Swansea City survived for almost 80 minutes with 10 men as Huddersfield Town squandered a big opportunity in a 0-0 draw at John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.
Despite losing Jordan Ayew to a straight red card in just the 11th minute, Carlos Carvalhal’s side battled through sustained pressure to secure a vital point in their bid to avoid relegation.
It was the quickest sending off of the season and the Ghana forward could have no complaints, having almost caught Jonathan Hogg on the knee in a reckless bid to win the ball.
Hogg, in his 250th career start, was fit to continue and the incident appeared the perfect incentive for the home side to go six points clear of the bottom three, but they were unable to break down a brave rearguard and have now been held scoreless in 16 league games this term, more than any other side.
Tom Ince saw a downward header come back off the post in the 90th minute, but in truth the Terriers struggled to carve out the clear-cut chance they needed to secure back-to-back home league victories.
Instead, the Swans held on to help Carvalhal exact a measure of revenge for the defeat his Sheffield Wednesday suffered to David Wagner’s side in last season’s Championship play-offs.
11 – Jordan Ayew’s red card after 11 minutes is the earliest a player has been sent off in the Premier League this season. Impetuous.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 10, 2018
Billed as a relegation six-pointer, the odds quickly swung in the hosts’ favour when Ayew was given his marching orders by referee Michael Oliver.
The forward, a scorer in Swansea’s last two outings, gave the official no option with a lunging, studs-up challenge high on Hogg, who was also stretching for the loose ball.
Huddersfield immediately set about making the advantage count, Christopher Schindler heading high with one chance while Ince and Alex Pritchard both had attempts blocked.
Mounie next turned an inventive header over the bar as a five-man Swansea defence, stationed deep inside their own half by the 30-minute mark, successfully battled their way to the end of a scoreless first half.
— Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) March 10, 2018
Wagner’s frustration continued after the restart as Hogg speared a shot marginally wide before Scott Malone failed to cleanly connect with Florent Hadergjonaj’s inviting cross.
The tension ratcheted up a notch on the hour. An unmarked Mike van der Hoorn first fluffed a free-kick that dropped kindly in the area and, at the other end, Mounie fired into the side-netting.
Benin international Mounie got his next attempt on target, only for Lukasz Fabianski to tip the fierce volley onto the bar.
Huddersfield were fortunate not to have a man of their own sent off with 20 minutes to play after Hadergjonaj, who earlier guided a shot agonisingly past the far post, escaped with a yellow card for leaving his foot in on Ki Sung-yueng.
There was still time for Ince to dramatically head against the upright right at the death, but it was as close as the home side came to all three points.
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