Premier League
SwanseaSwansea City1Aston VillaAston Villa0

Swansea City 1-0 Aston Villa

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Gylfi Sigurdsson
The win over Aston Villa is Swansea's second successive victory in the Premier League
  • Swansea move to seventh with back-to-back wins
  • Welsh side earn first Boxing Day win since 2007
  • Villa suffer second loss in three games

Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick gave Swansea a hard-earned win over Aston Villa at a soaking Liberty Stadium.

Sigurdsson's dipping effort from the edge of the area came in a first half dominated by the hosts.

Villa were the more dominant after the break as the torrential rain which blighted the first half eased.

Andreas Weimann was wasteful, but the best chance - an injury-time header from Christian Benteke - was saved superbly by Lukasz Fabianski.

Swansea defended tremendously - Monk

Swansea's first Boxing Day win since 2007 lifts them up to seventh in the Premier League ahead of Arsenal's match against Queens Park Rangers later on Saturday.

For Villa, meanwhile, their dreadful Christmas record continues. They have not won on Boxing Day since 2005 and this loss - their second in three matches - sees Paul Lambert's men drop to 13th in the table.

Despite the sodden turf, Swansea began breezily as they controlled possession and sought to outmanoeuvre Villa's three-man midfield with their five.

Jefferson Montero was a beneficiary of this ploy, the winger cutting inside from the left to excellent effect as he beat the visitors' defenders at will.

It was one of the Ecuadorian's runs which led to the opening goal. After Montero was fouled by Jores Okore, Sigurdsson whipped the resultant free-kick into the top corner.

Defeated Villa were brilliant - Lambert

A hamstring injury meant Montero was taken off and replaced by Wayne Routledge after 22 minutes.

At half-time, Lambert brought forward Andreas Weimann on for defender Aly Cissokho and switched to a 4-3-3 formation. The tactical adjustment prompted a period of pressure from Villa, with Weimann's direct running keeping Swansea's defenders occupied.

A chipped pass from Benteke sent Gabriel Agbonlahor running free on goal but his looping shot sailed wide after what appeared to by a slight nudge in his back from Swansea captain Ashley Williams.

Villa's mounting pressure culminated in their best chance of the game, which fell to Benteke in added time, but the Belgian's header was brilliantly saved by Fabianski.

Swansea boss Garry Monk: "It was a tough game. In the first half we played some lovely stuff, had an early goal and could have had one or two more.

"We showed great defensive qualities, and there was a great save from Fabianski in the end. It was a great stop at a crucial point of the game.

"Both teams dug in and tried to win the game and, thankfully, it was us. We're improving all the time. These types of results are good for the mentality. Ultimately, we have to be happy."

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert: "We're very pleased with how we played. I thought we were fantastic throughout the game. I thought we passed the ball excellently and the goalkeeper kept them in the game.

"If you ask the lads in the dressing room, they want the games to come quickly because they're playing well.

"The way we're playing is really pleasing. We've changed the way we've played over the last three to four weeks and the lads have been brilliant with it."

Gylfi Sigurdsson scores for Swansea
Gylfi Sigurdsson's goal was his second from a direct free-kick this season
Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke went closest for Aston Villa before half-time, with his free-kick a fraction wide
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert (right)
Paul Lambert's substitutions after the break injected pace into the Villa attack
Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke went close in injury time with a bullet of a header which was saved by Lukasz Fabianski

Line-ups

Swansea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Fabianski
  • 22Rangel
  • 33Fernández
  • 6Williams
  • 3Taylor
  • 8ShelveyBooked at 24minsSubstituted forCarrollat 60'minutes
  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 12Dyer
  • 23G SigurdssonSubstituted forEmnesat 78'minutes
  • 20MonteroSubstituted forRoutledgeat 22'minutes
  • 10Bony

Substitutes

  • 11Emnes
  • 14Carroll
  • 15Routledge
  • 18Gomis
  • 25Tremmel
  • 27Bartley
  • 29Richards

Aston Villa

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Guzan
  • 21Hutton
  • 5OkoreBooked at 76mins
  • 4Vlaar
  • 6ClarkBooked at 49mins
  • 23CissokhoSubstituted forWeimannat 45'minutes
  • 16Delph
  • 24C SánchezBooked at 36mins
  • 8CleverleySubstituted forGrealishat 77'minutes
  • 11AgbonlahorBooked at 89mins
  • 20Benteke

Substitutes

  • 7Bacuna
  • 10Weimann
  • 17Herd
  • 28N'Zogbia
  • 31Given
  • 34Lowton
  • 40Grealish
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
20,683

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home7
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away0
Fouls
Home17
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Swansea City 1, Aston Villa 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Swansea City 1, Aston Villa 0.

  3. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Marvin Emnes (Swansea City).

  5. Post update

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Wilfried Bony (Swansea City).

  7. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Ron Vlaar.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Fabian Delph.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alan Hutton with a headed pass.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jores Okore with a cross.

  11. Post update

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Nathan Dyer (Swansea City).

  13. Booking

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

  15. Post update

    Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Wilfried Bony (Swansea City).

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jores Okore (Aston Villa).

  19. Post update

    Federico Fernández (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.