Swansea 2-0 Fulham: Swans rebound against lifeless Cottagers (video)
Goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Chico Flores gave Swansea their first win since December 4th as Fulham withered away to defeat at Liberty Stadium.
The Swans breathed life into their home fans and their season from start to finish, and it sent the visitors home hanging their heads at a complete lack of class and urgency.
As the home side begun brightly, Wilfried Bony got his first half-chance on 12 minutes but couldn’t convert firing over. The first real chance fell to Shelvey soon after who blasted over after some nice touches.
Fulham looked to absorb pressure and play on the counter, and it earned them a pair of good chances. Towering Brede Hangeland came oh so close off a Kieran Richardson free kick, but his header stung just over the bar.
Then in the 30th minute they broke down the left wing, as Alex Kacaniklic breezed around Chico Flores and crossed perfectly to Ashkan Dejagah all alone in the box but his header was weak and right at Gerhard Tremmel.
Despite the chances Swansea remained in command, and Shelvey ripped a twisting shot on goal in the 40th minute, but he smashed the crossbar. It was eerily similar to the last time these two sides faced each other, when Shelvey netted from well outside the box.
The attempt burst Liberty Stadium to life, and the pressure nearly broke the visitors, but they held on until halftime. The second half begun exactly as the first ended, with Swansea full of life.
Fulham continued to live dangerously, and they’d get a last-gasp clearance out of the break. Sascha Riether cleared off the line on a corner kick, with Chico’s header just out of reach of a diving Stekelenburg.
Michael Laudrup brought on Nathan Dyer, a pacey winger from the bench who hadn’t played since December 12th due to injury. Fulham couldn’t deal with his speed, and this time, Fulham wouldn’t have an answer. Jonjo Shelvey wouldn’t squander his second chance in open space.
He hit a cyclone from the top of the key, and it banged off the back of a cowering Brede Hangeland and past a wrong-footed Maarten Stekelenburg.
Swansea continued to batter the visitors who were without answer, and they got a second without too much wait. With just under 20 minutes to go, Chico got a header off a free kick and it clipped off Dimitar Berbatov past Stekelenburg at the near post. Another deflection, another goal.
The win for Swansea puts them up into 10th position, even with Aston Villa. For Fulham, they remain a point above the drop, but two teams within striking distance have yet to play.
Swansea - Shelvey 61', Chico Flores 75'
Swansea – Tremmel; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Britton, de Guzman (Pozuelo 88'), Shelvey (Amat 79'), Routledge, Hernandez (Dyer 58'); Bony.
Fulham – Stekelenburg; Riether, Hangeland, Burn, Richardson; Dejagah (Bent 59'), Parker, Sidwell, Kačaniklić, Dempsey (Duff 71'); Berbatov (Tankovic 83').