Sunday, 14 May 2017

Swansea secure top flight status for another season

Swansea saw cemented their status in the Premier League this weekend. Paul Clement’s men did their job by seeing off a lacklustre Sunderland side 2-0 away home from and were duly rewarded with safety as Crystal Palace thrashed Hull 4-0 to condemn the Tigers to the Championship.

It was a spirited display from the Swans but even by Sunderland’s standards this season, their display was poor. Still, nothing can be taken away from Clement and his side, the former Derby County manager has done a remarkable job in turning around their fortunes and deserves some credit. Swansea wanted it more than Sunderland, chased every loose ball, every pass, every cross, the fight they put up at the Stadium of Light was truly commendable.

Fernando Llorente opened the scoring inside ten minutes, heading home Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick to score his 14th of the season whilst making it Sigurdsson’s 13th assist. The Spaniard has been crucial to his side’s survival, particularly their current four game unbeaten run in which has scored in all three of Swansea’s victories. The link-up play between the striker and midfielder called the Wearsiders problems all afternoon, though David Moyes men did not look too keen to do something about it and Swansea continued to dominate.

The visitors’ efforts were rewarded on the stroke of half-time as Kyle Naughton wrapped up the victory with a superb goal. The full-back piled a brilliant angled drive into the far top scorer past a hapless Jordan Pickford to worsen the Black Cats’ misery. The goal sent the brilliant travelling support into raptures as this spurred their team to the finish line, knowing another season in the top flight beckoned. What could have been a nervy encounter proved to be a stroll in the park for Swansea and now all eyes were on Crystal Palace v Hull.

Following Hull’s disappointing defeat to Sunderland last weekend, a lash back from Marco Silva’s men may have been on the cards. Fortunately for Swansea and Big Sam, Hull delivered a performance that would make even Sunderland blush and Palace were allowed to run riot. Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke, Luka Milivojevic and Patrick van Aanholt each scored in the four goal rout to secure both theirs and Swansea’s Premier League status.

Whilst it’s by no means the greatest of escapes for Paul Clement and his men, it’s a hell of an achievement. The Swansea have had three managers this season and found themselves at the bottom of the table at the midway point of the season, boasting a mere 12 points. It’s a great turn around for Swansea and Clement can now look to the future and begin to build a squad that is ready to compete in the top flight.

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