Swansea City survived Norwich City’s late scare to win 1-0 on Saturday at the Liberty Stadium. Gylfi Sigurdsson once again came through for the Swans as the crafty midfielder scored the game winning goal just past the hour and delivered a crucial three points for the Welsh club.
Sigurdsson shines again
Dutch international Leroy Fer had only been in the game for six minutes when he impacted the match with the game winning assist. He received the ball at the top of the penalty box, took one step towards goal and then quickly released a low crisp pass to a wide open Sigurdsson, who finished coolly.
The 26-year-old Icelandic midfielder wasted no time after his first touch and the majority of the 20,924 spectators at the Liberty Stadium erupted as he bagged his eighth goal for the club this campaign.
The fans were celebrating even more at the full time whistle, because this was the Jacks second victory in a row. With this result, they are now completely in control of their own destiny when it comes to staying in the Premier League.
Rough first half for both
Despite this moment of quality, the first half of this match was pitiful. The two clubs entered this game fighting for survival and it showed. Instead of showing desperation and attacking the second the match started, the two teams were stuck in a physical duel. There were a combined 34 tackles, 29 fouls and seven yellow cards shown - of which five were given to the Canaries.
The pace of the game dropped as a result and chances were rare. The Jacks failed even a register a single shot on target in the first 45 minutes. It was not exactly an easy watch for anyone - not even newly elected FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who was in the stands watching this relegation battle.
It was no surprise the game was a scoreless draw at half time then.
Scary moments for Swansea
After Swansea took the lead 16 minutes after the restart, however, they had to really dig deep to defend their lead as Norwich sent wave upon wave of attack in the final minutes of the match - almost punishing the Swans for not taking chances to increase their lead.
In the 87th minute, Wayne Routledge sliced his clearance and it landed right at the feet of Canaries winger Nathan Redmond in the box. He controlled the loose ball and fired a shot towards the bottom, only to see it spin just wide of the mark.
Two minutes later, it was Swansea defender Federico Fernández who nearly rewarded Norwich a point. Substitute Patrick Bamford beat the Argentinean to a pass that led him deep into the box, before beating the defender and striking at Lukasz Fabianksi - who came up with a good save.
In the end, the Welsh club held on to the 1-0 victory and now sit in 16th place with 33 points - nine above the relegation zone.
Their next game will be a crucial one on Saturday against Bournemouth, who appear set to stay up following promotion last year. If the Jacks win, they can potentially overlap Crystal Palace, the Cherries, and even West Bromwich Albion in 13th.