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    Swansea City 1-0 Watford: Ashley Williams header earns victory for Swans

    By Alex Easley
    Ashley Williams' first half header proved to be the winner for Swansea.
    New Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin watched on as his side beat Watford 1-0 on Monday night to move out of the Premier League relegation zone.

    The Italian, whose appointment was confirmed just hours before the match, watched from the stands at the Liberty as interim boss Alan Curtis earned his second win since taking over in December.

    Swansea captain Ashley Williams headed in the only goal of the game in the 27th minute as the home side dominated the first period.

    Watford did improve after the break, but could not prevent what was a fourth straight league defeat and almost conceded a second late on as Bafetimbi Gomis hit the post.

    While there were a couple of late scares for the Swans, the win moves them out of the bottom three and above Newcastle United.

    Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores said before the game that his wanted his team to improve on their “worst display” of the season at Southampton, but they were second best in the first half and rarely threatened.

    Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo failed to direct his header goalwards in the 21st minute but Swansea’s pressure paid off in the 27th minute as Sung-Yueng Ki was allowed time to cross from the right and Williams was the one who rose highest to head the ball past Heurelho Gomes.

    The goal gave the home fans a much needed lift and Swansea pressed for a second as Ki shot over and Gomes punched clear a free-kick under pressure.

    The visitor’s best moment came late in the half as Jose Jurado shot at Lukasz Fabianski after exchanging passes with captain Troy Deeney.

    The Hornets pressed Swansea even more after the break and went close to levelling the score as Miguel Britos flicked his header over the bar from Ben Watson’s free-kick.
    Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson (centre) battles for the ball.
    Jurado then curled wide after linking up with Deeney once again as Watford continued to look for the equaliser.

    Both sides had penalty appeals turned down as Watson leaned into Neil Taylor’s shot and then Williams and Ighalo tussled in the area.

    Jurado shot wide again after Taylor’s error but it was Swansea who went the closest to scoring when substitute Gomis hit the woodwork.

    Flores said post-match: “I think football has been cruel with us in the last few matches.

    “We didn't deserve to lose today, but that's football, everything can happen, so you need to accept the result and improve for the next match.

    "I'm disappointed with the result and first half we lost balance in a few areas, we suffered a bit without the ball and they had control.

    "I was happy with the performance in the second half, we had high pressure, we created chances and the team came back with a performance. In the second half it was completely different."


    Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Britton, Cork, Ki, Sigurdsson, Ayew, Routledge

    Subs: Amat, Gomis, Barrow

    Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Ake, Behrami, Capoue, Watson, Jurado, Ighalo, Deeney

    Subs: Oulare, Paredes

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Ashley Williams
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    Item Reviewed: Swansea City 1-0 Watford: Ashley Williams header earns victory for Swans Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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