Swansea 1-1 Crystal Palace: Jordan Ayew strike rescues point for hosts
Last Updated: 23/12/17 7:29pm
Jordan Ayew's superb strike denied Crystal Palace a third straight win and rescued a point for managerless Swansea in an enthralling encounter at the Liberty Stadium.
After receiving the ball 25 yards out, Ayew feigned to shoot before skipping forwards and letting fly from 18 yards and leaving Julian Speroni with no chance.
The goal was a bitter blow for the visitors, who had previously been untroubled by their toothless hosts and had taken the lead on 59 minutes through a Luka Milivojevic penalty following Federico Fernandez's trip on Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
They might have led after just nine minutes, but after Lukasz Fabianski had saved Scott Dann's header, he then did brilliantly to claw away Andros Townsend's curled effort that looked destined for the top corner.
Swansea: Fabianski (7), Naughton (7), Fernandez (4), Mawson (7), Olsson (7), Carroll (8), Mesa (6), Clucas (6), Narsingh (7), Abraham (6), Dyer (7)
Subs: Ayew (8), Rangel (6), Fulton (6)
Crystal Palace: Speroni (6), Kelly (7), Tomkins (7), Dann (7), Schlupp (6), Loftus-Cheek (7), Cabaye (6), Milivojevic (7), McArthur (6), Townsend (7), Zaha (7)
Subs: Van Aanholt(6), Sako (6)
Man of the match: Tom Carroll
Swansea, playing under the temporary leadership of Leon Britton following the dismissal of Paul Clement, dominated much of the early possession. Palace, without the suspended Christian Benteke, struggled to build a platform, although they remained a threat on the break and Loftus-Cheek saw his attempted curled effort drop just wide of the far post.
Wilfried Zaha then created an opening for himself on 34 minutes, but having put Fernandez on his backside, he then lost control of the ball himself at the crucial moment and the chance was gone.
The pattern continued after the break and Palace finally made their greater threat count when Zaha fed Loftus-Cheek, who squared up Fernandez and then fell over an outstretched leg in the box.
Swansea caretaker boss Leon Britton made two changes to the side that lost to 3-1 to Everton last time out, with Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony ruled out with injury - they were replaced by Sam Clucas and Tammy Abraham.
Palace made one change, with the suspended Christian Benteke replaced by Luka Milivojevic.
Milivojevic made no mistake from the spot, prompting the hosts to finally find some thrust to their game and Abraham should have levelled on 66 when his first touch allowed him a clear sight of goal, but Speroni saved well at his near post.
Nathan Dyer's cross was then almost deflected past the Palace keeper before Ayew pulled some magic out of nowhere to finally bring Swansea level.
Swansea might have won it as Ayew fizzed another cracker inches wide from distance before Abraham just failed to meet Dyer's cross at the near post as Palace held on to extend their unbeaten run to eight games, while Swansea will spend Christmas at the foot of the table.
- Crystal Palace are now unbeaten in eight Premier League games - their longest run in the top-flight since October 1990 (a run of 12).
- Indeed, only Manchester City (27) and Liverpool (10) are currently on longer unbeaten runs in the Premier League than the Eagles.
- Jordan Ayew scored his first goal in 16 Premier League games, since netting Swansea's second in their 2-0 win at Crystal Palace in the reverse fixture in August.
- No player has scored more penalty goals in the Premier League this season than Luka Milivojevic (3, level with Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney).
Leon Britton: "The fans have been great with me, as player or manager, you could hear them being very vocal which I appreciate, but in terms of the job, nothing has changed and I'm not looking for the job full time.
"They need to make the right decision, make sure it's clear what they want, whether that's before Liverpool, after Liverpool or in January. They have to make sure they take their time and get the right man."
Roy Hodgson: "It would be churlish to say I'm anything other than satisfied. To have no points after seven games and to have 18 now and be out of the relegation zone, I think you have to be pleased with that.
"The lads are working so hard. We would have liked more points, but we are chipping away.
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Man of the Match - Tom Carroll
The midfielder was always available for the ball, always trying to find the right pass. His side has been struggling, but he doesn't hide. His delivery at set-pieces was outstanding and he kept Swansea moving throughout the game.
Phil Thompson: "Crystal Palace really had the upper hand in the first half. Townsend had an absolutely fantastic chance, coming in from the left-hand side onto his right foot. What a save from Fabianksi. I thought it was going right in the corner.
"The penalty woke up Swansea. All of a sudden Tammy Abraham has a shot from the inside right position which hits the side-netting. And then the goal. Ayew right on the edge of the box, drills it in, right to the far side."
Swansea travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the tea-time kick-off on Boxing Day while Crystal Palace have two extra days off before they host Arsenal on December 28. Both games are live on Sky Sports Premier League.