Match Report: Pablo Hernandez puts Swansea back on track with win against Wigan Athletic

Swansea City 2 Wigan Athletic 1

The Liberty Stadium

Pablo Hernandez, Swansea’s club-record signing, paid the first installment on the £5.55 million spent on him, by opening his goal-scoring account in a much-needed victory over Wigan Athletic.

The 27-year-old former Valencia winger, who swapped Spain for south Wales on deadline day, broke the deadlock in the 64th minute with a low shot from 18 yards past Ali Al Habsi.

Miguel Michu added a second for the Welsh outfit three minutes later with a close-range header from Jonathan de Guzman’s corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Wigan set up a grandstand finish after Emmerson Boyce’s exquisite 69th-minute back-flick put Roberto Martinez’s men back into the contest, but Swansea clung on for a first win in six Premier League games.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said: “It’s always important to come into a new club and culture and make a good impression and show what you can do.

“Pablo needs time to adapt but to score a goal, especially the first one, is very important for him. But he did well apart from his goal.”

“It was a mixture of joy and relief as we knew this game was very important for us. The players played with confidence and patience.”

Former Swansea chief Martinez will be annoyed this morning that his side did not claim a share of the spoils as Arouna Kone’s effort from a left-wing Jean Beausejour cross was wrongly ruled offside. Martinez said: “I thought he was level. It was a close call. When you see it again Kone was in a good position. That was coming as we built momentum in the final 30 minutes. It was a call which didn’t go our way. It was really costly. It would have been an interesting final 10 minutes because we could have won the game.

“Sometimes you want to be honest with the referee’s decision, but I have learnt my lesson. I cannot comment. I need to accept it and give an official answer. Sometimes the calls go your way, sometimes they don’t. But I thought we deserved a point.”

The result ended a winless run of five Premier League games for Swansea and eased the pressure on Michael Laudrup following recent reports of disharmony in the camp.

It was also much-needed because Swansea’s next two top-flight games are against defending champions Manchester City and league leaders Chelsea. Laudrup dropped striker Danny Graham, Swansea’s top-scorer from last season, after just one goal in the league this season.

Michu occupied the lone frontman’s role in a more defensive formation than usual, but Laudrup’s new tactic of strengthening midfield appeared to make little difference in the 12th minute.

After Swansea failed to clear their lines, Shaun Maloney, back in Wales just eight days following his heartbreak with Scotland, saw his 12-yard shot well saved by birthday boy Michel Vorm.

It took until the 17th minute for the hosts to carve out a notable chance of their own through Michu’s volley – and that came from a Wigan mistake as Michu volleyed over.

In a lifeless first period, Michu headed over following interplay by Chico Flores and Leon Britton while Beausejour summed up the visitors’ attacking threat with a wayward shot following a defence-splitting pass by James McCarthy.

Swansea looked sharper after the interval as Britton hit a fizzing 25-yarder which flew inches wide before Wayne Routledge teed up Ki Sung-Yueng whose left-footed drive was parried by Al Habsi. Yet the home side finally breached Wigan’s defence courtesy of their record buy from Spain. Routledge started the move with an excellent piece of skill to deceive Boyce before de Guzman slipped in Hernandez who shot on the turn to beat Al Habsi.

Swansea looked home and dry when Michu rose highest from de Guzman’s near post corner before Boyce quickly halved the advantage. But Laudrup’s men held firm.

Swansea (4-3-3): Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Britton, Ki, De Guzman (Graham, 83); Pablo (Dyer, 72), Michu, Routledge.

Wigan (3-4-3): Al Habsi; Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa (Watson, 70); Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur (Gomez, 83), Beausejour; Kone, Maloney, Di Santo (Boseilli, 83)

Referee: M Jones (Cheshire)

Man of the match: Routledge (Swansea)

Match rating: 6/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral