Swansea 1-0 West Brom: Wilfried Bony winner lifts Swans off the bottom
By Oliver Young-Myles
Last Updated: 09/12/17 8:27pm
A late goal from Wilfried Bony secured a 1-0 win for Swansea against fellow relegation candidates West Brom at the Liberty Stadium to lift them off the foot of the Premier League table.
In a game lacking quality in the final third, the winner nine minutes from time was a scrappy one as Bony rifled home a shot from close-range following a goalmouth scramble.
Substitute Tammy Abraham should have wrapped up the win for his side when he chipped the ball wide when clean through on goal, but his miss did not prove to be costly in the end.
Swansea's first Premier League win since October sees them leapfrog Crystal Palace into 19th place while West Brom are now just one point above them in 17th.
Swansea: Fabianski (6), Naughton (6), Mawson (7), Van der Hoorn (6), Olsson (6), Ki (7), Carroll (6), Mesa (6), Routledge (5), Dyer (5), Bony (7)
Subs: Ayew (6), Narsingh (6), Abraham (6)
West Brom: Foster (6), Nyom (5), Hegazi (6), Evans (6), Gibbs (6), Yacob (6), Livermore (6), Field (5), Rodriguez (6), Robson-Kanu (5), Rondon (6)
Subs: McClean (6), Burke (N/A), Brunt (N/A)
Man of the match: Wilfried Bony
Both teams have been in desperate form recently and confidence was visibly low in the opening 45 minutes which lacked clear-cut opportunities.
Swansea had the only real opening before the break when Jake Livermore glanced a header onto the foot of his own post from Tom Carroll's free-kick, before Alfie Mawson nodded over the top from Wayne Routledge's cross moments later.
With both sides in need of three points, the game opened up slightly in the second half and while West Brom shaded possession, Swansea had the better chances, with Jordan Ayew going close 15 minutes from time with a shot that brought a sprawling save from Ben Foster.
Paul Clement made four changes to his Swansea side with Roque Mesa, Tom Carroll, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge, coming into the side in place of Leroy Fer, Tammy Abraham, Jordan Ayew and Sam Clucas.
Alan Pardew made just one alteration to his West Brom team with the injured Gareth Barry making way for Claudio Yacob in midfield.
The hosts piled on the pressure late on in search of a goal and eventually got it on 81 minutes. Ki Sung-yueng's inviting corner from the left was met by Abraham whose header was blocked by Allan Nyom on the line but the ball bounced kindly to Bony who lashed his shot into the roof of the net.
Bony's goal led to Clement dashing from his technical area and down the touchline in celebration but the Swansea manager would have been relieved that his side didn't concede almost straightaway as Salomon Rondon inexplicably headed over from James McClean's cross just a minute later.
Swansea should have made sure of the points in stoppage time as Abraham raced through on goal but he dinked his effort over Foster and wide of the post with Luciano Narsingh screaming for a pass across goal that would have left him with a tap-in but it didn't matter as they held on for a vital win.
- The Swans ended a run of seven Premier League games without a win (D1 L6).
- The Baggies are now winless in their last 14 Premier League matches (D7 L7), their longest run in the top flight since a 16 game streak between February 2006 and August 2008.
- Wilfried Bony has scored two goals in his last two Premier League games - as many as he had in his previous 28 in the competition.
- Swansea had three shots on target in this match - only twice have they managed more in a Premier League game this season (4 vs Newcastle and Leicester).
- After having the first shot on target in the 22nd minute of this match, the Baggies didn't register another one in the entire match.
Paul Clement: "The most important thing today was that we got the result. We really needed those three points and fortunately we were able to get them.
"We've had a lot of games where we've been on the wrong end of a one goal deficit and fortunately today it went in our favour."
Alan Pardew: "We struggled to create clear-cut chances but we had three or four great opportunities on the break but we didn't take them and we lacked a bit of conviction.
"The team is looking for a spark from an offensive player, a little bit of something special, the organisation of the team and the commitment of the players was good but we can't say that every week, we need to score goals."
Man of the match - Wilfried Bony
The Swansea skipper barely had a touch in the first half, but when it mattered most he delivered, smashing a shot emphatically into the roof of the net to hand his side a crucial three points.
It was Bony's second goal in as many games and if he can carry on his goalscoring form in the coming weeks, Swansea might just be able to clamber up the table and away from danger.
Swansea have a tricky game coming up as they host league leaders Manchester City at the Liberty on Wednesday before travelling to Merseyside to take on Everton in Monday Night Football on December 18th.
West Brom, meanwhile, face Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday and then Manchester United at the Hawthorns on Super Sunday on December 17th.