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In-form Swansea see off struggling QPR


Swansea forward Andre Ayew celebrates his eighth goal of the season
Swansea forward Andre Ayew celebrates his eighth goal of the season

Swansea City climbed into the Championship’s automatic promotion places, as goals from Andre Ayew and Jamal Lowe gave them a 2-0 victory at struggling Queens Park Rangers.

Leading scorer Ayew headed into an empty net to put Steve Cooper’s team ahead at the end of a first half in which Rangers had been the better side.

Lowe then raced clear early in the second period to score for the fourth time in as many games and put the visitors firmly in control.

Swansea’s third win in four matches means they leapfrog Bournemouth and move into second in the table, four points behind leaders Norwich City.

Rangers, by contrast, are hovering above the relegation places after a worrying eight-game winless sequence.

Swansea did threaten first, as Lowe combined smartly with Yan Dhanda before scuffing a shot too close to goalkeeper Seny Dieng.

Dhanda then forced a decent save from Dieng, yet Rangers dictated for long spells with Swansea lacking their usual composure in possession.

There were numerous dangerous deliveries into the Swans’ box and it was Macauley Bonne who came closest to taking advantage as his firm header was expertly saved by Swansea keeper Freddie Woodman.

Dominic Ball then saw a 20-yard drive deflect wide of the target before he sent a far-post header harmlessly over the top.

QPR were asking questions of Steve Cooper’s vaunted rearguard, but the opening goal came at the other end when Rangers old boy Jake Bidwell rose highest to meet a cross from fellow wing-back Connor Roberts.

Bidwell’s goalbound effort was diverted onto the post by the stretching Yoann Barbet, with Ayew left with the simple task of heading into the empty net.

Swansea gave themselves breathing space early in the second half thanks to a lethal counter-attack.

Matt Grimes claimed a notable assist, with his perfect pass allowing Lowe to sprint through a gap in the Hoops’ defence before coolly rolling a low shot past the helpless Dieng.

Lowe, brimming with confidence thanks to his scoring streak, then flashed another effort narrowly wide of the target as the Rangers rearguard wobbled once more.

Warburton made a string of substitutions to try to inspire a comeback, but Swansea – the team with the best defensive record in the EFL – held on for victory with relative comfort.

QPR manager Mark Warburton:

“Possession, chances – all these stats are irrelevant. There’s only one really important stat and that’s goals. In the first half we completely controlled it, looked strong and confident, got balls in the box, and we have to take our chances. It’s as simple as that.

“We were in control in that first half and never felt threatened at all. We moved the ball well and threatened them.

“You can dominate long periods of play but it’s irrelevant if you don’t put the ball in the back of the opposing net.

“At the moment we’re flattering to deceive. We have to be better and we have to be more ruthless.”

Swansea head coach Steve Cooper:

“We are really pleased with the win. I thought it was a tight game, truth be told, in the first half. We were really happy to come in with the lead.

“Second half was about managing the game, not just in terms of not conceding but I thought we could manage our moments to attack and it came off.

“It was a great ball by Grimesy [Matt Grimes] and a brilliant goal by Jamal.

“I thought it was a really good performance again and we were good for the win. We were very professional with how we went about it and the boys deserve a lot of credit.”

Line-ups

QPR

  • 13Dieng
  • 4Dickie
  • 20Cameron
  • 6Barbet
  • 2KaneSubstituted forAdomahat 77′minutes
  • 22CarrollSubstituted forWillockat 77′minutes
  • 12BallBooked at 79mins
  • 25HämäläinenSubstituted forOsayi-Samuelat 66′minutes
  • 9Dykes
  • 10Chair
  • 7BonneSubstituted forKelmanat 66′minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Osayi-Samuel
  • 19Thomas
  • 21Willock
  • 23Masterson
  • 26Bettache
  • 29Kelman
  • 32Kelly
  • 37Adomah
  • 41Duke-McKenna

Swansea

  • 1Woodman
  • 44Cabango
  • 2Bennett
  • 5Guehi
  • 23Roberts
  • 6Fulton
  • 8Grimes
  • 24Bidwell
  • 21DhandaBooked at 34minsSubstituted forSmithat 65′minutes
  • 10A Ayew
  • 9Lowe

Substitutes

  • 3Manning
  • 7Smith
  • 13Benda
  • 14Gyökeres
  • 15Routledge
  • 22Latibeaudiere
  • 31Cooper
  • 41Garrick
  • 45Palmer

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