Swansea City’s survival hopes suffered another blow as Etienne Capoue’s first-half goal condemned them to a 1-0 defeat against Watford at Vicarage Road.
Capoue capitalised on an error from defender Alfie Mawson before beating Lukasz Fabianski at the second attempt to secure an eighth home win of the season for Walter Mazzarri’s side.
The result all but secures Watford’s place in the top flight for another season, although they were a touch fortunate to down a battling Swansea side for whom Gylfi Sigurdsson twice went close.
Despite improving upon their lacklustre display at West Ham last week, however, Paul Clement’s men were ultimately unable to avoid a sixth successive away defeat and their 13th on the road this season.
The Welsh side have now taken just one point from their last six outings and remain two points adrift of safety with only five games left to play.
Their sole consolation from another tough away afternoon came in the form of 17th-placed Hull City also losing, beaten 3-1 at Stoke City.
— Watford FC (@WatfordFC) April 15, 2017
Although Watford applied most of the early pressure, it was Swansea who created the game’s first chance, Sigurdsson latching on to a Luciano Narsingh cross and unleashing a close-range effort that Heurelho Gomes did well to keep out.
Moments later the vistors went close again, when Federico Fernandez’s header landed on the roof of the net after Gomes had miscued his attempt to punch away a Sigurdsson free-kick.
The home side finally managed an effort on target in the 23rd minute, M’Baye Niang’s free-kick drawing a regulation save from Fabianski and the Poland international then produced a more acrobatic block to keep out a volley from the sliding Troy Deeney.
There was very little the Swansea goalkeeper could do about Watford’s opener just before the break, however.
Capoue caught Mawson in possession just outside the box and, although his first effort was well parried by Fabianski, the French midfielder duly rifled home the rebound to claim his sixth league goal of the season.
Early in the second half, the lively Sigurdsson fizzed a 20-yard effort narrowly wide of Gomes’ left post, before Watford responded through Daryl Janmaat, whose long-range effort forced Fabianski into a smart stop.
The goalmouth action dried up in the final quarter, however, with the hosts content to drop deep, sit on their lead and keep Swansea at arm’s length.
And despite great vocal encouragement from their travelling fans, the visitors were unable to break down their hosts and salvage a much-needed point.
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