Championship
Swansea3Preston2

Swansea City 3-2 Preston North End: Swans edge thriller

Borja shoots for Swansea
Swansea have gone four games unbeaten under Steve Cooper

Swansea City's impressive start to life under Steve Cooper continued as they came from behind to beat Preston North End 3-2.

Preston led early through Joe Rafferty but Borja levelled just before half-time.

George Byers made it 2-1 to Swansea only for Daniel Johnson to equalise, but Borja's second settled an entertaining game.

The turnaround means Cooper is yet to taste defeat as Swansea's head coach.

The Liberty Stadium has become something of a fortress for Swansea, who have lost only once on their own ground in 2019 in 17 matches - and that was against Manchester City.

Preston have not enjoyed their trips to south west Wales in recent times and have now failed to win in 19 visits since a 2-1 triumph at Vetch Field in 1961.

But they were dominant in the first half, pressing Swansea high and reaping their rewards.

Alex Neil's team were deservedly ahead inside 11 minutes, with Rafferty scoring for the first time since his January move from Rochdale.

The left-back took aim from distance and saw his shot find the corner of Freddie Woodman's net.

Swansea could not get their passing game going, and Preston might have extended their lead had Billy Bodin or Johnson not wasted presentable opportunities and Ben Davies headed just over.

Swansea levelled when Borja guided the ball low beyond Declan Rudd and into the net from Connor Roberts' centre.

Swansea were much-improved and after good work from Bersant Celina, Borja fluffed an effort at goal and substitute George Byers was on hand to sweep the ball home.

The lead lasted only four minutes with Johnson levelling from the penalty spot after Roberts bundled Maguire over in the box.

Yet just two minutes later, Swansea were ahead for a second time as Borja powered home a header from Jake Bidwell's centre.

Borja's third goal of the season means Cooper's team have won their three home games this season despite falling behind in all of them.

Swansea are fourth in the Championship while Preston slip to 16th.

Swansea head coach Steve Cooper told BBC Sport Wales: "It was a good win, and we have to be happy with the three points, but we made tough work of it, there is no doubt about that.

"First half, and the players know this, we were not at the level we strive to be at.

"We did not rant and rave at half-time - those days are gone - we talked about how we could improve and we did.

"Borja has got a knack of getting in the right spot to score goals. We saw parts of Borja at his best today, and that is being in the box scoring goals. Let's hope it continues."

Preston manager Alex Neil: "I don't think there's any question we should have been further in front at the end of the first half.

"We had three or four golden opportunities that we didn't take, but at this level you are never going to dominate away from home for 90 minutes.

"The simple fact is that football is about having resilience and coming up against setbacks.

"We shouldn't have been level at half-time but we were, at the end of the day we gave the ball away and got punished. We have to look at the positives but realise the contributed to the negatives as well and we have to deal with that."

Line-ups

Swansea

  • 27Woodman
  • 23Roberts
  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 4Rodon
  • 24Bidwell
  • 6Fulton
  • 8Grimes
  • 12DyerSubstituted forA Ayewat 22'minutes
  • 10Celina
  • 18KaluluSubstituted forByersat 45'minutes
  • 9BastónSubstituted forSurridgeat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Nordfeldt
  • 11Peterson
  • 19Surridge
  • 20Wilmot
  • 22A Ayew
  • 26Naughton
  • 28Byers

Preston

  • 1Rudd
  • 2FisherBooked at 18mins
  • 21Bauer
  • 6Davies
  • 15Rafferty
  • 4Pearson
  • 39BodinSubstituted forBarkhuizenat 81'minutes
  • 12Gallagher
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forBrowneat 81'minutes
  • 24Maguire
  • 9MoultSubstituted forGreenat 26'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Clarke
  • 8Browne
  • 19Green
  • 20Stockley
  • 25Ripley
  • 29Barkhuizen
  • 44Potts
Referee:
Dean Whitestone
Attendance:
15,250

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home12
Away17
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away9
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Swansea City 3, Preston North End 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Swansea City 3, Preston North End 2.

Attempt saved. Sean Maguire (Preston North End) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul Gallagher with a cross.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Jake Bidwell.

Attempt blocked. Sean Maguire (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Bersant Celina (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Darnell Fisher (Preston North End).

Attempt missed. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by André Ayew.

Foul by Bersant Celina (Swansea City).

Darnell Fisher (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Joe Rodon (Swansea City).

Delay in match because of an injury Sean Maguire (Preston North End).

Attempt missed. Mike van der Hoorn (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Bersant Celina with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Ben Davies.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Ben Davies.

Attempt blocked. Connor Roberts (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Sam Surridge replaces Borja Bastón.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Alan Browne replaces Daniel Johnson.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Tom Barkhuizen replaces Billy Bodin.

Connor Roberts (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Patrick Bauer (Preston North End).

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by André Ayew.

Attempt blocked. Ben Pearson (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Joe Rodon (Swansea City).

Sean Maguire (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Connor Roberts (Swansea City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Borja Bastón.

Foul by Borja Bastón (Swansea City).

Ben Davies (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by André Ayew (Swansea City).

Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Swansea City 3, Preston North End 2. Borja Bastón (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Jake Bidwell.

Goal!

Goal! Swansea City 2, Preston North End 2. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Sean Maguire (Preston North End).

Penalty conceded by Connor Roberts (Swansea City) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Preston North End. Sean Maguire draws a foul in the penalty area.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Jay Fulton.

Attempt blocked. Billy Bodin (Preston North End) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Johnson.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds32106247
2Charlton32107437
3West Brom32105327
4Swansea32105327
5Millwall32103127
6Sheff Wed32015236
7Fulham32014226
8Derby31204315
9Nottm Forest31115324
10Hull31114404
11Bristol City31114404
12Brentford31112204
13QPR311134-14
14Barnsley311134-14
15Birmingham311124-24
16Preston31025413
17Cardiff21014403
18Blackburn310224-23
19Wigan310237-43
20Luton301257-21
21Middlesbrough301235-21
22Huddersfield301235-21
23Stoke301247-31
24Reading200225-30
View full Championship table

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