loading...

03 January 2021 06:39

Bristol City Football Club Brentford F.C. EFL Championship

Swansea City 2-1 Watford: Jamal Lowe brace lifts Steve Cooper's men up to second

Swansea's fifth win in eight games moves them above Brentford into the automatic promotion places, and six points above Watford who drop to sixth. Image: Swansea City's Jamal Lowe (second right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game Connor Roberts' driving runs were a huge threat down the right and the wing-back flashed a centre across the six-yard box where Korey Smith just failed to apply a telling touch. The home side struggled to clear after being caught out playing from the back and Cleverley's drive from outside the box was too hot for Freddie Woodman to handle. Roberts wanted a penalty when falling under Jeremy Ngakia's challenge, but the Wales international was soon back on his feet to set up an opportunity which Jay Fulton placed narrowly wide. Swansea started the second half as they had finished the first and Jake Bidwell had the ball in the net from a Roberts cross only for an assistant's flag to cut the celebrations short.

Watford did fall behind, though, when Smith's centre evaded Foster and Lowe showed the predatory instincts which have served him so well in recent weeks by heading home at the far post. Lowe's second brought a strong response from the Hornets and Troy Deeney and Francisco Sierralta both had efforts blocked by brave home defending. Swansea's Steve Cooper: "He wasn't under pressure from me or the players [to score goals earlier in the season]. Jamal Lowe struck twice as Swansea City started 2021 with a bang by coming from behind to beat Watford at the Liberty Stadium. Tom Cleverley fired the visitors into the lead in the first half before Lowe levelled with a stunning curled strike just before the break.

And the summer capture notched his eighth goal of the campaign midway through the second half to earn his side all three points as Swansea moved back into the Championship's automatic promotion places after another impressive display on their new pitch. Ryan Manning was drafted in at the last minute, which meant Jake Bidwell started at left centre-back while Marc Guehi was deployed on the right of Ben Cabango. Xisco Munoz's side did manage to take the lead in the 20th minute though after winning a throw-in following a mix-up between Guehi and Freddie Woodman, with Cleverley drilling home from the edge of the box. It was only the second goal Swansea had conceded on home soil since losing 2-1 to Huddersfield in October. After an even spell, Swansea ended the first half strongly as Watford had Ben Foster to thank for palming Andre Ayew's driven strike over the crossbar.

But Swansea's pressure told two minutes before the break as Lowe curled an effort off the inside of the post from the edge of the 18-yard box to ensure Swansea went into the break level. They started the second half where they left off in the first, with the Hornets dropping slightly deeper as the Swans looked to stay on the front foot. And they thought they had gone ahead as Bidwell prodded home Roberts' cross nine minutes after the restart, although the offside flag had already been raised, much to the dismay of the Swans' coaching staff as it appeared Ayew was the man offside. And Swansea went in front midway through the second half as Smith's cross to the back post was headed home by Lowe. It took the former Wigan Athletic man level with Ayew on eight goals for the campaign while it was his second double of the season following his heroics against Cardiff City.

And Swansea held on to start the New Year in dream fashion by extending their unbeaten run at home to nine matches to rise up to second in the table. Swansea City: Woodman; Guehi, Cabango, Bidwell; Roberts, Smith, Fulton, Grimes (C), Manning (Gibbs-White 84); Lowe, Ayew. Watford: Foster; Ngakia (Masina 46), Sierralta, Wilmot, Femenia; Chalobah (Garner 60), Cleverley (Hughes 90), Sarr, Sema; Deeney (C), Gray. Xisco Munoz will be looking to make it two wins out of two this afternoon as Watford travel to South Wales to face Swansea City. Impressed in the last game and is well within his rights to expect to keep his place against the team he played for on loan last season.

