Live Commentary: Swansea City 2-0 Fulham - as it happened

Jonjo Shelvey of Swansea City celebrates scoring the opening goal alongside Nathan Dyer during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Fulham at the Liberty Stadium on January 28, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Swansea City vs. Fulham.

Swansea City have moved up to 10th in the Premier League following a crucial home win against Fulham.

Michael Laudrup's side started well, but Fulham also had their chances in an even first half.

However, the Swans dominated after the restart and secured the win with goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Chico Flores.

Read how the action unfolded below.


Sort:
Newest
Oldest
6.47pmGood evening football fans and welcome to our live text coverage of Swansea City vs. Fulham at the Liberty Stadium.

6.48pmIt promises to be a fantastic evening of drama in the Premier League and beyond, but our focus here is on Swansea's and Fulham's quest to pull away from the relegation zone. Here comes some early team news.

6.50pmSWANSEA CITY: Tremmel; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Britton, de Guzman, Shelvey, Routledge; Hernandez, Bony

6.53pmSUBS: Cornell, Amat, Taylor, Dyer, Lamah, Pozuelo, Vazquez

6.55pmThe Swans make a total of six changes from Saturday's FA Cup win over Birmingham, with the likes of Shelvey, De Guzman and Nathan Dyer returning. In fact, Dyer is back in the first-team squad for the first time since December 15 against Norwich City.

6.56pmFULHAM: Stekelenburg; Riether, Hangeland, Burn, Richardson; Dejagah, Parker, Sidwell, Kacaniklic; Dempsey; Berbatov

6.57pmSUBS: Stockdale, Hughes, Christensen, Duff, Tankovic, Bent, Rodallega

6.58pmSo, that's just the 11 changes for Fulham then as Rene Meulensteen goes back to the side that faced Arsenal 10 days ago.

7pmWith the teams done, let's now look ahead to the match. The home side have taken just one point from their last six league games, which has left them in 15th position in the table. Their home form has also been disappointing, with only two wins on their own patch.

7.02pmAnother defeat tonight would undoubtedly put them in the relegation battle, and Michael Laudrup has done nothing to play down the importance of three points.

7.04pmHe told the club's official website: "The next four games are crucial, starting against Fulham. We are coming up against direct opponents in the table and throw in the games against Liverpool and Crystal Palace and it is a very important period."

7.05pm"But we have to go into each game as if they are a final," he continued. "I hope our wins in the cup, against both Manchester United and Birmingham, can also give us something."

7.07pmSwansea's one victory in their last 10 in the Premier League was a 3-0 win against Newcastle in December, and since then there has been very little good news at the Liberty. However, after tonight they have matches against West Ham, Cardiff and Stoke. It really is a crucial stage of the season.

7.13pmHowever, despite being a must-win game, Laudrup has urged his players not to lose focus, and has reminded them that to win they must use both their hearts and their heads. "The players are very well aware that we need to win games in the league," he told the South Wales Evening Post. "You have to use many things in football. You have to use your feet of course and you have to use your heart, but you need to use you brain. It's important to have a balance."

7.15pmBefore we move on to Fulham, it's time for a glance at the match facts and statistics.

7.15pmThe home side have won four of their five Premier League meetings against Fulham, but the Cottagers did win 3-0 at the Liberty on the final day of last season.

7.20pmIn the reverse fixture this season, Swansea came out on top thanks to Shelvey's late winner to condemn Fulham to a fifth consecutive defeat. However, Fulham might be quietly confident tonight, considering that their opponents have kept just one clean sheet in 13 matches. But, hold on a second, the Cottagers have kept just one in their last 15!

7.21pmIncredibly, Fulham have not drawn a league match in their last 18, losing 13 of those. So, surely we are set for a goalfest, right?

7.24pmThat final statistic brings us nicely to Rene Meulensteen's side, who are still in deep trouble at the wrong end of the table.

7.27pmA win tonight would see them climb above Swansea, but they have lost their last two and were unable to overcome Sheffield United in the FA Cup at the weekend. Perhaps that was no surprise, especially when you consider that the Cottagers have won just three times on the road all season, and only one in seven.

7.31pmOne of the main reasons for their poor run of form is their leaky defence. They have let in 48 in the league this season, which is 10 more than any other side. That has resulted in a goal difference of -26, which is the worst in the league.

7.35pmSpeaking this week, Meulensteen said that he expected Dimitar Berbatov to stay with the club, saying "I expect Berbatov to stay because there has been no interest so far". What do Fulham fans make of that? Is Berbatov key to survival?

7.38pmREF WATCH: Our referee tonight is Michael Oliver, who has given 60 yellow cards and two reds in 15 matches.

7.43pmPREDICTION: Both teams are desperate for the win, so I think that will mean a tight, nervy match. However, I think the Swans will have too much for their opponents, so I'll say 1-0 to the home side.

7.44pmThe players are on the pitch and we're seconds away from kickoff.

1 minKICKOFF! We're underway at the Liberty Stadium.

2 minNo chances as yet for either side in the opening moments of this match, with both happy to keep the ball in midfield.

4 minIt's still very tight here. You sense that both sides are playing with caution, which is to be expected considering their respective league form. Swansea have a promising chance to find a white shirt near the Fulham box, but the away side pick it up.

7 minThe home side are trying to find Wilfried Bony at all times, but he's having to come short to get the ball, and it's easy for the Fulham defenders. Now Fulham have a free kick in their own half, but the ref blows his whistle for pushing and the Swans have it at the back.

9 minAgain the ref sees something that he doesn't like and awards Swansea a free kick deep in their own half. The hosts have had the majority of possession, but their passing has lacked pace and purpose.

11 minOVER THE BAR! Well, there is our first sight of goal with 11 minutes on the clock. Wayne Routledge does well on the left and puts in a cross, but Bony's glancing header lacks power and goes over the bar. Stekelenburg had it covered.

14 minCHANCE! It's the best chance of the match so far, but the finish is lacking. Hernandez and Rangel interchange before playing in Shelvey. However, the former Liverpool man shoots over. That was a decent opportunity.

16 minPositive signs for the home side in the last few minutes. Fulham have yet to have a decent spell of possession, but I think they might have expected that to be the case before kickoff.

17 minCHANCE! Angel Rangel wins a free kick on the right and De Guzman delivers a dangerous ball, which takes out most of the Fulham players. Ashley Williams is in at the back post, but he can't connect with the ball. Fulham need to defend better than that.

20 minGREAT CHANCE! Since my comment about Fulham not having the ball, they have put Swansea under pressure and they really should be ahead in this match. Kieran Richardson takes over set-piece duties and sends in a wonderful cross. Brede Hangeland is unmarked six yards out, but he puts his header over. Huge miss.

24 minThe match has come alive in the last 10 minutes and both sides are pushing hard for the opening goal. Swansea look more likely, and Bony almost gets one-on-one with Stekelenburg, but the goalkeeper races off his line to collect.

26 minBoth sides appear to be very nervous when the ball is played into the box. It's Fulham's turn to threaten, but Sidwell is just unable to reach a cross. We're 30 minutes in and it's still 0-0 in this crucial match.

30 minLaudrup has just urged Hernandez to move further wide. I'm not surprised at that. The winger has really struggled to produce against Richardson at left-back.

31 minSAVE! Kacaniklic surges down the left and finds the head of Dejagah in the box. He has time to pick his spot, but his header is poor and it's a simple save for Tremmel. The Fulham man should have done much better with that. Moments later, Williams produces a brilliant block to deny Dempsey. The away side on top now.

34 minSwansea are struggling to keep the ball at present, which is a surprise. Strangely, on a few occasions they have lumped it forward looking for Bony. He's big, but I think Bony would prefer the ball to be played to feet.

38 minThe issue is that Bony has spent most of the time with his back to goal. On the rare occasion that he has been able to make a run forward, the Swansea players have been unable to pick him out.

40 minHITS THE BAR! What a shot! Hernandez does really well on the right, before moving inside and finding Shelvey. He hits it first time, but his curling effort crashes off the crossbar! Hernandez then wins a corner, but Bony's header is picked up by Stekelenburg.

42 minSwansea are on top, but as I say that, Fulham break and Dempsey wins a corner following a decent shot from a tight angle.

44 minThat comes to nothing and the home side have the ball in midfield. We've got one additional minute at the end of this first half.

46 minHALF TIME: SWANSEA CITY 0-0 FULHAM

8.33pmSo, it's 0-0 at the break, but we've had plenty going on in the first half. Both sides created chances, but Swansea came closest when Shelvey curled a long-range shot against the crossbar. Earlier, Hangeland had headed over when it looked easier to score.

8.35pmUPDATE: Elsewhere in the Premier League Southampton are leading Arsenal, and Man Utd are 1-0 ahead against Cardiff. Liverpool are now 3-0 up against Everton following two goals in two minutes.

