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Barclays Premier League

Craven Cottage (ATT 25,690) 17th March 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Halsey

Fulham Fulham vs Swansea City Swansea

Fulham 0

ft

Swansea 3

G Sigurdsson (36, 66)
J Allen (77)

Slick Swans outclass Fulham

Sigurdsson brace sees Swans rise to eighth

By James Riach at Craven Cottage.   Last Updated: 17/03/12 5:54pm

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Gylfi Sigurdsson opens the scoring for Swansea with a close-range header

Gylfi Sigurdsson opens the scoring for Swansea with a close-range header

Swansea City moved up to eighth in the Premier League following an impressive demolition of Fulham at Craven Cottage.

It has been a remarkable season for Brendan Rodgers' Swans and two goals for Gylfi Sigurdsson and an effort from Joe Allen cut through a weak Cottagers backline in West London.

Sigurdsson opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a close range header, Wayne Routledge's cross touched back at the far post by Scott Sinclair.

He added his second in the 66th minute, stroking home from inside the area following a neat exchange with Routledge, before Allen capitalised on woeful defending from Philippe Senderos to score the third with 13 minutes remaining.

Fulham were completely outplayed and although Clint Dempsey hit the bar with a speculative effort, they were second best all afternoon.

Mahamadou Diarra was handed his first Fulham start for today's game, while Bryan Ruiz was also drafted in.

Changes

Danny Murphy and Damien Duff dropped to the bench as a result, while Swansea made one enforced change to the starting line-up.

Man of the match: Gylfi Sigurdsson scored two and was the heartbeat of Swansea's attack. A top performance. Goal of the match: Sigurdsson's second involved some neat interplay with Wayne Routledge and a cool finish. Save of the match: Michel Vorm tipped Clint Dempsey's half-volley onto the bar and behind in the second half, a decent stop. Moment of the match: Steven Caulker's excellent challenge to deny Dempsey in the first half, who had the goal at his mercy. Talking point: How high can Swansea City finish this season and can they keep hold of manager Brendan Rodgers?

Ashley Williams saw his run of 169 consecutive appearances brought to an end by a virus and was replaced in central defence by Garry Monk.

The match was built up as one between two sides that play with an attack-minded philosophy and neither needed any encouragement to go forward.

Having seen Danny Graham force goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer into action after just 30 seconds, Fulham were soon testing Swansea stopper Michel Vorm.

First the Holland international expertly tipped over a goalbound Dempsey effort, before Moussa Dembele opened his body up to force Vorm into a low save.

Neither side, though, were managing to stamp their authority on the opening exchanges as chances came at both ends.

Scott Sinclair saw an effort blocked after an uncharacteristic mistake by captain Brede Hangeland, before left-back John Arne Riise fired over from the edge of the box as Fulham ventured forward.

There was a real sense of frustration by the Thames as both teams struggled to play their normal games, epitomised by a wayward Dempsey drive that was followed by a shrug of the shoulders.

Swansea, though, were managing to show flashes of their exquisite passing game, which almost resulted in a 29th-minute opener when Sigurdsson saw a low effort creep inches wide.

Ruiz tested Vorm with an audacious long-range effort when the hosts returned to the attack, although their defence was looking unusually haphazard.

Schwarzer was one of the guilty parties and, after seeing a clearance charged down, had to be on his toes to thwart Sinclair.

However, Fulham did not take heed of the warnings and found themselves a goal behind in the 36th minute.

Wayne Routledge darted down the right flank and sent a cross to the back post, which was head back across goal by Sinclair for Sigurdsson to nod home.

Dembele had an effort blocked as Fulham looked for an immediate response, although that was as close as they came as the first half came to a close.

Chants of 'Come on Fulham' rang out around Craven Cottage at the start of the second period as the home faithful tried to spur their side on.

The Whites, though, were struggling to find a way past Swansea's resolute defence, leading boss Martin Jol to replace the ineffectual Ruiz with Duff after 54 minutes.

The Ireland international brought a new attacking intent to the right flank and blazed over almost immediately, before then seeing a shot blocked.

Control

But it was Swansea that looked in control and few could argue when they doubled their advantage in the 66th minute.

Sigurdsson was again the scorer as he slotted past Schwarzer after outfoxing the Fulham defence with a neat one-two with Routledge.

Fulham brought on Kerim Frei and Murphy as a last throw of the dice, but it could not stem the Swansea tide.

The Cottagers were made to pay for a misplaced Philippe Senderos pass in the 77th minute as the ball was worked to Allen, who went past the Switzerland international to fire home.

The home support left in their droves after Swansea's third, although the only moment of note they missed was a Dempsey shot that Vorm tipped on to the bar.

FulhamTeam StatisticsSwansea City
0Goals3
01st Half Goals1
5Shots on Target5
7Shots off Target3
4Blocked Shots2
6Corners2
8Fouls7
2Offsides2
0Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
80.4Passing Success87.7
17Tackles26
82.4Tackles Success69.2
38.1Possession61.9
59.7Territorial Advantage40.3
428Total Passes699
12Total Crosses15
147Lost Balls147
58Recoveries70
48.11st Half Poss.51.9
30.32nd Half Poss.69.7

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 17 42
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Arsenal 17 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 17 23
10 Liverpool 17 22
11 Everton 17 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 17 19
14 Sunderland 17 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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