Jamal Lowe took his goal tally to six in his last six outings to fire Swansea City back into the automatic promotion places. Lowe's goals enabled the home side to recover from falling behind to a 20th minute shot from Tom Cleverley and gave manager Steve Cooper the perfect start to 2021. Jamal Lowe scored twice as Swansea came from behind to beat Watford 2-1 in South Wales Lowe scored the winner with a header from a Korey Smith cross in the 67th minute The Spaniard worked the oracle five days into his job by winning his debut game 1-0 at home against the league leaders, Norwich City, and his magical touch continued a week on when Tom Cleverley hammered home a low shot from the edge of the penalty area to squeeze the ball past the diving Freddie Woodman in the home goal for the opening goal. Tom Cleverley had given Watford the lead in the 20th minute with a shot from outside the box MATCH STATS Swansea (3-4-1-2): Woodburn; Guehi; Cabango; Bidwell; Grimes; Roberts; Manning (Gibbs-White 85); Fulton; Lowe; Smith; Ayew Subs not used: Gyokeres; Evans; Benda; Palmer; Cooper; Dhanda; Routledge; Garrick Scorers: Lowe (43, 67) Booked: Guehi; Bidwell; Grimes Watford (4-4-2): Foster; Sierralta; Wilmot; Femenia; Ngakia (Masina 45); Sema; Cleverley (Hughes 90); Chalobah (Garner 60); Sarr; Deeney; Gray Sub not used: Bachmann; Dalby; Crichlow; Navarro; Hungbo; Troost-Ekong Scorers: Cleverley (20) Booked: Chalobah; Masina Advertisement They didn't have things as easy against fifth placed Watford and despite creating a couple of early chances thanks to the good work of Welsh international Connor Roberts down the right flank, they couldn't break the deadlock. The opening goal owed much to the pressure imposed by the Watford players on the home side that forced a defensive mix-up between Woodman and Marc Guehi. Watford were certainly good value for their lead, but they continually failed to cope with the home patterns of play that created acres of space for Roberts. It was a sign, though, that the home side were beginning to find some of their midweek fluency and Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster was brought into action before the break. He had no chance on the stroke of half-time, though, when Jamal Lowe beat him from the edge of the area with a curling shot. That was just the boost Swansea were looking for and they came out at the start of the second half looking for more. Jake Bidwell had the ball in the back of the Watford net in the 53rd minute, only to see his effort ruled out for offside, but that man Lowe made up for the disappointment when he headed home his second a quarter-of-an-hour later. Jamal Lowe struck twice as Swansea climbed to second in the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-1 comeback victory over promotion rivals Watford. The red-hot Lowe made it six goals in as many games for Swansea to inflict a first defeat on new Watford manager Xisco Munoz, who had seen his side lead through Tom Cleverley. Swansea's fifth win in eight games moves them above Brentford into the automatic promotion places, and six points above Watford who drop to sixth. Watford responded when former Swansea loanee Ben Wilmot robbed Lowe by the corner flag and Andre Gray almost squeezed home his cross at the near post. Andre Ayew headed over for Swansea in an action-packed opening but Watford were ahead after 20 minutes. Roberts wanted a penalty when falling under Jeremy Ngakia's challenge, but the Wales international was soon back on his feet to set up an opportunity which Jay Fulton placed narrowly wide. Swansea continued to push for an equaliser and Ben Foster tipped over from Ayew before making an even better stop to deny Smith. He helped it on to Lowe on the edge of the box and the in-form forward curled home his fifth goal in six games off the far post. Swansea started the second half as they had finished the first and Jake Bidwell had the ball in the net from a Roberts cross only for an assistant's flag to cut the celebrations short. Watford did fall behind, though, when Smith's centre evaded Foster and Lowe showed the predatory instincts which have served him so well in recent weeks by heading home at the far post. Lowe's second brought a strong response from the Hornets and Troy Deeney and Francisco Sierralta both had efforts blocked by brave home defending. Skipper Deeney blazed over at the far post, but Swansea weathered the storm and were boosted in the final minutes when loan signing Morgan Gibbs-White was welcomed back after three months out.