Premier League
SwanseaSwansea City1Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace1

Swansea City 1-1 Crystal Palace

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales at the Liberty Stadium
Jordan Ayew celebrates scoring the equaliser for Swansea.
Jordan Ayew celebrates scoring the equaliser for Swansea in Leon Britton's first game in charge

Managerless Swansea City remained bottom of the Premier League despite salvaging a point against a resurgent Crystal Palace thanks to a spectacular equaliser from substitute Jordan Ayew.

Ayew struck with a vicious swerving effort from 20 yards to give Swansea just an eighth point from 10 home Premier League games this season, leaving them four points adrift of safety.

Under the guidance of temporary player-manager Leon Britton after Paul Clement was sacked, the hosts seemed energised but failed to trouble their opponents in a goalless first half.

Palace posed a threat on the break and, after Ruben Loftus-Cheek was brought down by Federico Fernandez, Luka Milivojevic stroked his penalty down the middle to give Roy Hodgson's men the lead.

But Ayew's goal gave Swansea a point as their search for a new manager continues, with former Palace manager Frank de Boer and ex-West Ham boss Slaven Bilic among those under consideration.

For Palace, the draw extended their club record unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight games but they slipped to 16th in the table.

Britton in at the deep end

Draw shows Swansea's great character - Britton

Being placed in temporary charge of the Premier League's bottom side was an onerous first managerial job for Britton, a modern-day Swansea great with more than 500 appearances to his name since first playing for them in December 2002.

The diminutive midfielder played in every division as the Swans rose from the fourth tier of English football to the top flight, though the 35-year-old admits they have lost their way of late - perennially flirting with relegation, beset with off-field issues, and no longer playing with the attractive style which was once a hallmark.

Swansea's struggles have made for a toxic atmosphere at the Liberty Stadium for much of the past two years, but Britton's presence in the dugout was a unifying force against Palace as the home crowd roared his name.

The Swans played with a higher tempo than they had done in recent weeks, but for much of the game did not look like adding to their dismal tally of 12 goals from 18 Premier League games.

In fairness to Clement, the Welsh club's poor form this season was by no means solely his fault, and arguably more a result of their dire recruitment as they failed to adequately replace their two best players - Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente - who left at the start of the season.

Tammy Abraham, the England striker on loan from Chelsea, struggled to impose himself on the game and was not offered the necessary support from his midfielders.

But, just as it seemed Swansea were running out of ideas, the industrious Ayew stepped off the bench to provide the game's best moment with a powerful strike which flew past Julian Speroni.

Palace's revival continues - just

Wilfried Zaha was a threat for Palace
Wilfried Zaha was a threat for Palace, taking on the most opponents (22) of any player and winning five fouls

While Swansea had a coaching debutant on the touchline, Palace were hoping to continue their revival under a 70-year-old veteran in Roy Hodgson, who had started his managerial career before Britton was born.

Their longest sequence of Premier League matches without defeat owed much to a new-found defensive solidity - which was on display for long spells again here - and the pace and attacking threat players such as Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend offer on the break.

The latter was close to scoring a fine opening goal when his curling effort from the edge of the area was excellently tipped over by a stretching Lukasz Fabianski, while Loftus-Cheek went close with a swerving shot of his own.

Palace's ventures into the Swansea box were more sporadic after the interval but they made one such visit count when the agile Loftus-Cheek drew a clumsy challenge from Fernandez.

After having penalty-taking duties snatched from him by Christian Benteke - who then missed - in the draw with Bournemouth earlier this month, Milivojevic struck his spot-kick confidently beyond Fabianski.

The Eagles looked comfortable at this point and, although their unbeaten run is intact, Hodgson will be annoyed his side surrendered the opportunity to claim a fifth win of his reign as they sat back and invited late pressure.

Man of the match - Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (right) attempts to win the ball
In a match of little quality, the link man between Palace's midfield and attack at least offered some moments of class, including the run which earned the Eagles their penalty.

