Premier League
Swansea0Middlesbrough0

Swansea City 0-0 Middlesbrough

Gylfi Sigurdsson
Gylfi Sigurdsson went close with a free-kick for Swansea late on

Swansea City and Middlesbrough produced a stale goalless draw which did little to enhance either team's prospects of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

Both sides created chances in a high-octane opening but the pace soon faltered as the players seemed gripped by tension.

Swansea's Leroy Fer wasted a fine opportunity as he blazed over from close range in the 89th minute while Rudy Gestede headed wide for the visitors in added time.

The Swans remain one place and one point above the bottom three, while Boro stay 19th and five points adrift of safety.

Wins for relegation rivals Crystal Palace and Hull City on Saturday increased the pressure on each team to win, and a draw represents a missed opportunity for both.

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Point could prove invaluable - Paul Clement

No reward for caution

Swansea seemed to be pulling clear of trouble with five wins in their first eight games following head coach Paul Clement's appointment, but two successive defeats had dragged the Swans back into the mire.

For Boro, the onus on victory was even greater. Winless in 11, the last time they had won a Premier League game was way back in December - a 3-0 triumph against a Swansea side in the midst of Bob Bradley's ill-fated reign.

This had the hallmarks of a tight, nervy relegation battle, but the opening quarter was played at a breathless pace with both teams refreshingly eager to attack.

After a handful of chances at either end, however, the game disintegrated into a disjointed encounter in which neither team seized the initiative.

Swansea's attack lacked its focal point with top scorer Fernando Llorente injured, while Boro seldom looked like scoring their first away league goal of 2017.

Both teams had chances in the closing stages - Gylfi Sigurdsson twice went close for the hosts with a long-range shot and a deflected free-kick - but ultimately paid the price for their caution.

Man of the match - Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough)

Ben Gibson
Good reading of the game, strong in the air and tracking Swansea's runners, the Boro captain put on an exemplary exhibition of defending.

Agnew's audition

Middlesbrough head coach Steve Agnew had said he wanted the manager's job on a permanent basis, and the club's owner Steve Gibson suggested the 51-year-old could be "the glue to unify us completely".

Agnew had started his temporary reign with a 3-1 home defeat against Manchester United, and he gave an indication of his attacking intent at the Liberty Stadium by recalling winger Adama Traore.

The rapid former Barcelona player was the most potent threat for the visitors, who had mustered a division-low tally of 20 Premier League goals so far this season.

Traore, sporting a distinctive new bleached blonde haircut, found space between Swansea's midfield and defence and ran at them at pace, drawing fouls and spreading panic among his opponents.

Despite Traore's forays, Boro looked blunt in attack. Fortunately for Agnew's men, so did Swansea's against a visiting defence whose 33 goals conceded this season make it the fifth best in the league.

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Middlesbrough head coach Steve Agnew 'confident' a victory is close

What the managers said

Swansea manager Paul Clement: "Any point you get is valuable but we are disappointed not to win the game.

"They had a big chance at the end but they didn't have an attempt on target in the whole game so a defeat would have been harsh.

"You never know how valuable that point could be. It is tight at the bottom, there are eight games to go and we remain very positive."

Middlesbrough caretaker manager Steve Agnew: "You could see that the fight is there. The spirit is terrific.

"Swansea have been in the Premier League for seven years, and this is our first season. It was difficult for us to sustain attacks but we kept going right to the end.

"You'd expect Rudy Gestede to score at the end but when the next chance comes I'm sure he will.

"It's another point and we will regroup."

Rudy can't win - match stats

  • Middlesbrough have drawn more Premier League games 0-0 this season than any other team in the competition (6).
  • Middlesbrough (9) have kept more clean sheets than any other Premier League team currently in the bottom six.
  • Only West Brom (8) have registered one or fewer shots on target in more different PL games this season than Middlesbrough (6).
  • Rudy Gestede has now gone 39 Premier League games without a win (last won v Bournemouth, August 2015); extending the competition record for the longest winless run by a player.
  • Swansea didn't make a substitution in a Premier League game for the first time ever.

What's next?

Swansea host Tottenham at 19:45 BST on Wednesday, before travelling to West Ham on Saturday, with kick-off at 15:00 BST.

Middlesbrough face another relegation battle away at Hull City at 19:45 BST on Wednesday, before hosting Burnley at 15:00 BST on Saturday.

Line-ups

Swansea

  • 1Fabianski
  • 26Naughton
  • 33Fernandez
  • 6MawsonBooked at 58mins
  • 16Olsson
  • 8FerBooked at 16mins
  • 24Cork
  • 42Carroll
  • 28Narsingh
  • 3J Ayew
  • 23Sigurdsson

Substitutes

  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 10Bastón
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 20Montero
  • 35Kingsley
  • 62McBurnie

Middlesbrough

  • 26Valdés
  • 17Barragán
  • 5Bernardo
  • 6Gibson
  • 2FabioBooked at 23minsSubstituted forForshawat 65'minutes
  • 8Clayton
  • 14de Roon
  • 37Traoré
  • 19Downing
  • 21RamírezSubstituted forGestedeat 39'minutesBooked at 79mins
  • 10NegredoBooked at 69mins

Substitutes

  • 4Ayala
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 12Guzan
  • 18Stuani
  • 27Guédioura
  • 29Gestede
  • 34Forshaw
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
20,354

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home15
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home11
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Swansea City 0, Middlesbrough 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Swansea City 0, Middlesbrough 0.

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Álvaro Negredo with a cross.

Foul by Leroy Fer (Swansea City).

Víctor Valdés (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Marten de Roon.

Attempt missed. Jack Cork (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Hand ball by Álvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough).

Martin Olsson (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

Tom Carroll (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rudy Gestede (Middlesbrough).

Attempt blocked. Alfie Mawson (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Adam Forshaw.

Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Bernardo (Middlesbrough).

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Marten de Roon.

Jordan Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough).

Luciano Narsingh (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough).

Booking

Rudy Gestede (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Bernardo.

Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Leroy Fer.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Ben Gibson.

Tom Carroll (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

Attempt missed. Álvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Rudy Gestede with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Álvaro Negredo.

Attempt missed. Alfie Mawson (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Luciano Narsingh with a cross.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Marten de Roon.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Adam Forshaw.

Leroy Fer (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Marten de Roon (Middlesbrough).

Booking

Álvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Martin Olsson (Swansea City).

Antonio Barragán (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Martin Olsson (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea29223460233769
2Tottenham29188357213662
3Liverpool30178564372759
4Man City29177556322458
5Man Utd281411342231953
6Arsenal28156758362251
7Everton30148852331950
8West Brom30128103938144
9Stoke3099123344-1136
10Southampton2897123336-334
11Bournemouth3097144254-1234
12Watford2997133448-1434
13Leicester2996143547-1233
14West Ham3096154154-1333
15Burnley3095163144-1332
16Crystal Palace2994163847-931
17Swansea3084183663-2728
18Hull3076172859-3127
19Middlesbrough29411142033-1323
20Sunderland2955192451-2720
View full Premier League table

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