Swansea City 1-0 Stade Rennais: Swans head into the new season with a victory

Jay Fulton's goal was enough to separate the two as the Jacks concluded their pre-season campaign at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea City 1-0 Stade Rennais: Swans head into the new season with a victory
Jay Fulton celebrates with his teammates after breaking the deadlock. (Photo: Swansea City AFC)

In their biggest task of the summer, Swansea City passed a stern Stade Rennais test with a 1-0 victory over the French side on Saturday afternoon.

Jay Fulton's first touch separated the two, with him heading in from a corner just moments after stepping onto the pitch off of the bench.

However, the Swans put in a solid performance to earn themselves the win - their fourth in succession this summer and fifth in six pre-season games.

Promising, albeit goalless, start

With one week until the new season, Francesco Guidolin's line-up on Saturday gave fans a big clue as to who will start their Premier League opener against new boys Burnley.

The club's latest signing, Fernando Llorente led the line, but it was another summer recruit that had the first chance of the day as Leroy Fer fired over inside five minutes, having been teed up nicely by Jack Cork.

The midfield continued to get involved in the early stages, with Leon Britton the next to surge forward and this time test the goalkeeper, but Benoît Costil came up with a smart save to deny him.

The Swans' back line was rarely challenged in the opening 45 minutes, with well-timed interceptions preventing Rennes from having any bigger opportunities than Pedro Mendes' free-kick - which was comfortable for Lukasz Fabianski to stop.

Instead, the hosts' attack would grow into the game, with Llorente inches away from a debut goal as he saw his shot from Wayne Routledge's drilled cross rebound back into play off of the post.

The Spaniard tried something a little more spectacular just before the break, but saw his acrobatic volley narrowly miss the target in another bright move, with the two sides level-pegging at the interval.

Fernando Llorente enjoyed a lively debut, even without the goal he was craving. (Photo: Swansea City AFC)
Fernando Llorente enjoyed a lively debut, even without the goal he was craving. (Photo: Swansea City AFC)

Fulton's hedaer edges it

The second half saw more of the same, with Stephen Kingsley whipping a free-kick just off target in the opening few minutes as the Swans pursued a goal to appease the fans that had come out to the Liberty.

However, efforts continued to evade the target, with Fer the next to strike a well-hit but inaccurate shot towards the away goal.

Guidolin decided to switch things up then, with a flurry of substitutions made before the 70-minute mark. Llorente, who had been much quieter since the break, was one of those to make way, with young Oli McBurnie now leading the line as the fresh legs of Modou Barrow and Jefferson Montero took up their positions either side of him.

However, with 20 minutes left to play, of all the substitutes to step up and score that elusive goal, it was Fulton. Three years since his last senior goal - that coming for Falkirk - he was there to head home from a corner and break the deadlock.

It could have been more than just the one as well. Barrow had been lively since entering the fray and he would hit the bar five minutes later, cutting inside to shoot.

Nonetheless, Fulton's effort was enough to give Guidolin's men a winning end to pre-season and a fourth victory in a row to carry into next weekend's league opener.