Sigurdsson strikes as Swansea brush aside Southampton

Date published: Tuesday 31st January 2017 10:10

Gylfi Sigurdsson’s strike saw Swansea beat Southampton 2-1 and claim a crucial victory in the relegation scrap at the Liberty Stadium.

The home side had led through a deflected Alfie Mawson header seven minutes before the break, but were pegged back by Shane Long’s near-post effort just before the hour mark.

But up popped Sigurdsson with 20 minutes to go to score his seventh league goal of the season – a second winner in 10 days after his strike against Liverpool at Anfield – and boost the Welsh club’s Premier League survival hopes.

The Saints had made the better start as Swansea were strangely muted. Dusan Tadic and Long immediately found some joy down the Saints right flank, with the Republic of Ireland international firing high and wide from the Serbian’s astute ball down the channel.

Swansea initially struggled to deal with the combination but slowly began to settle. Sigurdsson saw his shot blocked on the edge of the area, and the hosts then had a penalty appeal waved away as the ball flicked on to the hand of Southampton defender Jack Stephens.

Fraser Forster soon made his first save, holding a dipping Sigurdsson strike before parrying Leroy Fer’s volley around a post.

But the goalkeeper had little chance from the resulting corner. Mawson lost Oriol Romeu and the defender’s header diverted off the Spaniard on to the inside of the post and into the net.

Swansea were on top, and Forster did particularly well to keep out a deflected Sigurdsson drive after the Iceland international had beaten two defenders with ease.

The home side started the second half on the front foot too, Sigurdsson breaking into the box but unable to find a supporting white shirt.

But Swansea were made to pay the price for failing to take advantage of a strong period in the game when Long equalised from an incisive Southampton attack.

Steven Davis found Ryan Bertrand’s forward run and his cross picked out Long for the striker to finish neatly at the near post.

Swansea boss Paul Clement responded by sending on Luciano Narsingh for his debut in place of Wayne Routledge, but nearly saw his side fall behind moments later.

Nathan Redmond and substitute Sofiane Boufal led a break and the former should have done better when teed up 14 yards out.

Redmond then worked Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski from distance as Southampton built the pressure.

However, against the run of play Swansea hit back through Sigurdsson. Fernando Llorente and Tom Carroll sent Narsingh racing forward and despite the Dutchman’s cross being behind Sigurdsson, the midfielder adjusted to send a low left-footed shot into the bottom corner.

Swansea had to survive some nerve-jangling moments during the final 20 minutes, including seeing Maya Yoshida’s header fly inches past the post, but they held on for three more valuable points.

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