MX23RW : Monday, September 24 10:06:25
Apr 26, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Liberty Stadium
SwanseaSwansea City
Aston Villa
Bony (9', 90' pen.), Shelvey (26'), Hernandez (73')
Amat (77')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Agbonlahor (22')
Albrighton (89'), Baker (90'), Lowton (90')

Live Commentary: Swansea City 4-1 Aston Villa - as it happened

Read how Jonjo Shelvey's wondergoal helped Swansea record a 4-1 victory over struggling Aston Villa in Wales, courtesy of Sports Mole's live text coverage.

Swansea welcomed Aston Villa to the Liberty Stadium this afternoon hoping to secure their Premier League status with successive wins for the first time since 2012.

Wilfried Bony scored his 14th goal of the season to give the hosts a 10th-minute lead, but Gabriel Agbonlahor found the net for the first time since New Year's Day to equalise for Paul Lambert's out-of-form side.

Villa's parity lasted only four minutes, though, as Jonjo Shelvey changed the game with a moment of brilliance, lobbing Brad Guzan from 50 yards following a miskicked clearance from Nathan Baker.

Pablo Hernandez extended Swansea's advantage in the second half before Bony rounded off the scoring with a stoppage-time penalty, as Garry Monk's side moved eight points clear of the drop zone.

However, the result leaves Villa still firmly in trouble, with the bottom three now only four points behind them. Below, read how the action unfolded, courtesy of SM's live text coverage.

2.07pmAfternoon, all! Victory for either Swansea City or Aston Villa today could see them mathematically safe by the close of the weekend and rid the nerves still surrounding their respective dressing rooms.

2.09pmVilla, in particular, are still sweating on their Premier League status having gone winless in five games, halting a four-match losing streak with what could be an important draw against Southampton.

2.11pmSwansea's European commitments have meant that they have not been able to match their performances of last season, but securing a fourth straight season in the top flight would still be a good achievement, especially considering the brave managerial change that they made mid-campaign.

2.13pmTeam news from Wales, starting with the hosts, will be with you shortly...

2.15pmSWANSEA: Vorm; Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies; Britton, Shelvey; de Guzman, Hernandez, Routledge; Bony.

2.17pmSUBS: Tremmel, Bartley, Taylor, Fulton, Emnes, Dyer, Vazquez

2.18pmVILLA: Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand; Westwood, Delph, El Ahmadi; Albrighton, Agbonlahor, Weimann

2.19pmSUBS: Steer, Sylla, Tonev, Lowton, Clark, Holt, Robinson

2.21pmBoth managers stick with the same starting XIs from last weekend, perhaps suggesting that they feel stability is the key to picking up crucial points at this stage of the season.

2.23pmChico Flores remains suspended for the Swans following his first-half red card in the defeat to Chelsea, so his Spanish compatriot Jordi Amat continues to deputise alongside Ashley Williams.

2.25pmMichu's injury-plagued campaign continues as he misses out with a muscle strain, having only recently returned from ankle surgery which cost him four months of his second year in English football.

2.27pmIn his absence, Pablo Hernandez will play in the hole behind lone striker Wilfried Bony, who has scored a very impressive 21 goals in all competitions since signing for £13m last summer.

2.29pmOn to Villa now, who again name Gabriel Agbonlahor through the middle, with Christian Benteke facing six months on the sidelines with an Achilles injury that has ruled him out of the World Cup.

2.31pmAndreas Weimann and Mark Albrighton will be tasked with providing support to Agbonlahor from the flanks in a pacey attacking trio that will perfectly suit Paul Lambert's counter-attacking approach.

2.33pmChelsea loanee Ryan Bertrand, who was perhaps lucky to escape unpunished for a handball offence late on against the Saints, starts at left-back in what is now a fairly settled back four.

2.35pmRESULT: Today's early Premier League kickoff has finished, and Everton have suffered a huge blow in their ambitions to qualify for the Champions League. Own goals from Antolin Alcaraz and Seamus Coleman gifted Southampton a 2-0 victory at St Mary's Stadium - their first win in four games.

2.38pmHEAD-TO-HEAD: Villa have not won at Swansea since 1971, when they won 2-1 at the old Vetch Stadium, and are yet to beat the Welsh side in five attempts in the Premier League.

2.40pmThe visitors' hopes of a result today will not be increased by the fact that they have not won on the road since New Year's Day, a statistic which disputes the belief that they are better away from home.

2.43pmSwansea's home performances have been inconsistent, but they have scored more goals on their own patch than any other team outside of the current top five, having netted 29 times.

2.46pmWORLD CUP WATCH: The Swans have not had anybody included in the England squad since their promotion to the Premier League and so it would take quite a succession of events for somebody like Wayne Routledge to make the plane. Villa's Fabian Delph is another outside bet to be included in Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad, but only if injuries destroy England's current midfield.

2.49pmREFEREE WATCH: Mark Clattenburg is the man in the middle this afternoon.

2.51pmAround 10 minutes until kickoff at the Liberty Stadium...

2.53pmSTAT: Swansea have not won back-to-back Premier League games since 2012, with their form having slipped dramatically since lifting the Capital One Cup in February of the same year.

2.55pmONE TO WATCH: Jonathan de Guzman is coming to the end of a second successive loan spell at the Liberty Stadium and Monk has indicated that they are keen to sign him on a permanent transfer. The Dutchman gets forward from deep so watch out for his runs into the box, and set pieces.

2.58pmPREDICTION: Villa have really been struggling of late and, in Wilfried Bony, Swansea have one of the country's in-form frontmen, so I fancy them to win this, perhaps by a 3-1 scoreline.

1 minWe are underway at the Liberty Stadium, with both sides in their traditional kits...

3 minRangel delivers from deep on the right, inviting Bony to challenge in the air with Ron Vlaar and Brad Guzan, which he does successfully. The Villa keeper is off his line as the ball drops to a grounded Bony, who tries to flick the ball goalwards but cannot divert it towards an empty net.

5 minWestwood drills a through pass down the middle for Albrighton, who had burst in off the right wing, to run onto. Williams is quickly across, though, to knock the ball out for a throw-in.

7 minA very touching act from the Swansea fans, who applaud for the entire sixth minute in support of former midfielder Ferrie Bodde, who wore the number six shirt during his five years in Wales. The £50,000 Roberto Martinez signing, 31, is currently in an induced coma after being diagnosed with pneumonia.


10 minBony's scores his 14th Premier League goal of the season and his third in two games to give Swansea an early lead. The Ivorian, according to the assistant referee, just about keeps himself onside to collect a nicely-weighted Jonjo Shelvey pass and calmly tuck the ball past Guzan's left hand. Debatable offside call yes, but very poor defending from Villa, who gave him so much space to run into.

12 minSwansea have lost only two of the last 33 games in which they have scored the first goal, winning 23 of those. Villa's task in the pouring Welsh rain has just been made even bigger by Bony's strike.

15 minWeimann and Bertrand play a nice one-two on the left flank, with the latter getting in front of Rangel to draw a foul. A decent delivery from Albrighton goes across the six-yard box without any Villa player making contact. That's a second wasted set piece, with Bacuna having earlier struck the wall.

17 minSHOT! Gabriel Agbonlahor has only netted a hugely disappointing three Premier League goals this season, and this lack of form is evident with a horribly dragged 25-yard shot which dribbles wide.

19 minSuperb ball, from El Ahmadi I believe, to release Weimann down the right. He crosses into a great area, but just ahead of Agbonlahor. The absent Christian Benteke would thrive on service like that.

20 minCLOSE! Weimann now pops up in the hole, collecting a pass inside off the left before hitting a dipping strike which goes just wide of the post. Villa have responded well to going behind here.


22 minAgbonlahor scores for the first time since New Year's Day to equalise for the visitors. I have to say, it has been coming, with Villa much improved in the last 10 minutes. It's another excellent ball into the box, this time from Albrighton, who wraps his foot around the ball after being played in down the right by El Ahmadi. Agbonlahor gets in front of Williams in the six-yard box and cleverly guides past Vorm.

24 minLeon Britton stands a ball up from a fairly central position, with De Guzman diverting a looping header goalwards which Guzan tips over. From the resultant corner, Amat's header is blocked behind.


26 minJonjo Shelvey enters himself into the goal of the season competition with an absolutely stunning effort to restore Swansea's lead! The midfielder chest controls Baker's poor clearance on the edge of the centre circle and superbly lobs the goalkeeper from 50 yards, striking across the ball to see it swerve over Guzan and into the top corner! An incredible goal, a la Wayne Rooney versus West Ham.

29 minShelvey has never lacked confidence in his own ability and that was clear in the way that, with so little time to gauge the situation, he took just two touches to find the net from near the halfway line. It's his sixth goal of the season and is celebrated by the whole team, including Michel Vorm, who sprinted the length of the pitch to congratulate the former Liverpool man on his touch of genius.

31 minThat will really disappoint Villa considering how well they had done to cancel out their early deficit. Baker's kick was an assist, yes, but it should not detract from the skill involved in Shelvey's strike.

33 minSHOT! Bony makes a sliding tackle in the Villa half and drives forward before looking to work space for a shot. He gets one away, a low left-footed drive which is held by Guzan, with Routledge lurking.

35 minAn intelligent outside-of-the-foot pass from Routledge behind the back line nearly finds Bony running into the left channel, but Guzan takes up a good position and is quick off his line to clear.

38 minSAVE! Westwood passes into the feet of Weimann, who spins and immediately unleashes a dipping shot which Vorm keeps out with a punch away. That ball was moving wildly through the air!

41 minFabian Delph tries the spectacular at the other end, but has nowhere near the control on his shot that Shelvey did, slicing a 30-yard hit and hope high and wide into the stands behind Vorm's goal.

43 minHernandez is released down the right wing, behind Villa full-back Bertrand, but slips over, and not for the first time this afternoon on this wet surface. A change of boots needed at half time.

45 minWe are now entering TWO minutes of first-half stoppage time in Wales...


3.51pmAll eyes are on Jonjo Shelvey as the players leave the field for half time. It is his inspired act of improvisation that separates the two teams after 45 minutes of evenly-matched, entertaining football.

3.54pmThe midfielder's 50-yard lob of Brad Guzan on the volley will be a goal of the season contender that's for sure. It's almost certainly the best strike of a career that already has a handful of great goals attached to it. In-fact, Shelvey's last five goals have all been scored from outside of the box.

3.57pmEarlier in the match, Shelvey's through ball exploited a huge gap in the Villa defence and led to Wilfried Bony putting the Swans ahead with his 14th Premier League goal of the season. Villa deservedly equalised through Gabriel Agbonlahor's first since New Year's Day, but then Shelvey had his say.

3.59pmDespite the scoreline, Paul Lambert will be fairly happy with the way that his side have played so far today. That won't stop there being nerves in the Villa dressing room, though, considering their winless run of five games and uncertain position, only five points above the relegation zone.

4.02pmSTATS: Surprisingly, counter-attack specialists Villa lead Swansea in possession, having had 55%. The hosts' passing game has been somewhat thwarted by the wet and boggy surface. They also are ahead in shots, with eight to Swansea's three, although Monk's men have had more on target.

46 minWe are back underway in Wales, and I have news of a half-time change for you...

46 minSUBSTITUTION: Matt Lowton has replaced Leandro Bacuna at right-back for the visitors. I can only assume that is an enforced change, with the Dutchman an excellent attacking outfit for the trailing visitors and yet to be exposed in his weaker defensive areas this afternoon.

48 minAgbonlahor peels off to the left to get to the byline and stand up a decent cross which Williams does very well to head away on the stretch, with Albrighton setting himself for a volley at the back post. The ball is recycled to Delph, whose thunderous effort is bravely blocked by Jordi Amat.

50 minA second excellent tackle since the interval from Baker stops another promising Swans break. Earlier, he made up good ground to block Shelvey's cross, and here he slides in on De Guzman as the Dutch international midfielder was threatening to enter the penalty area.

52 minDe Guzman again makes a move in behind, breaking the offside trap to run onto a deflected pass. However, with few options in the box, he opts to settle for a corner, which comes to nothing.

54 minNice bit of interplay between Delph and Bertrand, who is released on the left to cross brilliantly to the back post, where Albrighton is just a couple of yards short of getting on the end of it.

56 minSwansea switch the play with a succession of short passes across the pitch, before Shelvey slips Davies through on the left, and his cross has pace behind it, but is too close to Guzan, who gathers.

59 minLATEST: Elsewhere, a few big goals at the bottom of the table which will worry Villa fans some more. Fulham lead Hull City 2-0, with Ashkan Dejagah scoring and providing a goal in the space of three minutes after coming on as subtstitute. Another team fighting relegation, West Bromwich Albion, are 1-0 up at home to West Ham United, while Spurs lead Stoke City by the same scoreline.

61 minCHANCES! A couple of opportunities for Swansea, as Shelvey, who is being urged to shoot at every touch, cannot live up to the high standard he has set himself, dragging a 20-yard effort a few yards wide. Moments later, De Guzman wastefully guides off target from Routledge's cutback.

