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Swansea beat Sheff Wed to cut gap to top two


Jamal Lowe celebrates after scoring his third goal in two games
Jamal Lowe celebrates after scoring his third goal in two games

Swansea City cut the gap to the automatic promotion places as Sheffield Wednesday suffered another heavy blow in their bid to avoid relegation.

Jamal Lowe capitalised on a defensive error to put Swansea ahead, before Jay Fulton’s header sealed a 2-0 victory for Steve Cooper’s side.

Swansea are seven points behind second-placed Watford with five games to play, the last of which is at Vicarage Road.

The Owls remain deep in trouble in 23rd, seven points adrift of safety.

This was not the return to the dugout Darren Moore had hoped for having missed Wednesday’s past three games after testing positive for coronavirus.

His team thrashed Cardiff City 5-0 in their previous home fixture, but have seen any confidence gained from that triumph wiped away by this loss and last Saturday’s heavy defeat at Queens Park Rangers.

Moore’s men competed for long spells against Swansea, although they were almost undone early on when Andre Ayew burst forward only to fire into the side netting.

Wednesday had chances, with Jordan Rhodes heading over at a corner and Josh Windass putting too much on an attempted lob either side of a powerful Liam Shaw drive which was brilliantly saved by Freddie Woodman.

But it was the visitors who took control when Tom Lees let Barry Bannan’s pass run across him and Ayew seized the opportunity to snatch possession.

Swansea’s leading scorer opted to square the ball rather than shoot, giving Lowe time and space to guide a rising shot beyond the recalled Keiren Westwood and into the net.

Cooper’s team have lost just once this season having gone in front, while Wednesday are the only Championship club who are yet to take a point from a game in which they have fallen behind.

Tom Lees crouches in disappointment after being dispossessed in the lead-up to Jamal Lowe's goal
Tom Lees crouches in disappointment after being dispossessed in the lead-up to Jamal Lowe’s goal

The hosts began the second period positively as they attempted to change that record, with Windass cutting inside dangerously only for the sliding Ryan Bennett to block his shot.

But Swansea gradually regained the initiative, with Westwood making a fine save to deny Ayew before the second goal arrived.

Substitute Connor Roberts played a pivotal role, feeding Lowe on the touchline before striding down the left flank to receive a return pass.

The Wales international then curled a perfect cross to the far post for Fulton to brush off Bannan and head home.

Swansea’s second successive away victory means they retain hope of finishing in the Championship’s top two, while the picture at the bottom looks bleak for Wednesday given that the two sides immediately above have games in hand.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore:

“It was a game of small margins. We had a great chance to get our noses in front and Woodman pulls off a great save from Shawy. Then they got the goal and they seemed to get a foothold. It was always going to be a tough task then.

“It’s a game we’ll look back on and think it was small margins, but those small margins are so important.

“To a man I’ve got no complaints with the players. They show commitment, they show endeavour, they show work-rate, they show a togetherness.

“We move on to Saturday now. We go again. The numbers are still there, three points are still there for us on Saturday and we can’t focus any further than that. While the numbers are still there, we’ll keep fighting.”

Swansea head coach Steve Cooper:

“There’s no doubt after that tough run we were having that we needed to stop it and get back to being us and I think we really have done that in the last two games.

“Wednesday caused us a couple of issues in the first half, a couple were self-inflicted, and I thought we could have been more aggressive with our pressing.

“But we sorted that out and I really felt we controlled the game with and without the ball.

“Points do matter more than ever at this stage of the season and to play like that for two games is really, really good.

“We are chasing now. When there’s a chance it gives you hope and when you have hope, you keep going.”

Line-ups

Sheff Wed

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Westwood
  • 6Hutchinson
  • 15Lees
  • 13BörnerSubstituted forGreenat 76′minutes
  • 2Palmer
  • 8Pelupessy
  • 10Bannan
  • 11Reach
  • 26ShawSubstituted forBrownat 64′minutes
  • 20RhodesSubstituted forPatersonat 64′minutes
  • 18Windass

Substitutes

  • 5Paterson
  • 7K Harris
  • 14Penney
  • 16Green
  • 19Urhoghide
  • 24Brown
  • 28Wildsmith
  • 29Hunt
  • 45Kachunga

Swansea

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Woodman
  • 26Naughton
  • 2Bennett
  • 5Guehi
  • 3ManningSubstituted forBidwellat 75′minutes
  • 6Fulton
  • 8Grimes
  • 14HourihaneSubstituted forSmithat 80′minutes
  • 10A Ayew
  • 15RoutledgeSubstituted forRobertsat 73′minutes
  • 9Lowe

Substitutes

  • 7Smith
  • 17Whittaker
  • 18Hamer
  • 21Dhanda
  • 22Latibeaudiere
  • 23Roberts
  • 24Bidwell
  • 31Cooper
  • 34Freeman

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