Swansea 0-1 Brighton: Glenn Murray winner seals second straight away win for Chris Hughton's side
Last Updated: 04/11/17 6:17pm
Glenn Murray scored his fourth Premier League goal of the season to hand Brighton a 1-0 victory over struggling Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
With just under half an hour played, the visitors took the lead as Murray nudged the ball into the net from close range following Anthony Knockaert's pinpoint cross from the right wing.
Swansea toiled in their attempts to salvage a point from the game in the second half and went closest to equalising in stoppage time as Luciano Narsingh lashed a shot off the top of the crossbar.
Following Bournemouth's injury-time winner against Newcastle, Swansea have slipped into the relegation zone in 18th place, while Brighton are sitting pretty in eighth after stringing together a four-game unbeaten run.
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Murray has been in good form for Brighton of late, scoring in three successive games in the Premier League, but there was an element of fortune to his latest strike on 29 minutes as he bobbled the ball in past Lukasz Fabianski with his thigh after Knockaert had picked him out with a sumptuous in-swinging cross from the touchline.
Rather than spur Swansea into the action, the goal seemed to stun them and Brighton almost went two up just three minutes later as Murray saw a goalbound volley blocked behind before Lewis Dunk's thunderous header from the resulting corner was acrobatically tipped over by Fabianski.
Swansea: Fabianski (7), Naughton (5), Mawson (6), Fernandez (5), Clucas (4), Fer (6), Carroll (5), Ki (5), Dyer (5), Ayew (6), Abraham (7)
Subs: Narsingh (6), McBurnie (N/A), Routledge (N/A)
Brighton: Ryan (6), Bruno (6), Dunk (7), Duffy (7), Bong (6), Knockaert (8), Propper (7), Stephens (6), Gross (5), Izquierdo (6), Murray (7)
Subs: March (5), Brown (5), Hemed (N/A)
Man of the match: Anthony Knockaert
The Swansea players were greeted by a chorus of boos from the home supporters as the half-time whistle sounded but they almost gave them something to cheer about shortly after the interval as England call-up Tammy Abraham latched onto a through-ball from Nathan Dyer inside the area, only to see his attempted chip blocked by Mat Ryan.
Despite dominating the second half with just under 60 per cent of possession, Swansea's quality in the final third and from set-pieces was sorely lacking, although they did create a great chance to equalise in stoppage-time as Narsingh rattled the crossbar with a venomous strike inside the area after being slipped through by Abraham, who was the one source of invention for his side all afternoon.
Paul Clement made just one change to his side with Nathan Dyer coming in at the expense of Mike Van Der Hoorn. It was a tactical shift with Swansea switching from a 3-5-2 formation deployed against Arsenal last weekend to a 4-3-3.Chris Hughton named an unchanged side for the third game running for Brighton with Glenn Murray leading the line in a 4-5-1 system.
There was even time for some more late drama as Fabianski came up for a late corner only to see Ki's under-hit delivery intercepted by a Brighton defender to spark a counter-attack, although substitute Izzy Brown failed to capitalise on the situation by giving the ball away rather than have an attempt on the unguarded goal.
It was an extremely frustrating day for the home side that was best encapsulated by Sam Clucas' angry reaction to being substituted as he lashed out at a kit bag on the touchline before taking his seat on the bench. Brighton, though, were well deserving of their win, sealed by the evergreen Murray who now has four goals in his last three games.
- Swansea have lost five of those six home league games - the first time they've ever lost five of their first six home matches in the league at this stage.
- There were just 15 shots in this match - only four Premier League games have seen fewer this season.
- Brighton & Hove Albion have picked up successive league away wins after just one point from their first four on the road this season (D1 L3).
- In fact, Brighton have recorded back-to-back away victories in the top-flight for only the second time, and first time since April 1981 when they won at Crystal Palace and Sunderland.
- Of English players since the start of last season, only Harry Kane (37) has scored more goals in the top two tiers of English football than Glenn Murray (27 - level with Tammy Abraham).
- Glenn Murray has scored in three successive Premier League games for the first time since April 2015.
Man of the match - Anthony Knockaert
In a game of minimal quality it was Anthony Knockaert who delivered the one moment of magic at the Liberty Stadium, as he cut in from the right and bent in a wonderful cross on his left foot for Murray to score the only goal.
Even that moment aside, last season's Championship Player of the Year was the standout player throughout, taking every opportunity to drive at the Swansea defenders with the ball while he also contributed defensively too by winning four tackles.
Paul Clement: "Another narrow defeat, it's the sixth game that we've lost by the odd goal but my first reflection on that performance is that if you play at that level, you can't be expected to win a Premier League game. The standard that we're playing at is much higher and for me that's the most disappointing thing."
Chris Hughton: "Every three points, particularly away from home are always a big three points. I think we learned a fair bit from the West Ham game and fortunately, we were able to bring that into today."
Swansea are away after the upcoming international break as they face in-form Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday 18th November.
Brighton will be in action against Stoke City on Monday Night Football on 20th November and the game will be live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm.