Goals from Pablo Hernandez and Michu helped give Swansea a 2-1 win over Wigan
Last Updated: 20/10/12 7:27pm
Swansea eased the pressure on manager Michael Laudrup thanks to goals from Pablo Hernandez and Michu in a 2-1 win over Wigan.
The visiting side responded to falling 2-0 behind through some great improvisation form Emmerson Boyce but could not force an equaliser.
The Swans made a bright start, Ki Sung-Yueng dragging his effort wide while Jonathan de Guzman's 30-yard free-kick tested Ali Al Habsi.
Shaun Maloney was denied by Michel Vorm after latching onto Boyce's knockdown before Wayne Routledge found Michu 25 yards out, but his first-time volley flew over.
Best of the Game
- Man of the Match - Wayne Routledge was the key play. His darting runs created space for Michu and Ki, and he won numerous free kicks with his trickery
- Pass of the Match - In a game in which the delivery from set pieces was poor, Jonathan de Guzman's corner for Michu's goal was perfect
- Goal of the Match - Although not a natural goalscorer, Emerson Boyce did well to acrobatically backheel home his goal
- Question of the Match - With the second half provicing so much excitement, it is a shame that the first 45 minutes were so poor
- Talking Point - Roberto Martinez was again left wondering what might have been after Kone was ruled to be offside when level
Maloney picked out Jean Beausejour, although he failed to hit the target, but the opening goal came after Routledge escaped down the left and Hernandez (65) produced a cool finish.
Two minutes later, Michu was first to react to De Guzman's corner, steering home the second goal with a near-post header.
But Wigan responded with an outrageous improvised finish from Boyce (69), flicking home with his heel after James McCarthy's shot fell kindly.
Arouna Kone's header was ruled out for a marginal offside and Franco Di Santo was denied by Vorm as the visitors sensed an equaliser but Swansea held out for the victory.
The pre-match focus was on the fact that neither side wore the anti-racism Kick It Out T-shirts during the warm-ups, understood to be a gesture of solidarity from the respective squads towards players who did not wish to wear them.
But it could not hide how important a game this was for both sides, particularly for the hosts, who had been stung by reports of dressing-room unrest and dissatisfaction with Laudrup's methods.
Swansea knew a win would go some way to silencing such talk and, with top scorer Michu up front instead of Danny Graham, they started purposefully.
It was the visitors, though, who had the best early chances, Kone and Maloney both being denied by sharp saves from Vorm.
Michu had a great chance at the other end but could not keep his volley down from Routledge's deft pass but the game was proving a scrappy affair indicative of both sides' recent struggles.
Michu headed over the bar after some slick build-up involving Ki Sung-yueng, Leon Britton and Routledge on the half-hour and it needed fine clearances from Beausejour and Ivan Ramis when there was more danger down the Wigan left seconds later.
Swansea were almost caught on the break when Maloney evaded Angel Rangel and played Beausejour in, but the Chile international could only fire over Vorm's bar.
Routledge was at the heart of Swansea's better moments and his superb flick and volleyed pass with two minutes left in the first half set Michu free to play a ball across the box, which saw Beausejour block a Hernandez effort.
Swansea pressed again on the resumption and Britton whistled a shot beyond Al Habsi's despairing dive, but also past the left-hand post.
They were soon on the front foot again and it took a strong parry from Al Habsi to beat out Ki's strike from Routledge's neat reverse pass.
The breakthrough finally came after 65 minutes. Routledge brilliantly beat Ramis out on the left and when De Guzman fed Hernandez, the Spaniard swivelled and dispatched a right-foot shot low into the net.
It was 2-0 barely two minutes later. De Guzman's superb inswinging corner picked out Michu's near-post run for the forward to glance home his sixth league goal of the campaign.
The unexpected glut of goals continued as Wigan instantly pulled one back. Chico Flores misjudged a long ball, and his error ended with Boyce acrobatically flicking in from James McCarthy's scuffed shot.
Kone thought he had equalised during the chaotic spell, but his far-post header was chalked off for a tight offside decision.
Swansea, who were by now guilty of dropping ever deeper in defence, were denied a third as Al Habsi pushed away a rising strike from substitute Nathan Dyer after an excellent Swansea break.Di Santo then wasted Wigan's best opportunity as he fired tamely at Vorm when the ball broke to him in the box, while the Dutchman had to save from opposite number Al Habsi as Swansea held on in a frantic finish.
|Swansea City||Team Statistics||Wigan Athletic|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||6|
|9||Shots off Target||3|
|53.3||1st Half Poss.||46.7|
|40.6||2nd Half Poss.||59.4|
Barclays Premier League
|7||West Ham United||22||36|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||22||22|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||22||19|
Swansea v Wigan
Pablo Hernandez hopes to push on after scoring his first Swansea goal and repay the club for the faith shown in him.
Emmerson Boyce calls on Wigan team-mates to play to their potential at all times, rather than when they have to.
Matt Le Tissier looks over Swansea's 2-1 win over Wigan.