63 minSandwiched in between those two chances was a hopeful Swansea penalty appeal. Bony, so often praised for his strength, throws himself to the floor, but referee Clattenburg is not fooled.

65 minSUBSTITUTION: Lambert turns to teenage striker Callum Robinson for a goal, sacrificing Austrian international Andreas Weimann to through the 20-year-old on alongside Agbonlahor.

70 minTwo very good crosses from Hernandez are headed away by Villa, and when Routledge's delivery eventually reaches the Spaniard, his shot towards the near post is blocked by Bertrand's leg.

72 minBertrand's attempted cross is deflected off Rangel and forces Vorm to backpedal and catch just in front of his line. He holds onto the ball even under a strong challenge, a foul in-fact, from Agbonlahor. I am sure that the referee would have blown up had the ball been bundled into the net.


74 minHernandez probably wraps things up for Swansea with their third, and it is another very well-taken goal. The Spaniard is left in far too much space by the Villa defence, allowing him to control Davies's cross to the back post. His first touch is excellent, and his second creates room for him to smash home between the two visiting defenders on the line. Such poor marking from Villa again, though.

76 minSUBSTITUTION: Lambert responds to going two down by bringing on Grant Holt at the expense of El Ahmadi. His hand gestures signal that Villa will be playing with four up top now.

78 minSUBSTITUTION: Monk is forced into a substitution of his own, with Neil Taylor replacing Angel Rangel, who had landed awkwardly in the aftermath of a Villa corner, as a makeshift right-back.

80 minSHOT! A couple of minutes ago, after Amat had become the first player booked this afternoon for tripping Agbonlahor, Westwood's free kick towards the far corner is caught easily by Vorm.

82 minSUBSTITUTION: Swansea have stalled the little momentum Villa had built by taking plenty of time over a free kick awarded for Westwood's late tackle on De Guzman. They eventually swap the Dutchman for 20-year-old debutant Jay Fulton, a January signing from Falkirk.

83 minSAVE! Guzan dives low to his right to deny Shelvey a second from the set piece. Shortly afterwards, Shelvey and Lowton go nose-to-nose, with the Villa man unhappy with a challenge made from the scorer of the 50-yard lob in the first half. Clattenburg calms things down.

85 minVorm plays safe when dealing with an awkward Lowton cross which was threatening to sneak in under the crossbar, tipping it behind for Villa's sixth corner of the match so far.

87 minSUBSTITUTION: Monk makes his final change, replacing Routledge with Marvin Emnes.

89 minBOOKING: Albrighton's frustrated lunge on Davies earns him the first card shown to a player in claret and blue this afternoon. The fans wearing the same colours have started to make their exits.

90 minWe are entering the first of FOUR minutes of second-half stoppage time in Wales...

90+1 minLATEST: Some good news at last for the Villans, as Fulham have surrendered a two-goal lead at Craven Cottage. Hull City's January signings Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long have both struck to make it 2-2 and possibly cost the Cottagers two precious points in their relegation fight.

90+3 minPENALTY! Baker, who had only moments before been cautioned for a silly tackle on Emnes by the touchline, barges into the back of the Dutch striker to gift Swansea a blatant penalty.


90+4 minBony finds the bottom right corner to score stoppage-time penalties for the second successive week. That's his second of the match, and should be just about the last kick of the action.


4.55pmA great afternoon's work for Jonjo Shelvey, Wilfried Bony, Garry Monk and everyone involved at Swansea as they beat Villa 4-1 to effectively secure their Premier League status for next season.

4.57pmShelvey's 50-yard wondergoal was of course the pick of the bunch, coming after Gabriel Agbonlahor had cancelled out Bony's opener. However, Pablo Hernandez and a late Bony penalty saw the Swans finish as comfortable winners and move eight points clear of the relegation zone.

4.59pmVilla, though, will still be anxiously looking over their shoulders, with the bottom three now only four points away. Some very shoddy defending aside, Paul Lambert's team played reasonably well today, and the scoreline is perhaps harsh on them, but it is a fifth defeat in six games nonetheless.

5.00pmThat's it from me. Thanks for joining Sports Mole this afternoon, and be sure to stay with us for live coverage of Ryan Giggs's first game in charge of Manchester United, as they welcome relegation-threatened Norwich City to Old Trafford for a 5.30pm kickoff. Until next time...

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Swansea manager Garry Monk prior to kick-off against Chelsea in the Premier League match on April 13, 2014
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