8.38pmSTATS: The Swans had 62% of possession in the first half, and seven shots compared to Fulham's eight. The away side had three on target, one more than their opponents.

8.43pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have the likes of Roland Lamah and Nathan Dyer on their bench, and I'd expect to see both of them if the second half doesn't go Swansea's way. For Fulham, Rene Meulensteen can call on Hugo Rodallega and Darren Bent.

8.45pmWe're almost ready for the second half at the Liberty Stadium. What a crucial 45 minutes this could be for both clubs.

45 minKICKOFF! Here we go! No changes at the break.

47 minIt's been a positive start by the home side, who have dominated the ball in these early stages. However, no chances in this second half yet.

50 minFulham finally come forward for the first time since the break, but they are happy to keep it in midfield at the moment. A draw for them would probably be a decent result.

50 min

51 minFulham are living dangerously, allowing the likes of Bony far too much time on the ball. The striker attempts to push his way through, but the ball is deflected wide and out for a corner.

52 minSAVE! De Guzman's delivery is a good one, and Fulham have Stekelenburg to thank for keeping them in the game with a good save from Chico's header. Swansea are completely dominant.

55 minOVER! I have no idea what Laudrup said in the dressing room, but it's working. Twice De Guzman has plenty of room outside the box, but his first effort is wide, while the second is saved.

57 minSWANSEA SUB: Nathan Dyer replaces Pablo Hernandez for the home side.

58 minFULHAM SUB: A change for Fulham sees Darren Bent on for Ashkan Dejagah.

60 minGOAL! SWANSEA CITY 1-0 FULHAM (Shelvey)

60 minI predicted it would finish 1-0 to the home side before the match and Shelvey opens the scoring with a deflected shot from outside the box. Fulham have been awful since the break and now they are a goal behind.

64 minIt's a great atmosphere inside the Liberty Stadium now. The home side have been brilliant in this second half and now need to push on and look for a second goal.

65 minWIDE! I think this is Fulham's first shot since half time, but it's wide from Dempsey and Tremmel restarts play from a goal kick.

68 minSAVE! Swansea are knocking on the door and Fulham just don't have an answer at the moment. Again they fail to close down, allowing De Guzman to run and fire a fierce shot at goal. Stekelenburg tips it over and the corner is cleared.

71 minFULHAM SUB: Damien Duff is on for Clint Dempsey as the away side try to turn this match around.

73 minDyer has been a constant threat since he came on, making runs down the right flank. The Swans are playing possession football at the moment.

75 minGOAL! SWANSEA CITY 2-0 FULHAM (Chico Flores)

75 minWell, you'd have to say that it is game over now as Swansea get their second of the night. De Guzman shows his quality from a free kick, putting the ball in the box with pace. Chico flicks it on and it goes in via a deflection off Berbatov.

79 minSWANSEA SUB: Jonjo Shelvey gets a good reception as he is replaced by Jordi Amat.

80 minJust before that sub, Berbatov headed over for Fulham from Richardson's corner, but Swansea are very comfortable as we enter the final 10 minutes.

81 min

82 minFULHAM SUB: Muamer Tankovic is on for Berbatov who, like most of his teammates, has been poor in the second half.

84 minNo matter how bad Fulham have been, credit has to go to Swansea for the way they have performed. Laudrup galvanised his troops at half time, and they have responded on the pitch. This could be a huge win come the end of the season.

87 minOf course, a Fulham goal would make it a nervy finish, but it's not looking very likely. Here comes the final change for Swansea, with Pozuelo replacing De Guzman.

90 minCHANCE! What was I just saying about Fulham not looking like scoring? Haha! Williams loses it at the back and Bent is in, but his shot goes inches wide of the post. Great chance!

90 minBOOKING! Wilfried Bony is booked and we've got four minutes of additional time.

92 minSwansea are still attacking as we approach full time, but they have already done enough. Michael Laudrup will be a happy man on his way home tonight.

94 minFULL TIME: SWANSEA CITY 2-0 FULHAM

9.40pmIt's all over at the Liberty Stadium and Swansea have their first win in nine. They are now 10th in the league and five points clear of Fulham. As for the away side, they were extremely poor in the second half and need to improve if they are to survive.

9.41pmThe first half was very even, but the Swans came out after the break and dominated in every department. In the end, it was a fully-deserved win.

9.43pmThat's all from me for now, but stay with us for match reports and news from all of tonight's games. Goodbye!

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on September 28, 2013
Read Next:
Preview: Birmingham vs. Swansea
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand