Swansea City 2-0 Fulham: Jol's side suffers disappointing defeat in Wales after Vorm saves late Dempsey penalty
The American inadvertently sliced the Swans' opener into the back of his own net, before missing from the penalty spot and seeing Danny Graham settle the match minutes later.
By Ross Jackson
Swansea City recorded its first win in five Premier League games as it beat Fulham 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
A forgettable first half was eclipsed by a frantic second, as Scott Sinclair’s somewhat fortuitous goal opened the scoring just after halftime.
Martin Jol’s side pushed for an equalizer but was ultimately thwarted by Michel Vorm, with Clint Dempsey denied from the penalty spot by the Dutchman, before substitute Danny Graham put the game beyond doubt.
There were recalls to the Swansea starting XI for Luke Moore and Wayne Routledge, with Joe Allen suspended and Nathan Dyer dropping to the bench. Meanwhile, Steven Caulker returned from a knee injury to replace Gary Monk, with fit-again top scorer Danny Graham only making the bench, Leroy Lita retained his place upfront.
For the Cottagers Andy Johnson was the surprise inclusion, with talisman Bobby Zamora not traveling to the Liberty Stadium.
With Danny Murphy failing a late fitness test and Steve Sidwell still sidelined, Welshman Simon Davies returned following four months out with a knee injury. Clint Dempsey made his 200th appearance for the club.
Neither side really took a hold of the game early on, with respective strikers Johnson and Lita looking lively.
The only real threat from either side was coming via set pieces, but both Dempsey and Scott Sinclair failed to work the opposition goalkeeper with their efforts.
The first real effort of note came via the recalled Moore, who after some intricate play, unleashed a 20 yard effort at Mark Schwarzer’s goal. With the big Aussie scampering across goal, the ball flew just inches over the crossbar.
It wasn’t until the half hour mark that either goalkeeper was really worked.
Some good close control and skill from Sinclair led to the tricky winger finding space in the Fulham penalty area. After checking onto his weaker left foot, his effort was tame and easily gathered by Schwarzer.
Some half hearted penalty appeals from the home crowd summed up the feeling of desperation around the Liberty Stadium, as the home side entered the halftime break on course for its third home game without a goal.
The beginning of the second half saw the first real spell of dominance form either side, as Swansea began to take the game to the visitors.
The club soon reaped the rewards of the pressure, as it took a somewhat fortuitous lead.
Following a cleared Swansea corner, Wayne Routledge returned the ball with interest. The ball broke for Sinclair, who fired an instinctive effort at goal, only for Dempsey to inadvertently slice the ball into his own net, with Mark Schwarzer helplessly committed to the original effort. Sinclair's effort was on target so he is likely to be credited with the goal
The goal sparked the game into life, as the visiting looked to hit back immediately.
Moussa Dembele’s intricate through ball set Bryan Ruiz away, only to be thwarted by the outstanding Vorm, who stayed big before parrying the ball away to his left side.
Fulham again came close to restoring parity just minutes later, as John Arne Riise fired a 20 yard free kick towards Vorm’s goal, only to see it fly agonizingly wide of the post.
Kemy Agustien replaced Moore with 20 minutes to go, as Brendan Rodgers looked to sure up his midfield.
Just minutes later the Dutchman nearly did the opposite, as he struck the post with a beautifully placed effort from outside the box following some tricky wing play from Sinclair.
With just five minutes to go, Fulham was handed a golden opportunity to rescue a point.
Substitute Kerim Frei weaved his way into the Swansea area, before being body checked and brought to the ground by Ashley Richards.
Referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot to the disbelief of the Swansea defenders.
American international Dempsey stepped up, but the unbeatable Vorm parried the ball away, to the ecstasy of the home crowd.
Martin Jol’s misery was compounded just minutes later, as substitute Graham slotted neatly home from close range to put the game to bed.
The result sees Swansea leapfrog Fulham in the Premier League, as the club moves onto 17 points for the season.
- Own Goal
- Penalty Missed
- Yellow Card
- Penalty Save
- Penalty Shootout Goal
- Penalty Shootout Miss
- Yellow Card / Red Card
- Red Card
- Substitution IN
- Substitution OUT
- Goal.com Rating
- Goal.com Man of the Match
- Goal.com Flop of the Match
- Top & Flop Global Ranking
- Fans' Man of the Match
- Fans' Flop of the Match