Europa League round-up: Swansea made to wait while Wigan Athletic handed uphill task by Hazard Jnr
Thursday 28 November 2013
Neither Swansea City nor Wigan Athletic got the results they needed to seal a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League on Thursday night.
Requiring just a point to qualify, Swansea were beaten 1-0 at home by a well-organised Valencia side. Meanwhile, Wigan, who were looking for a win against Belgian team Zulte-Waregem at the DW Stadium to go through, slumped to a 2-1 defeat despite taking an early lead through Leon Barnett.
Swansea fell behind to Daniel Parejo’s 20th-minute strike and then lost striker Wilfried Bony to a worrying hamstring injury. They thought Alvaro Vazquez had levelled just before the break when Diego Alves could not hold Jonjo Shelvey’s shot and the Spaniard tapped in, but the flag went up despite replays suggesting the two Swansea players were onside.
The Welsh club’s night was summed up when Jérémy Mathieu cleared a goalbound effort off the line late on and Angel Rangel limped off.
Junior Malanda’s 88th-minute winner means qualification is now out of Wigan’s hands. They will now need to beat Maribor in Slovenia in their final group game next month and hope Zulte lose to Rubin Kazan.
Barnett opened the scoring in the seventh minute and the hosts had no shortage of opportunities to extend their lead. But they could not take any of them and in the 37th minute goalkeeper Lee Nicholls compounded the error by dropping Thorgan Hazard’s shot into his own net. Hazard is the younger brother of Chelsea’s Eden.
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