'The players gave me everything' - what they said

Swansea caretaker manager Leon Britton: "I'm very proud of that performance. If any team was to get a winner it was us and the players have given me everything they had.

"We needed fresh legs to give us a spark and Jordan came on and got the goal and was lively. Obviously he'll be disappointed not to start but you can see Jordan has the right attitude

"The fans are great with me, I'm always appreciative of that. Nothing has changed and I'm delighted we have the point but I'm not interested in the job full-time

"It's day by day and as soon as something changes they'll let me know."

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson: "I think we looked quite dangerous on the counter and our defence was solid throughout - we really restricted their chances to a minimum so it wasn't a surprise when we went in front but they scored a very good goal. It's another point in our fight out of the relegation zone so we're not too unhappy.

"I think when they see the video they'll agree it was a penalty. As far as I'm concerned the referee has given it and you get on with it

"It's been going well with Benteke and Wilfried the past few games, and he gives us a focal figure in our attack. It's a different style to when Wilf and Andros play together but all things considered a point away from home is another step in our building exercise.

"We've got to build our house brick by brick."

'Modest' Hodgson 'satisfied' with point

Palace go unbeaten in eight - the stats

  • Crystal Palace are now unbeaten in eight Premier League games - their longest run in the top flight since October 1990 (a run of 12).
  • Only Manchester City (27) and Liverpool (10) are on longer unbeaten runs in the Premier League than the Eagles.
  • Ayew scored his first goal in 16 Premier League games, since netting Swansea's second in their 2-0 win at Crystal Palace in the reverse fixture in August.
  • No player has scored more penalties in the Premier League this season than Milivojevic (three, level with Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney).
  • Despite earning a point, Swansea will be bottom of the table on Christmas Day - only three clubs have ever survived relegation from the Premier League despite being bottom at Christmas (West Brom 2004-05, Sunderland 2013-14 and Leicester 2014-15).
  • Swansea have had two or fewer shots on target in 10 of their 19 Premier League games this season.

What's next?

Swansea City head for Anfield to face Liverpool on 26 December (17:30 GMT), while Crystal Palace host Arsenal on 28 December (20:00 GMT).



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Fabianski
  • 26NaughtonSubstituted forRangelat 80'minutes
  • 33FernandezBooked at 32mins
  • 6Mawson
  • 16Olsson
  • 17Clucas
  • 51MesaBooked at 85minsSubstituted forFultonat 89'minutes
  • 14Carroll
  • 11NarsinghSubstituted forJ Ayewat 66'minutes
  • 10Abraham
  • 12Dyer


  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 18J Ayew
  • 22Rangel
  • 35Renato Sanches
  • 56Fulton
  • 62McBurnie

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Speroni
  • 34Kelly
  • 5Tomkins
  • 6Dann
  • 15Schlupp
  • 18McArthurBooked at 51mins
  • 7CabayeSubstituted forSakoat 76'minutes
  • 4MilivojevicBooked at 62mins
  • 8Loftus-Cheek
  • 10TownsendSubstituted forvan Aanholtat 85'minutes
  • 11ZahaBooked at 34mins


  • 3van Aanholt
  • 13Hennessey
  • 23Souaré
  • 24Fosu-Mensah
  • 26Sako
  • 42Puncheon
  • 44Riedewald
Craig Pawson

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamCrystal Palace
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Swansea City 1, Crystal Palace 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Swansea City 1, Crystal Palace 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Federico Fernández (Swansea City).

  4. Post update

    James Tomkins (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Martin Kelly.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Ayew (Swansea City).

  7. Post update

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).

  10. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. Jay Fulton replaces Roque Mesa because of an injury.

  12. Post update

    Delay in match Roque Mesa (Swansea City) because of an injury.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Ayew (Swansea City).

  14. Post update

    Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Sam Clucas.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Patrick van Aanholt replaces Andros Townsend.

  18. Booking

    Roque Mesa (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Roque Mesa (Swansea City).

  20. Post update

    Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


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