Duff gets first Swans victory against winless Owls

Duff gets first Swans victory against winless Owls

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Jamal Lowe celebrates
Jamal Lowe celebrates with his Swansea team-mates after his first goal since re-joining the club on loan

Swansea City eased the pressure on head coach Michael Duff by claiming a comprehensive first Championship win of the season against fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.

Jamal Lowe marked his first home appearance since rejoining Swansea with a goal and an assist, steering his side into a first-half lead from the penalty spot after Pol Valentin fouled Josh Ginnelly.

After Wednesday defender Bambo Diaby hit the crossbar on the hour, the home side pulled clear thanks to measured finishes from Jerry Yates and Charlie Patino.

Duff’s maiden Championship win as Swansea boss came at the eighth time of asking, and ended the club’s longest winless league start since 1991.

While a long-awaited victory will take some of the focus away from Duff’s position, a sixth league defeat of the season leaves opposite number Xisco Munoz looking vulnerable.

Large sections of a sold-out away end at the Swansea.com Stadium called for Munoz’s departure during the second half, with their team still waiting for a first league triumph under the former Watford boss.

It has been a difficult campaign thus far for both these sides, with their respective bosses fighting to establish themselves having been appointed in the summer.

Duff may never have joined Swansea had his Barnsley side not lost to Wednesday in May’s League One play-off final.

His hopes of exacting a little revenge for that Wembley defeat looked promising from the outset, with Swansea settling well despite their recent struggles.

Even so it was Wednesday who carved the first chance, Lee Gregory latching on to John Buckley’s pass only to see his driven shot saved by Carl Rushworth.

Swansea took control of the first half after Ginnelly danced into the penalty area and went to ground after Valentino appeared to pull him back.

Lowe took the coolest of penalties, ambling towards the ball before guiding it high into the corner of the net.

Swansea thought they had doubled their advantage when some sharp footwork from Yates – who had come on for the injured Ginnelly – sent Liam Cullen in behind.

Cullen initially picked out Lowe for a shot which was beaten away by Wednesday goalkeeper Devis Vasquez, then swept in the rebound only to see celebrations halted by the offside flag.

Having booed their team off at the break, Wednesday’s fans made their frustration clear once more early in the second period, yet the mood briefly lightened as Munoz’s team found some attacking momentum for the first time.

They came within inches of an equaliser when Di’Shon Bernard flicked on a corner and the sliding Diaby thumped his shot against the bar.

Charlie Patino celebrates scoring for Swansea
Charlie Patino’s goal was his first for Swansea

Yet with that Swansea took control and ultimately coasted to their first league maximum since the final day of last season.

Jamie Paterson almost doubled the lead when he charged down a Vasquez clearance and watched as the ball rolled just wide.

Paterson then touched on Lowe’s square pass to allow the unmarked Yates to guide in his third goal of the season from 15 yards.

Lowe was involved once more as Swansea swiftly added a third on the counter, steering the ideal pass into the path of Patino.

The on-loan Arsenal teenager finished in style, lifting the ball over Vasquez with just enough power to carry it over the line.

Relief reigned at full-time for Swansea as boos rained down once more from the away end.

Swansea head coach Michael Duff:

“The two over-riding emotions are pride and relief. I was proud of the players, they way they stuck together.

“And I have to say I was really pleased with the supporters. We asked them to come and support the team and at 0-0 when a couple of passes went astray, there was no negativity in the ground. That doesn’t half help the players.

“We had a moment in the second half where you think are we going to sit in again [after going ahead], but they didn’t. We had a bit of luck with the crossbar but once the second goal went in, you could feel the whole stadium – it was more of a sigh than a celebration because everyone’s been feeling it. Everyone wants to do well.

“You need everyone pulling in the same direction and today it was a little bit more like how we want it to look.”

Sheffield Wednesday manager Xisco Munoz:

“The performance was very strange. I think first half we had our chances. Second half we had chances to stay in the game. We tried to draw the game – we hit the crossbar. Then two minutes later they have the second goal and kill the game.

“We in a difficult dynamic. We need to improve a lot in the last third, the last decision.

“Now I can say it’s important we stay together. We arrive two months ago with 10 players. I believe in the players and I know they are working every day.

“They can put the focus on me. It’s okay. I am continuing to my last day.”

Line-ups

Swansea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Rushworth
  • 2Key
  • 5Cabango
  • 23WoodSubstituted forDarlingat 10′minutes
  • 3Pedersen
  • 18PatinoBooked at 45minsSubstituted forFultonat 74′minutes
  • 8Grimes
  • 20CullenBooked at 21mins
  • 12Paterson
  • 11GinnellySubstituted forYatesat 41′minutes
  • 10LoweSubstituted forTymonat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Fisher
  • 4Fulton
  • 6Darling
  • 9Yates
  • 14Tymon
  • 19Kukharevych
  • 21Tjoe-A-On
  • 30Ashby
  • 33Humphreys

Sheff Wed

Formation 3-4-3

  • 36Vásquez
  • 17Bernard
  • 5Diaby
  • 23Famewo
  • 14ValentínBooked at 27minsSubstituted forFletcherat 70′minutes
  • 22HendrickBooked at 39minsSubstituted forByersat 77′minutes
  • 10Bannan
  • 15DelgadoSubstituted forPatersonat 55′minutes
  • 21BuckleySubstituted forWindassat 55′minutes
  • 9GregorySubstituted forSmithat 70′minutes
  • 45Musaba

Substitutes

  • 1Dawson
  • 2Palmer
  • 6Iorfa
  • 8Byers
  • 11Windass
  • 13Paterson
  • 19Bakinson
  • 24Smith
  • 27Fletcher

Referee:
Anthony Backhouse

Attendance:
16,865

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