Goals from Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew handed Frank de Boer and Crystal Palace a third consecutive Premier League defeat as Swansea City ran out 2-0 winners at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
On-loan Chelsea forward Abraham netted with Swansea’s first shot on target of the league season and Ayew added a second that leaves Palace – without a goal this term – still pointless.
De Boer’s early attempts to rebuild a reputation damaged in his poor spell at Inter are floundering and the errors of a muddled back three simply left a blunt Palace attack with too much to do once more.
Although the two teams had shared 12 goals in two meetings last term, a high-scoring classic never looked likely here as the struggles evident in the sides’ opening two fixtures showed no signs of abating.
But the generous Palace defending that had seen Huddersfield Town take three goals and three points from their visit a fortnight earlier continued and allowed Swansea opportunities to get off the mark before finally, in the 44th minute, Abraham took his chance.
And the home back line parted again just three minutes into the second period for Ayew to run clear and beat Wayne Hennessey, securing a first win of the campaign for Paul Clement’s side.
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) August 26, 2017
Swansea should have led inside three minutes, but Ayew flashed a header wide from Abraham’s pinpoint right-wing centre.
However, the toothless visitors were unable to build on that promising start and Palace’s response was similarly laboured.
A series of deliveries into the Swansea area brought little reward before James McArthur – who scored twice against Ipswich Town in Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie – arrowed a low drive off target.
Hennessey was belatedly tested at the other end as he deflected Abraham’s close-range prod behind after a Timothy Fosu-Mensah error – although the effort appeared to be heading wide – and Alfie Mawson then sent a header just past the post from the consequent corner.
But Swansea finally hit the target and the back of the net with their next attack on the stroke of half-time, Abraham stealing in behind Fosu-Mensah again to volley Leroy Fer’s cross into the bottom-left corner.
Palace looked to hit back after the break and Lukasz Fabianski held well from Martin Kelly, but the game was beyond the home side just moments later.
Kyle Naughton charged forward and teased a pass in behind the Palace back line that caught the defenders flatfooted and set Ayew clear, the forward nudging the ball past the advancing Hennessey and then into an unguarded goal.
Shots from distance followed from Andros Townsend and Lee Chung-yong, but neither caused Fabianski great concern and a pair of sublime Martin Olsson challenges then halted two dangerous attacks.
Although Palace kept pressing, they came no closer to finding the net as Fabianski saved comfortably from McArthur and then watched Townsend’s strike on its way wide, with the hosts fading and the Swans easing to victory.
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