Swansea ease relegation worries with thumping win over West Ham
The Swans’ renaissance under Carlos Carvalhal has brought 17 points from nine games.
Swansea moved out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 4-1 home win over lacklustre West Ham.
Ki Sung-yueng, Mike van der Hoorn, Andy King and Jordan Ayew, from the penalty spot, were on target to deepen West Ham’s own relegation concerns, before Michail Antonio struck a consolation goal for the visitors.
The win takes Swansea above West Ham on goal difference – the teams are level on 30 points – but the two sides appear to be moving in different directions.
The Swans have now taken 17 points from Carlos Carvalhal’s nine games in charge, while West Ham have won only one of their last six with David Moyes’ initial bounce effect seemingly over.
West Ham suffered more misery when Winston Reid appeared to land awkwardly in the first half, the central defender carefully treated for 10 minutes before leaving the field on a stretcher.
Storm Emma had wreaked havoc in south Wales in the 48 hours before this game, and West Ham were blown away in similar fashion as they failed to match Swansea’s intensity throughout.
Swansea went ahead with their first shot as Ki – a Hammers transfer target in January – drilled low past Adrian in the eighth minute to score for the second successive home game.
A superb performance and a BIG 3️⃣ points in the bag! 💪 pic.twitter.com/79MLAmpLse— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) March 3, 2018
Ki almost set up a second when Alfie Mawson met his deep free-kick and Adrian scooped the ball away under pressure from Federico Fernandez.
The Argentina centre-back was denied again moments later when, following a goalmouth scramble, he stabbed the ball past Adrian only for Declan Rice to block on the line.
That action proved to be Reid’s last involvement with the game held up for a lengthy period before the defender was carried off.
Reid’s departure led to West Ham fielding four full-backs in their five-man defence – substitute Sam Byram joining Pablo Zabaleta, Aaron Cresswell and Patrice Evra, with Rice the odd man out.
Swansea, sensing a real opportunity, went for the jugular and former Hammers striker Andre Ayew saw his fierce effort batted away by Adrian.
But Van der Hoorn instantly doubled the lead when he was left unchallenged to head home Ki’s corner for only his second Swansea goal.
West Ham changed to a four-man defence at half-time with Antonio replacing Evra and Moyes seeking a way back into the contest.
But Swansea scored again within three minutes of the restart after Andre Ayew headed Sam Clucas’ corner goalwards.
Adrian reacted well to save but the ball struck Javier Hernandez in the face and fell to King, who finished from close range.
Marko Arnautovic tested Lukasz Fabianski but Swansea claimed their fourth after Cheikhou Kouyate felled Andre Ayew in the box.
Swansea had not had a penalty in the Premier League since December 2016, but Jordan Ayew coolly converted his 10th goal of the season.
West Ham managed a consolation 11 minutes from time as Antonio fired through the legs of Fernandez and past the unsighted Fabianski, but the storm clouds continue to gather.
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.