Monday 17 December 2018

Swans revival gaining pace for Carvalhal

Swansea City 1 Burnley 0

Ki Sung-Yueng of Swansea City celebrates after scoring his sides first goal. Photo: Getty Images
Ki Sung-Yueng of Swansea City celebrates after scoring his sides first goal. Photo: Getty Images

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Carlos Carvalhal felt his bold approach paid off as Swansea continued their Premier League revival with a home victory over Burnley.

South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng struck eight minutes from time - his first goal since May 2016 - to lift Swansea to 15th place, two points above the relegation zone.

Andre Ayew of Swansea City is tackled by Charlie Taylor of Burnley. Photo: Getty Images
Andre Ayew of Swansea City is tackled by Charlie Taylor of Burnley. Photo: Getty Images

Ki's winner came after Carvalhal had made two attacking second-half substitutions with Andre Ayew, making his second Swansea debut after rejoining the club from West Ham on transfer deadline day, and Tammy Abraham sent on to make the difference.

"We have an expression in Portugal at times like we had in the second half," Swansea manager Carvalhal said. "We say it was time to put all the meat on the barbeque."

Swansea have now won more points, 14, in Carvalhal's seven games in charge than the 13 his predecessor Paul Clement collected in 20 matches.

It is a remarkable revival that has seen Swansea, bottom of the table and five points adrift of safety when Carvalhal took over in late December, climb clear of the relegation zone.

Ki Sung-Yueng of Swansea City celebrates after scoring his sides first goal. Photo: Getty Images
Ki Sung-Yueng of Swansea City celebrates after scoring his sides first goal. Photo: Getty Images

"When we arrived we were in the deep ocean," said Carvalhal.

"It was very deep and dark. We saw no fishes. We won some games, to put our noses out of the water - it was the first time we'd smelled the fresh air. Now, we have started swimming and we can now go to the coast. But we must continue to swim to reach the coastline."

Burnley have now gone 10 games without a victory - the longest winless run in the Premier League. The Clarets had shaded a drab first half, but it was Swansea who looked the more probable winners as the game developed.

"The margins are tight and you have to find a way of getting on the right side of it," Burnley boss Sean Dyche said.

"Even at the start of the season, when we were going so well, I said they were tight games. We've got to get players back fit, that will allow this squad to take stock and breathe again. But it's our job to correct the run and my job as manager to do so."

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