On a day which saw Crystal Palace and Hull both lose, Swansea secured a vital win at home against Everton at the Liberty stadium which took them out of the relegation zone for the first time in over a month.
Swansea took a while to get into the game but once they did they rarely looked like the team that has conceded more goals than any other this season. Equally Everton’s Romelu Lukaku looked a far cry from the player who has torn defences apart on his quest for the Golden Boot.
Everton’s youthful set up turned out to be their Achilles heel with the inexperience of players such as Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin showing. Calvert-Lewin had a good chance on 17 minutes from an Everton corner but could not make anything of it and wasted another opportunity soon after.
It soon became a theme of the evening to see Holgate and Calvert-Lewin over-hitting passes or fumbling balls, though Everton’s youth academy is an undeniable success and other youngsters who played today such as Tom Davies and substitute Jonjoe Kenny did themselves proud, they will certainly give Koeman food for thought on how best to push this young team forwards.
The only goal of the game came from Swansea’s towering centre forward Fernando Llorente who headed in a Jordan Ayew cross at the far post just before the half hour mark. This caused a big shift in momentum as Swansea started to control the game more and more.
Alfie Mawson had an outstanding game and often it was thanks to him that Swansea held onto their lead and clean sheet. As well as his defensive duties he also had a great chance to score not long after Llorente’s opener but was denied by an impressive Holgate block.
In the first half Lukaku had the least touches of any outfield player and it was not until the 66th minute that he troubled Fabianski (this shot was also Fabianski’s first proper involvement in the match).
Swansea had to survive an onslaught of Everton attacks as the game went on with Lukaku firing into the side netting at one point. However they stood firm and managed to weather the storm thanks again to some fine defending.
After the match Swansea manager Paul Clement described the game as his most important win at the club, and it could just be the one that sees them stay in the Premier League for another season.
Written by Dom Clarke.