Saturday 10 December 2016

Crumb of comfort for Canaries

Swansea 1 Norwich City 0

Phil Blanche

Published 06/03/2016 | 02:30

Swansea City's Angel Rangel (left) is challenged by Norwich City's Robbie Brady during the Barclays Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. Photo: David Davies/PA
Swansea City's Angel Rangel (left) is challenged by Norwich City's Robbie Brady during the Barclays Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. Photo: David Davies/PA
Norwich City's Jonny Howson clears the ball whilst under pressure from Swansea City's Jack Cork during the Barclays Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. Photo: David Davies/PA
New FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the Barclays Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. Photo: David Davies/PA

Alan Curtis felt Swansea sent out a significant statement in their survival battle by beating their relegation rivals. The Swans backed up their win at Arsenal by overcoming Norwich 1-0 to put nine points between themselves and the relegation zone.

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"It's a big statement as we've given ourselves some breathing space," said Curtis, again standing in for absent head coach Francesco Guidolin, who remains in hospital with a chest infection. "We're still only on 33 points and that is not going to get you safety. We know we've got a lot of work to do, but we've given ourselves breathing space."

Gylfi Sigurdsson's 61st-minute strike, his sixth in 10 games, settled a scrappy contest that failed to spark into life until the Icelandic international finished from Leroy Fer's pass. "It was a poor game - both teams were caught up in the tension of the enormity of the game," said Curtis.

Norwich are in the bottom three, and have now lost eight of their last nine games, but Newcastle's defeat to Bournemouth and Sunderland's draw at Southampton means they are only a point from safety. "We've got nine games left and the crumb of comfort is that the teams around us have only picked up one point today - and we've still got those two teams [to play] at home," said Norwich manager Alex Neil.

Norwich had late chances to level when Nathan Redmond fired wide and Patrick Bamford's near-post attempt was saved by Lukasz Fabianski."Both teams sensed it was a cagey affair, but I don't think Swansea will come off thinking they were better than us," said Neil. "We had as many, if not more, chances, but for that 10-minute spell when they were on top they got a goal and we couldn't convert our chances."

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