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    Aston Villa 1-2 Swansea City: Swans seal Sherwood's fate

    by Conall Green

    Swansea City midfielder Andre Ayew put the final nail in the coffin of Tim Sherwood’s reign at Aston Villa with a goal three minutes from time at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.

    It was the Ghanaian international’s fifth Premier League goal since joining on a free transfer from Marseilles in the summer, and relieved the pressure on his own boss Garry Monk by handing his side their first three points since August.

    Villa had earlier taken the lead through Ayew’s younger brother Jordan, before Swansea’s Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson levelled the scoreline.

    Sherwood, who knew he was a man desperately fighting for his job, made two changes from the side that lost to Chelsea, in an attempt to find a winning formula. Gabby Agbonlahor returned from injury to replace Spaniard Carles Gil, and holding midfielder Ashley Westwood was replaced by the more forward thinking Leandro Bacuna.

    Monk, whose side had failed to win in six games in all competitions prior to Saturday, made three changes to the side defeated by Stoke at the Liberty Stadium last Monday. Kyle Naughton replaced Angel Rangel at right back, while in midfield Korean Ki-Sung Yeung replaced Jack Cork, with Sigurdsson coming into the starting eleven in place of Gambian winger Modou Barrow.

    In what was a relatively even game, the first half ended goalless, and it took until the 62nd minute for the deadlock to be broken. It was a first Aston Villa goal for Jordan Ayew, who has underwhelmed since arriving for a fee of around £8 million from Lorient this summer, the Ghanaian expertly converting a diving header past Lukasz Fabianski in the Swansea goal after being picked out by a left wing cross from Agbonlahor.

    The home team’s delight was short lived, however, with their lead lasting all of six minutes. Micah Richards conceded a free kick 25 yards from goal, and the Villa defender was punished superbly by Sigurdsson, who curled a delightful effort over the wall, past the despairing dive of Brad Guzan, and into the corner of the net.

    The two sides looked to be headed for a point apiece, which may have kept Sherwood in a job at least temporarily, but in the dying minutes the elder Ayew brother pounced to claim all three points for the Swans. Kyle Naughton whipped a superb low ball along the corridor of uncertainty between the goalkeeper and defence, and the Ghanaian slid in to divert the ball past Guzan and into the net.

    It was a goal that condemned Villa to their sixth straight league defeat, left them without a league win since the opening day of the season, and after Sunderland won the Tyne-Wear derby which kicked off at noon on Sunday, left them rooted to the bottom of the table with a paltry 4 points from 10 games.

    This proved to be the final straw for the Villa hierarchy, and Sherwood paid with his job. Whoever replaces the former Spurs manager will have a tough task ahead of them to keep Villa in the top tier of English football.
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    Item Reviewed: Aston Villa 1-2 Swansea City: Swans seal Sherwood's fate Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Conall Green
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