Federico Fernandez’ first Swansea City goal may have sealed both teams’ fate, as Swansea are set to play another season in the Premier League while Aston Villa will spend their first season outside of the league since its creation. The Swans won 1-0 on Saturday evening.
Aly Cissokho should have been given a second yellow card for a foul on Modou Barrow, but Swansea fans won’t mind too much as the resulting free kick was beautifully crossed by Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernandez tumbled the ball in after Brad Guzan completely missed his clearing punch.
This win takes Swansea 11 points clear of the relegation places, with seven games left to play.
Gestede a danger in quiet first half
The first half of action at the Liberty Stadium was largely a forgettable one, with Rudy Gestede’s tame overhead kick being the only shot on target between the two sides.
Ashley Williams and Gestede were involved in a tussle just after 15 minutes, clashing in an aerial duel and not letting go of each other even when the ball was 20 yards away. Williams proceeded to raise an arm to Gestede and was perhaps fortunate to not see a card.
Fernandez nets the only goal of the game
Fernandez scored with Swansea’s first shot on target after 53 minutes, his first since moving to the club from Napoli. Sigurdsson claimed his third assist of the season, continuing his blistering form in 2016.
With 20 minutes to go, Joleon Lescott latched onto a corner ensuring that all Swansea fans held their breath. Fortunately for them his attempt was straight at Lukasz Fabianski.
Bafetimbi Gomis almost sealed the win in added time, with his low strike from just outside the box shaving the outside of the post as it flew wide.
Swansea set up with an unusual shape in the first half, with Sigurdsson down as the left-winger but spending the majority of his time in the middle of the field, leaving young Stephen Kingsley with no help both on offense and defence.
In the second half, Leroy Fer made more of an effort to help out the young Scot, but it was obvious that a winger was needed as the team had no balance whatsoever.
Not getting much to shout about today, but Swansea fans will be glad to see two promising youngsters in Kingsley and Barrow put in impressive performances. With the club unveiling their new youth facilities yesterday they could be the first of a few players coming through the Swansea ranks.
The result all but condemns Aston Villa’s fate, if they weren’t already certain to get relegated. Fans will be encouraged with this performance though, and some would even say they were the better side tonight.
All in all, a very drab game. If you were wondering why both these sides were towards the foot of the table then this game is all the evidence you need.