Sport Soccer

Thursday 18 October 2018

Ki unlocks Burnley to maintain Swansea’s momemtum under Carvalhal

South Korean midfielder was on target with his first goal since May 2016.

Ki Sung-yueng celebrates his winner
Ki Sung-yueng celebrates his winner

By Phil Blanche

Swansea maintained their momentum under Carlos Carvalhal as Ki Sung-yueng’s late strike secured a 1-0 home victory over Burnley.

A Premier League game of few chances sprang into life when Ki drilled home low from the edge of the penalty area after 82 minutes – the South Korean midfielder’s first goal since May 2016.

Swansea have now taken 14 points from 21 since Carvalhal succeeded Paul Clement, climbing from the bottom of the Premier League into 15th place.

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Swansea v Burnley

Burnley, as resilient and combative as ever, had knocked Swansea out of their stride for much of a dour contest.

But the Clarets were left to reflect on another disappointing afternoon, with the longest winless run in the top flight stretching to 10 games.

In a first half devoid of entertainment, Swansea had more possession while Burnley carried the greater goal threat.

Neither side managed an on-target attempt in that opening 45 minutes, with defences on top and creativity in short supply.

Burnley had some promising early moments with Jeff Hendrick’s attempt blocked by Martin Olsson after Johann Berg Gudmundsson had travelled unchallenged down the left flank.

Sam Vokes’ battering-ram approach asked serious questions of Swansea’s three-man central defence, with the Burnley striker invariably winning flick-ons for his strike partner Ashley Barnes.

Vokes turned well to send his volley wide of an upright before knocking down Ben Mee’s drilled ball to set up Barnes with a dipping effort, which did not come down quick enough.

Gudmundsson also skewed over but Swansea improved as the half wore on.

Jordan Ayew and Ki were both guilty of over-elaborating in the penalty area when they might have got a shot away – and when Ayew fizzed a ball across the six-yard box there was no team-mate to deliver the final touch.

Barnes was just wide from 20 yards at the start of the second half before Gudmundsson’s rising drive forced the first save of the game from Lukasz Fabianski.

Swansea replied instantly as Nick Pope held Ki’s low free-kick and the returning Andre Ayew was sent on to make his second debut for the club – joining his brother Jordan in the home attack.

There was still no way through a compact Clarets defence, however, and Tammy Abraham – who ended his four-month scoring drought with a midweek FA Cup double against Notts County – was sent on for the final 15 minutes.

Abraham’s touch almost allowed Jordan Ayew to break the deadlock but Pope showed smart reflexes to hold onto the ball on his line.

Swansea made the decisive breakthrough eight minutes from time when Jordan Ayew allowed Kyle Naughton’s pass to run to Ki, and his unerring shot gave Pope no chance.

Jordan Ayew almost beat Pope at his near post to confirm the three points, but Swansea held on for their third successive home victory.

Press Association

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