancy.
Obafemi had Swansea's best chance yet when Paterson and Wolf again combined to great effect down the left, the striker mis-kicking his shot against a defender from six yards out.
Obafemi missed another superb opportunity seconds later, nodding over unmarked from Manning’s searching centre.
Quevin Castro has a rare sight of goal for the hosts when he fired straight at Fisher at the end of a sharp counter, but it remained the visitors doing most of the pressing for a breakthrough.
Robinson then struck the outside of the post from another Albion counter but it was the Swans who broke the deadlock through Piroe.
Ntcham, on for only seconds as a sub for Paterson, set off down the left, leaving a man for dead before pulling a cut-back into the path of the Dutchman, who fired home his 15th goal of the season through the legs of keeper Johnstone.
And the points were secured when Christie arrived to get on the end of Wolf's cross and smashed the ball through Johnstone and a defender covering on the line.
West Bromwich Albion: Sam Johnstone, Conor Townsend, Dara O'Shea (Darnell Furlong 46), Kyle Bartley (captain), Semi Ajayi, Callum Robinson, Grady Diangana, Jayson Molumby (Karlan Grant 77), Andy Carroll, Adam Reach (Quevin Castro 65), Alex Mowatt.
Unused Substitutes: Matt Clarke, Cedric Kipre, David Button, Taylor Gardner-Hickman.
Swansea City: Andy Fisher; Ben Cabango, Kyle Naughton, Ryan Manning; Hannes Wolf, Flynn Downes, Matt Grimes (captain), Cyrus Christie; Joel Piroe (Kyle Joseph 90), Jamie Paterson (Olivier Ntcham 77); Michael Obafemi (Korey Smith 83).
Unused Substitutes: Ben Hamer, Jay Fulton, Joel Latibeaudiere, Finley Burns.