Swansea 2-4 Sunderland: Jermain Defoe hits hat-trick in Black Cats win
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 14/01/16 12:01am
Jermain Defoe scored a hat-trick as Sunderland beat 10-man Swansea 4-2 at the Liberty Stadium to move to within a point of safety.
The former England striker gave his side a third-minute lead in Wednesday night's Premier League clash before Swansea levelled on 21 minutes courtesy of a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty.
The hosts were then controversially reduced to 10 men as Kyle Naughton was shown a straight red card for a foul on Yann M'Vila.
Andre Ayew did put them in front before half-time but Patrick van Aanholt equalised shortly after the break and two more Defoe goals sealed a crucial win for Sam Allardyce's men.
Sunderland made the perfect start as they capitalised on a poor goal kick from Lukasz Fabianski to take an early lead.
The 'keeper drove his kick straight to Adam Johnson, who then found Fabio Borini and when Fabianski fumbled his shot, Defoe was on hand to tap in from close range - although replays showed he may have been offside as Borini shot.
Swansea responded well though and Ayew had a decent chance to equalise as he reached a ball over the top but could only shoot over on the half-volley.
The next chance fell to Sunderland and Johnson again, the winger somehow skewing the ball wide from six yards after decent build up down the left from the visitors.
He was made to rue that miss when Swansea were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute. Ayew had tricked his way past Wes Brown but as he went to shoot, he crumpled and the referee pointed to the spot.
Contact from Brown looked minimal at best but it mattered little to Sigurdsson who calmly finished the penalty, sending Vito Mannone the wrong way.
For the next 15 minutes, the game was frenetic, the sides seemingly taking it in turns to attack although neither were able to create any notable chances.
However, the game swung in Sunderland's favour eight minutes before half-time as Naughton was given his marching orders by referee Graham Scott.
There appeared to be little in his challenge with M'Vila as he tried to win a bouncing ball but as the French midfielder went down, the referee wasted no time in producing the red card.
Swansea were incensed but within three minutes, that anger turned to joy as Ayew put them in front, collecting a long ball from Fabianski before turning Lee Cattermole and hammering a shot low into the far corner.
The visitors flew out of the traps in the second half and were level within four minutes. Van Aanholt's first touch took him inside Angel Rangel, the full-back on to fill in for the dismissed Naughton, and smashed a right-foot shot off the far post and in - via a sizeable deflection off Federico Fernandez.
Jeremain Lens then struck the foot of the post for Sunderland, having been played in by Borini before Defoe put them in front just past the hour mark.
The striker was able to run through unchallenged as the Swansea defence stopped, convinced he was offside. He was, but the flag stayed down and Defoe stroked the ball past Fabianski to put the Black Cats back in front.
Alan Curtis' side gave their all to find an equaliser and did have the ball in the back of the net through Rangel, only for it to be correctly ruled out for offside.
Defoe wrapped up the three points and sealed his hat-trick as he tapped in Van Aanholt's cross from inside the six-yard box with four minutes remaining to ensure Sunderland move up to 18th and to within a point of Swansea.
Swansea: Fabianski (4), Naughton (5), Fernandez (5), Williams (5), Taylor (6), Ki (6), Britton (5), Barrow (6), Sigurdsson (6), Routledge (5), Ayew (7).
Subs: Rangel (5), Gomis (6), Cork (5).
Sunderland: Mannone (6), Jones (6), O'Shea (7), Brown (6), Van Aanholt (7), Cattermole (6), M'Vila (6), Johnson (7), Lens (7), Borini (6), Defoe (9).
Subs: Rodwell (6), Graham (6), Watmore (6).
Man of the match: Jermain Defoe.