Swansea City 2-0 Norwich City: Andre Ayew and Conor Hourihane goals give Swans victory


Swansea’s Andre Ayew celebrates his first goal in six matches

Swansea City closed the gap on Championship leaders Norwich City to two points thanks to an impressive 2-0 victory over the stuttering Canaries.

Andre Ayew capitalised on Tim Krul’s error to put Steve Cooper’s team ahead late in what had been a fairly even first half.

Conor Hourihane then made it three goals in as many league games since joining Swansea on loan from Aston Villa with a supreme long-range drive to put the hosts firmly in control.

Norwich, who would have gone seven points clear at the top of the table with victory, battled to find a response but saw their winless league run stretch to three matches.

That leaves them looking over their shoulders at Swansea, who climb back into the automatic promotion places and have a game in hand on Daniel Farke’s team.

This meeting of two sides who like to play possession football promised much and did not disappoint in an open, entertaining first half.

Norwich pressed high and were sharp on the counter-attack, while Swansea worked hard to pass their way around the yellow shirts and were typically steadfast on the back foot.

It was the visitors who threatened first, Todd Cantwell threading Teemu Pukki into space only for the Finland striker to shoot narrowly wide with the angle tight.

At the other end Lukas Rupp’s wayward backpass had Krul scrambling to clear, before Marc Guehi’s fabulous ball sent Jamal Lowe surging into the box.

Krul gathered Lowe’s effort, then Max Aarons made a vital block to deny Hourihane at the far post after Connor Roberts’ long throw was not cleared.

The opener came from the Roberts corner which followed, as Krul came to claim and spilled the ball to Guehi.

He laid it off to Jake Bidwell and his mishit effort fell to Ayew, who shot on the turn and found the bottom corner.

Norwich striker Teemu Pukki tangles with Swansea captain Matt Grimes
Norwich striker Teemu Pukki tangles with Swansea captain Matt Grimes

Norwich almost produced an immediate response as Grant Hanley met Przemyslaw Placheta’s free-kick with a firm header, but Freddie Woodman’s smart save ensured Swansea were ahead at the break.

They doubled their advantage with the first notable attack of the second half, as Norwich left Hourihane in too much space and Jay Fulton squared for the Irish international.

Hourihane finished brilliantly, drilling a low, left-foot shot into the bottom corner of Krul’s net from 25 yards.

This was Norwich’s third game in six days – while Swansea had a rare midweek off – but that did not stop Farke’s men pushing hard to try to find a route back into the contest.

But they are now without a goal in three league games while Swansea, the side with the meanest defence in the EFL, can celebrate their 15th clean sheet in 27 Championship games this season.

Cooper felt they should have had the chance to extend their lead from the penalty spot late on when Jordan Morris tumbled under Ben Gibson’s challenge, but referee Simon Hooper’s decision to wave home appeals away counted for little in the end.

Line-ups

Swansea

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1WoodmanBooked at 84mins
  • 26Naughton
  • 2BennettBooked at 64mins
  • 5GuehiBooked at 69mins
  • 23Roberts
  • 6Fulton
  • 8Grimes
  • 24Bidwell
  • 14Hourihane
  • 10A Ayew
  • 9LoweSubstituted forMorrisat 75′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Manning
  • 11Morris
  • 17Whittaker
  • 18Hamer
  • 21Dhanda
  • 22Latibeaudiere
  • 31Cooper
  • 34Freeman
  • 44Cabango

Norwich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 5Hanley
  • 34Gibson
  • 19Sørensen
  • 23McLean
  • 20SkippSubstituted forIdahat 57′minutesBooked at 67mins
  • 14CantwellSubstituted forDowellat 85′minutes
  • 7RuppSubstituted forVrancicat 57′minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 11PlachetaSubstituted forHernándezat 57′minutes
  • 22Pukki

Substitutes

  • 6Zimmermann
  • 8Vrancic
  • 10Dowell
  • 25Hernández
  • 26Mumba
  • 27Tettey
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 35Idah
  • 50Barden

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