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Swansea City 1 Norwich City 0: Sigurdsson edges hosts closer to safety

Swansea City continued to edge away from the Premier League relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over Norwich City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson put Swansea ahead after an hour as he applied the finish to a smart Leroy Fer pass after terrific defensive play by Wayne Routledge had launched a counter-attack.

Norwich threw men forward in a desperate attempt to salvage a point but the visitors created little – a Patrick Bamford shot that was blocked by Lukasz Fabianski as close as they came to a goal.

Nathan Redmond almost snatched a draw in the closing stages, but the winger directed his effort just wide.

Swansea’s win was their second in a row following a 2-1 victory at Arsenal on Wednesday and means they are now nine points clear of the relegation places, while Norwich remain deep in the mire after their winless run stretched to nine matches.

Swansea – managed by Alan Curtis in the absence of Francesco Guidolin, who remains in hospital with a chest infection – made six changes from their midweek win, while Alex Neil recalled Steven Naismith and Gary O’Neil.

In front of the on-looking new FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Swansea had the first chance after five minutes when Alberto Paloschi miskicked a shot, before Fabianski saved comfortably from Redmond.

Robbie Brady’s set-pieces were causing problems for Swansea but the hosts almost took the lead after 23 minutes, as Andre Ayew’s header drifted over the crossbar.

Cameron Jerome forced a good save from Fabianski two minutes before half-time but, with both sides struggling for form, the first period lacked quality.

Half-time substitute Modou Barrow had the first opening of the second half, turning a looping ball over the crossbar from close range.

And Swansea took the lead in the 61st minute. Substitute Fer slipped a superb pass across the box and Sigurdsson controlled before placing his shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Routledge then forced a good stop from John Ruddy by cutting along the byline and firing an effort from a narrow angle, before Fabianski saved from substitute striker Bamford after 67 minutes as Neil’s side committed more men forward in search of an equaliser.

With 10 minutes to go, Dieumerci Mbokani headed a deep cross over the crossbar, before Ruddy kept out Sigurdsson’s goalbound free-kick.

Redmond had a glorious late chance to rescue a point after a goalmouth scramble but dragged wide from 14 yards, before Fabianski kept out Bamford’s shot as Swansea moved a step closer to Premier League survival.

Sat 5 Mar, 2016
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