Monday 19 March 2018

Tim Sherwood feeling heat after another Villa defeat

Andre Ayew was the match-winner for Swansea
Andre Ayew was the match-winner for Swansea

Tim Sherwood's reign at Aston Villa is in serious jeopardy after Swansea struck a killer blow at Villa Park.

Andre Ayew bagged a late winner as the Swans claimed a 2-1 victory to seal a first win since August and ease any pressure on manager Garry Monk.

But Sherwood is now under immense scrutiny at Villa after they blew a second-half lead to continue their winless run.

Villa have won just once in the Barclays Premier League this season and remain stuck in the drop zone, four points from the safety line, following a sixth straight league defeat.

Jordan Ayew's first goal for the club was cancelled out by Gylfi Sigurdsson's excellent free-kick and Sherwood's job is now in serious danger.

It was a dramatic end to a terrible game but at least Swansea will take solace after they ended a six-match winless streak.

The first half was littered with errors and sloppy play but Federico Fernandez should have fired Swansea ahead after 13 minutes.

Villa had looked suspect at set-pieces and the Swans nearly cashed in from one Jonjo Shelvey delivery only for Fernandez to balloon over from Bafetimbi Gomis' knockdown.

There was barely any edge to a tepid game, with Swansea unable to flow in the face of Villa's gritty, if predictable, efforts.

Aside from comfortably claiming free-kicks from Kieran Richardson and Leandro Bacuna, Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski had little to do.

The only serious action in his area came after half an hour when Micah Richards and Fernandez squared up, prompting Ashley Williams to confront Richards.

The Wales defender and Richards were booked but it at least brought a dire game to life.

Rudy Gestede headed Bacuna's corner over soon after in Villa's best chance of the half but they wasted a fine opening minutes after the restart.

Swansea were still sleeping when Jack Grealish broke and found Agbonlahor but the forward shot wide with Ayew free in the area.

Villa had upped their game but Gomis escaped their attention on 59 minutes only to drag his angled effort wide.

The game had sparked to life and it then exploded after two moments involving brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew.

First, Swansea's Andre Ayew was denied by a fine point-blank save from Brad Guzan after the keeper rushed out to block the striker's effort from Gomis' cross.

Instantly, Villa broke and Agbonlahor worked his way into the area to set up Jordan Ayew, who was left free at the far post to head in for a 62nd-minute opener.

However, Villa's lead lasted just six minutes when Richards brought down Sigurdsson and the midfielder brilliantly curled into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

It took the sting out of Villa and they struggled to break down the well-drilled Swans.

The Ayew brothers swapped half chances in the final 10 minutes before Andre had the final say with three minutes left.

Villa were too open on the right and allowed Kyle Naughton to cross for Andre Ayew to convert from close range.

It was a damming blow for Villa and there seemed to be drama after the final whistle as the players came off, with the tunnel rocking from side to side forcing stewards to rush in.


"Tim Sherwood jokes he'll just turn his phone off to avoid any calls from the board at #avfc - if they come. Pressure on Sherwood though." - PA reporter @nickmashiter.


Aston Villa

Brad Guzan - 6

Alan Hutton - 6

Joleon Lescott - 6

Micah Richards - 6

Kieran Richardson - 6

Leandro Bacuna - 6

Idrissa Gana - 6

Jack Grealish - 6

Jordan Ayew - 6

Rudy Gestede - 6

Gabby Agbonlahor - 6


Carles Gil - 6

Adama Traore - 6


Lukasz Fabianski - 6

Kyle Naughton - 6

Ashley Williams - 6

Federico Fernandez - 6

Neil Taylor - 6

Ki Sung-yueng - 6

Jonjo Shelvey - 6

Gylfi Sigurdsson - 7

Jefferson Montero - 6

Andre Ayew - 7

Bafetimbi Gomis - 6


Modou Barrow - 6

Jack Cork - 6

Eder - 6


Andre Ayew: The striker settled the game with a composed and neat finish and clinch a vital win for Swansea. He could have had an earlier goal but was denied by Brad Guzan's fine save just seconds before Villa took the lead.

It was a sign of a good striker who waited for his chance in a game which rarely sparked until the late drama.


Andre Ayew's late winner: Potentially pushed Tim Sherwood closer to the exit door at Aston Villa. The forward cashed in on slack Villa defending to prod in from close range after his brother Jordan had given Villa a second-half lead.

It could have serious ramifications at Villa Park and settled a poor game. Ayew will have got one over on his brother, despite his sibling opening his account for Villa, to take the family bragging rights.


The Barclays Premier League is regularly billed as the best league in the world but there was little evidence of that claim at Villa Park.

Both sides are struggling for form but Garry Monk at least took the points during a game where more of the spotlight was on the managers.

Villa fans booed their side off at the break and full time and while the game improved in the second half it will never be a marked down as a classic.


Tim Sherwood was left motionless after Ayew's late winner piled the pressure on him at Villa. The manager has now seen his team lose their last six league games and they are winless in the Barclays Premier League since the opening day.

The pressure lifted off Garry Monk as Swansea ended their six-game run without a win but all eyes will be on Sherwood and whether he can hang onto his job.


Southampton v Aston Villa (Capital One Cup, Wednesday October 28)

Swansea v Arsenal (Premier League, Saturday October 31)

Press Association

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