Saturday 24 August 2019

Paul Clement still under pressure as Swansea draw a blank against Bournemouth

Swansea's Wilfried Bony scores before having the goal disallowed during the Premier League match against Bournemouth.
Swansea's Wilfried Bony scores before having the goal disallowed during the Premier League match against Bournemouth.

Swansea stopped the rot with a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth but failed to ease the pressure on head coach Paul Clement.

Four successive defeats had dropped Swansea into the Premier League relegation zone and left Clement facing awkward questions over his future.

Those questions might still remain after Bournemouth kept a third successive clean sheet, but at least Clement saw an improved Swansea performance which should have brought all three points.

Swansea still laboured to create chances but there was a greater intensity about their play than in recent weeks.

And Clement must have felt his side had won it when substitute Leroy Fer burst through the Cherries' defence seven minutes from time.

Fer forced Asmir Begovic into his first save of the game and then placed the rebound wide when it seemed simpler to score.

Swansea also had a penalty appeal turned down late when Adam Smith appeared to take away the standing foot of Tammy Abraham, although contact might just have been outside the area.

Clement lost his captain Federico Fernandez before kick-off as the centre-half had returned to Argentina following the death of his father.

Wilfried Bony - making his first start in the league since the end of September - wore the armband with England striker Abraham deemed only fit enough to begin on the bench.

There was a lively start as Joshua King shrugged off the challenge of Roque Mesa and crossed for Marc Pugh to produce a tame effort.

Swansea's instant response was for Jordan Ayew to wriggle free and strike the crossbar from a tight angle.

Bournemouth's calmness played on the nerves of the home crowd, but the Cherries failed to manufacture anything of note apart from Andrew Surman's 25-yarder.

Swansea made little headway until Tom Carroll created two opportunities in the space of 60 seconds with 10 minutes of the first half remaining.

Carroll spied space inside full-back Adam Smith for the stretching Martin Olsson to fire over and, with Bournemouth gifting back possession immediately, Renato Sanches found the side netting from just inside the penalty area.

King, Bournemouth's most dangerous player, shot straight at Lukasz Fabianski from Pugh's pull-back before a moment of controversy.

Sanches won a ball which had ballooned into the air and referee Stuart Attwell adjudged Ayew to have shoved Nathan Ake before Bony smashed home off the underside of the crossbar.

Swansea improved as the first half wore on with an increasing understanding between Bony and Sanches offering them real hope.

Sanches volleyed over after Bony had scrapped for a cross and further good work by the pair ended with Ake bravely blocking Ayew's goalbound attempt.

Jordon Ibe tested Fabianski at the base of his post as tempers threatened to boil over.

Ibe and Ki Sung-yueng were booked after a spot of shoving which saw referee Attwell caught in the middle before Charlie Daniels almost produced a Bournemouth sucker punch.

PA Media

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