Swansea City’s Premier League status is hanging by a thread, whereas West Bromwich Albion have been relegated to the Championship – all because of Southampton. Mark Hughes is the man of the moment after guiding the Saints to a narrow victory in Wales, as Swansea find themselves in the relegation zone desperate to break out of it. The game was always considered to be a relegation six-pointer, and it was always going to be tense, but few could’ve predicted these two teams would be in this situation at the start of the campaign.
The atmosphere was always going to be electric at Liberty Stadium, and it was clear to see that while the Swans had the majority of possession, they would struggle to break the visitors down. They weren’t really able to translate their consistency on the ball into legitimate attacks, whereas Charlie Austin came close twice as Fabianski kept the home side in the game.
But as the game went on the nerves grew and grew, and that went for both sides. West Brom fans remained hopeful that the scores would remain goalless until Manolo Gabbiadini struck with 18 minutes remaining to send ripples throughout the Premier League’s relegation contenders. From that point on the wind was clearly taken out of Carlos Carvalhal’s side, and they never managed to recover.
The final countdown
Now, it’s time to look ahead, as preparations begin for the final day of the season. Huddersfield can save themselves officially with a point against Chelsea, and in terms of the bottom three, Swansea may need a minor miracle.
The Terriers will host Arsenal, Swansea will take on already relegated Stoke City, and Southampton will play Manchester City knowing that their fate is in their own hands. Regardless, however, one thing that we do know is West Bromwich Albion’s heroics in recent weeks weren’t quite enough to save them from the drop.
Swansea: Fabianski (6.5), Roberts (5), Naughton (6), Fernandez (5.5), Mawson (6), Olsson (5), Ki Sung-Yeung (5.5), King (5.5), Clucas (6), A. Ayew (4.5), J. Ayew (5.5)
Subs: Abraham (5), Narsingh (5), Carroll (N/A)
Southampton: McCarthy (8), Cedric (7), Bednarek (7), Hoedt (7), Stephens (8), Bertrand (7.5), Romeu (6), Hojbjerg (6.5), Tadic (6), Redmond (6), Austin (6.5)
Subs: Gabbiadini (7.5), Long (6), McQueen (N/A)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Yellow Cards: Fernandez, Ki Sung-yueng, Romeo
Red Cards: N/A
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