Swansea City hauled themselves out of the Premier League drop zone on Monday as a first half Ashley Williams header secured a 1-0 victory over Watford at the Liberty Stadium.
Alan Curtis’ men sat third from bottom ahead of kick-off and welcomed a Hornets side to south Wales that had lost their last three Premier League games.
New Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin was watching on from the stands and would’ve been impressed by the battling performance of his new side as they disposed of Quique Sanchez Flores’ men.
The visitors looked a shadow of the team that saw the Spaniard claim the Premier League’s manager of the month award for December as their 2016 plight continued.
The opening fifteen minutes passed without real incident as Wayne Routledge and Ki Sung-yueng were both foiled by the offside trap in there attempts to break the deadlock in the early exchanges.
Swansea continued to enjoy the majority of possession without ever threatening the Watford backline and Heurelho Gomez, who was making his 50th consecutive league appearance, was finally forced into his first action of the night as Leon Britton burst into the area but the 34-year-old swept up the loose ball.
Jose Jurado then picked up the first booking of the night for a late lunge on Routledge after Watford had threatened to take the lead through Odion Igahlo but he failed to meet Troy Deeney’s cross as the striker stole the ball from the toes of defender Neil Taylor.
The deadlock was broken just moments later in the 27th minute as Williams notched his first ever home Premier League goal after the attack looked to have initially broken down.
Watford midfielder Ben Watson sliced his clearance to Ki who eventually gathered the ball on the right hand side to swing a wonderful delivery for the Swansea skipper who outmuscled Valon Behrami to power home a header past the diving Gomez.
Allan Nyom picked up a second booking for the visitors before the break as he tripped full-back Taylor but it took Watford until the last minute of the opening period to record their first attempt on goal.
Jurado let fly from distance after a lovely cushioned lay-off from Deeney, who was making the 350th league appearance of his career, but Lukas Fabianski was untroubled in the Swans goal as half-time loomed.
Watford came out firing following the interval and Hornets defender Miguel Britos almost levelled matters as his glancing header from a Watson free kick sailed inches over the bar.
The visitors continued to surge forward at every opportunity searching for a way back into the game and Jurado should really have done better as his side-footed effort from the edge of the box flew wide.
Tension started to build at the Liberty with the game entering the latter stages as Swansea were seemingley clinging on for victory.
Watford piled forward and went close once more through Jurado and Deeney before Swans substitute Bafetimbi Gomis struck the post in added time.
The visitors huffed and puffed but failed to find the all-important opening as their January blues continued with Curtis’ men securing only their second victory since the end of October to move up to 17th and out of the Premier League relegation zone.