Swansea City v Aston Villa
26th April 2014
The Swans eased their relegation fears with a 4-1 home win over Aston Villa, with Jonjo Shelvey's stunning 47-yard half-volley the highlight.
Garry Monk's side claimed back-to-back league wins for the first time since December 2012 thanks to this victory, which moved them eight points clear of third-bottom Fulham though their Premier League fate isn't confirmed mathematically.
Wilfried Bony put the Swans in front after just nine minutes as he slotted home following Jonjo Shelvey's through ball.
Villa got back on level terms after 22 minutes with Gabriel Agbonlahor guiding Marc Albrighton's pinpoint cross past Michel Vorm from two yards.
But it took the Swans just four minutes to regain their lead as Shelvey's superb strike stunned the Liberty.
He made the most of Ron Vlaar's miss-placed pass as he chested the ball down before his 47-yard half-volley flew over Brad Guzan and into the top corner for a goal-of-the-season contender.
Leading at the break, the Swans went on to finish off Villa in the second half.
Pablo Hernandez found the top corner from Shelvey's cross, and then Bony struck his 24th goal of the season - his 15th in the league - in added on time.
Sub Marvin Emnes went down under the challenge of Nathan Baker, and the Dutchman was awarded his second penalty in as many games.
Bony, just like he did at Newcastle the previous week, coolly slotted into the left-hand corner to sign off a massive win for the hosts.
The Swans remained unchanged as Garry Monk stuck with the starting XI that beat Newcastle United last time out.
There was only one change on the bench as Spaniard Alvaro Vazquez took the place of David Ngog.
Monk was without centre-back Chico Flores, who served the final game of his two-match ban, and fellow Spaniard Michu, who sat out due to an ankle problem.
SWANS:Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel (Neil Taylor, 77), Jordi Amat, Ashley Williams (capt), Ben Davies, Leon Britton, Jonjo Shelvey, Pablo Hernandez, Jonathan de Guzman (Jay Fulton, 83), Wayne Routledge (Marvin Emnes, 88), Wilfried Bony.
SUBS: Gerhard Tremmel, Kyle Bartley, Nathan Dyer, Alvaro Vazquez.
ASTON VILLA: Brad Guzan, Leandro Bacuna (Matthew Lowton, ht), Ron Vlaar (capt), Nathan Baker, Ryan Bertrand, Marc Albrighton, Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph, Karim El Ahmadi (Grant Holt, 75), Gabriel Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann (Callum Robinson, 67).
SUBS: Jed Steer, Yacouba Sylla, Aleksandar Tonev, Ciaran Clark.
With the rain pouring down on the Liberty, the Swans made a bright start as Jonathan de Guzman's cross from just inside the Aston Villa caused problems. Wilfried Bony challenged Brad Guzan, and when the keeper failed to collect, the striker made a weak connection with the loose, only for Ron Vlaar to coolly head the effort back towards Guzan.
And in the sixth minute there was a one minute applause for former Swans midfielder Ferrie Bodde, who has been put into a self-induced coma following illness his week.
And four minutes later the Jack Army were applauding once again as the Swans took the lead.
Jonjo Shelvey's superb through ball caught the Villa defence flat-footed, and Bony raced on before slipping his low effort past Guzan.
Villa looked for an instant reaction, and Marc Albrighton's curling delivery into the box failed to find a team-mate before Gabriel Agbonlahor scuffed wide from20 yards after he found himself in space.
Albrighton then saw his effort take a minor deflection off Leon Britton and whizz just past the near post and out for a corner as Paul Lambert's side pushed for an equaliser.
And the visitors were on level terms in the 22nd minute as another fine Albrighton cross found Agbonlahor and the striker guided home past Vorm from two yards.
But Villa were not on level terms for long as four minutes later Shelvey came up with a moment of magic that had the Liberty crowd on its feet.
After Pablo Hernandez had rushed Vlaar into a clearance, the skipper's pass flew straight to Shelvey, who chested it down before his thunderous half-volley from 47 yards flew over Guzan - who was off his line - and into the top corner.
Bony then went close to adding another as he won possession with a sliding tackle and then, after some fine trickery, his left-footed shot was parried by Guzan as Wayne Routledge lurked.
Villa probed as the game moved towards half-time, but Shelvey's superb strike proved the difference between the sides at the break.
HALF-TIME: Swans 2 Aston Villa 1
Villa made a change at the break as Matthew Lowton replaced Leandro Bacuna, but both teams cancelled each other out for the first 15 minutes.
Then the Swans raised their game as gear as Shelvey saw his low shot gathered by Guzan before Jonathan de Guzman fired wide from Routledge's cross from the right flank.
The Swans kept probing, and when some fine trickery from Pablo Hernandez saw the Spaniard in space, his cross was cleared by Nathan Baker just two yards from his own line.
But the Swans would be denied no longer as Hernandez fired them 3-1 ahead after 73 minutes.
Shelvey's cross found Hernandez unmarked in the box, and when he controlled and cut back inside, his powerful shot found the top corner despite Baker's slight deflection.
The Swans were forced into a change soon after as Neil Taylor replaced the injured Angel Rangel.
Villa were desperately looking to cut the deficit, and Albrighton wasted a half-chance as he curled high and wide from the edge of the box.
Garry Monk made another change as midfielder Jay Fulton - who signed from Falkirk in January - came on to make his debut in place of de Guzman with seven minutes left.
The Swans kept pushing for a fourth, and they almost got it when Shelvey's powerful low drive headed for the bottom corner, but Guzan got down quickly to pad it out for a corner.
Bony then drove an audacious volley wide before the Swans made their final switch as Marvin Emnes took the field in place of Routledge.
And Emnes made an immediate impact as for the second consecutive game he earned the Swans a penalty in added on time after he was brought down by Baker.
Up stepped Bony, and he coolly slotted home into the left-hand corner for his 24th of the season.
That was it, and the Swans could celebrate a huge victory in terms of survival.