Swansea 1-0 Burnley: Ki Sung-Yueng scores late as Swans continue revival
By Robert O'Connor
Last Updated: 10/02/18 8:34pm
Swansea continued their rapid improvement under Carlos Carvalhal as Ki Sung-Yueng's late goal secured a 1-0 victory over Burnley at the Liberty Stadium to move them two points clear of the relegation zone.
The South Korean struck with nine minutes remaining following a mazy run from Tom Carroll as Swansea won for the fourth time in the Premier League under Carvalhal.
Burnley had had the better chances, but Sam Vokes and Ashley Barnes failed to capitalise on good openings as Sean Dyche's side, now without a win in ten, continued to flounder in front of goal.
Burnley stay seventh as a revived Swansea make it 14 points from seven games since Carvalhal's appointment and moved up to 15th.
Swansea: Fabianski (7), Ki Sung-Yueng (8), van der Hoorn (6), Mawson (7), Dyer (7), Carroll (8), Olsson (7), Clucas (7), Jordan Ayew (7), Naughton (7), Fernandez (6)
Subs: Abraham (7), King (6), Ayew (7)
Burnley: Pope (7), Lowton (7), Taylor (7), Cork (7), Mee (5), Vokes (6), Barnes (7), Hendrick (5), Gudmundsson (5), Lennon (7), Long (7)
Subs: NKoudou (6), Afrield (7), Wells (7)
Man of the match: Ki Sung-Yueng
Both sides took time to adapt to the wet pitch in south Wales, with plenty of balls skipping off the turf in a first half that lacked precision.
In the 11th minute, Vokes chested the ball down and shot wide on the turn from 20 yards following a knock-down from Barnes, and Barnes went close himself minutes later when he lobbed over Lukas Fabianksi's bar from the edge of the box.
Burnley were carrying the greater first-half threat, and Aaron Lennon tested Swans full-back Martin Olsson with some clever footwork on 30 minutes and stood the ball up for Johann Gudmundsson at the far post, but the Icelander struck his effort over the bar when he had time to bring it under control.
Sam Clucas had the hosts' clearest chance of the half when he received Ki's ball into feet and turned Kevin Long, but the strike from the Swans midfielder was waved over the bar by Nick Pope.
Andre Ayew began on the bench for Swansea after re-signing from West Ham, with Carols Carvalhal bringing back a clutch of first-team regulars after the midweek FA Cup win against Notts County.
Burnley were still without James Tarkowski as they looked to end their winless run, with Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes partnering each other up-front.
Barnes had Fabianksi scrambling when he drove a low shot wide of the post early in the second half, and the Polish goalkeeper showed strong wrists to beat away Gudmundsson's driven effort minutes later as the visitors stretched their hosts.
But it was Swansea who finally made the breakthrough, Carroll dancing across the Burnley box and his lay-off was left by Jordan Ayew for Ki who stole in and struck low past Pope.
- Burnley's winless run in the Premier League now stands at 10 games - the longest current streak in the division (D5 L5).
- Swansea have won all three of their Premier League home games against Burnley; the only side they've faced more than once at the Liberty Stadium and have a 100 per cent record against in the competition.
- Only Tottenham (15) have won more Premier League points than Swansea (14) since Carlos Carvalhal took charge of the Swans.
- Ki Sung-Yueng scored his first Premier League goal since May 2016 at West Ham, ending a run of 37 games without one in the competition.
- As well as no player having more shots for the Welsh side (3), Ki Sung-Yueng also created the most goalscoring opportunities for his Swansea teammates in this match (3).
- Swansea have won their last three home games in the Premier League, after winning just two of their opening 11 this season.
Carlos Carvalhal: "When we arrived we were in the deep ocean. It was very deep and dark. We saw no fishes. We won some games, to put our noses out of the water. It was the first time we'd smelled the fresh air.
"Now, in this moment, we have started swimming and we can now go to the coast. But we must continue to swim to reach the coastline."
Sean Dyche: "I think it's just beginning to catch up with us. Not through all of this run, there's been some very good performances, but it's just caught up with us a bit. It's important in these next couple of weeks, then hopefully we'll get some bodies back.
"It was a tight one [today]. Not a great game but I don't think either team was worried about that. It's about points on the board. Another week where there's not a lot in the game, we had a few chances without being clinical."
Phil Thompson: "They [Swansea] just had Jordan Ayew who was the point man. But Sam Clucas didn't really get close to him, nor Ki. And it was playing out like that. I think we had two shots on target.
"It's an incredible turnaround. They were absolutely cut adrift Swansea, and then you go nine games unbeaten. 14 points from seven league games. And we'll continue with these glorious press conferences [from Carvalhal]. They've been absolutely terrific.
"The goal comes in the 82nd minute and Ki, in the D, he literally pushes Ayew out the way and Nick Pope can't even see it. He drills it right into the corner. Swansea just about deserved it."
Man of the Match - Ki Sung-Yueng
Capped a fine performance in the centre of midfield with the goal that could be so valuable in Swansea's bid to avoid the drop. Took care of the ball when many of those around him were outfoxed by the slippery surface and stood up well when Burnley looked to hit the hosts on the counter-attack.
Swansea travel to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup fifth round next Saturday at 12.30pm, whilst Burnley host Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday, February 24 at 3.00pm.