Sunday 21 April 2019

Carlos Carvalhal in focus

Carlos Carvalhal celebrates making a winning start to life as Swansea manager
Carlos Carvalhal celebrates making a winning start to life as Swansea manager

New Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal took charge of his first game at Watford on Saturday.

The Portuguese only lost his job at Championship Sheffield Wednesday on Christmas Eve, but four days later found himself in the Premier League.

However, Carvalhal inherited a side bottom of the table, having won just one of their previous 12 matches.

Here, Press Association Sport focuses on the Premier League's newest man in the dugout:


In a bold, but not entirely surprising, move Carvalhal recalled his compatriot, Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches, to the starting line-up for the first time since his Chelsea horror show in November. Tammy Abraham and Sam Clucas were also selected in three changes from the side drubbed 5-0 at Liverpool on Boxing Day.


Abraham started in attack alongside Jordan Ayew in a 4-4-2 formation rarely used by previous boss Paul Clement or, indeed, many of his predecessors in recent Swans history. Sanches and Clucas filled the wide positions with Tom Carroll and Roque Mesa patrolling the centre.


The Swans made a fast start and Ayew crashed a shot against the crossbar in the fifth minute. They then allowed Watford, leading by Andre Carrillo's 11th-minute goal, to dominate. But Carvalhal's substitutes all played a major role in the comeback, with Oliver McBurnie setting up Ayew's equaliser and Lloyd Dyer's drive culminating in fellow replacement Luciano Narsingh's dramatic winner.


Phew! Swansea looked down and out for 86 minutes, but Carvalhal ovesaw a remarkable turnaround. Swansea stayed in the game despite Watford's domination and the substitutes then combined to complete a classic smash and grab. A promising start for the new man in charge, but there is still a long way to go if the Swans are to avoid the drop.

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