Swansea 4 Aston Villa 1 match report: Jonjo Shelvey’s superb strike stuns Villa

Shelvey lobbed goalkeeper Brad Guzan from all of 45-yards as Swansea smash Villa to move up to 12th

Liberty Stadium

A wonderful strike from Jonjo Shelvey all but guaranteed safety for Swansea and piled the pressure on Aston Villa’s manager, Paul Lambert. With the scores at 1-1 Villa’s goalkeeper, Brad Guzan, sent a clearance straight to the Swansea midfielder, who controlled the ball with one touch before propelling it over the back-pedalling American’s head and into the net.

Wilfried Bony, with two – one a penalty – and Pablo Hernandez contributed the other Swansea goals, with Gabriel Agbonlahor providing Villa’s solitary score.

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While Swansea celebrated, for Lambert there was only hurt as the visiting fans made their feelings clear with chants of: “We want Lambert out” emanating from the away end after this latest loss in a six-match winless run.

“I totally understand the supporters,” Lambert said. “This is a huge club and the expectation level is so high because of what has happened in the past. That [chanting] is normal when thing are not going well. Criticism is never nice, but it’s something you take on your shoulders as the manager. But our destiny is still in our hands.”

 

Villa, devoid of confidence after their poor recent run and with the futures of Lambert and the owner, Randy Lerner, appearing far from certain, were slow out of the blocks. While Swansea dominated the early play, their fans offered their support to former midfielder Ferrie Bodde, in an induced coma at a Dutch hospital after contracting pneumonia, with a minute’s applause.

Soon they were celebrating the opening goal. Wayne Routledge found Shelvey in space and his threaded through-ball allowed Bony, who appeared marginally offside, to slot low past Guzan.

Villa responded positively, with Marc Albrighton and Agbonlahor regularly troubling the home defence. Albrighton had fizzed one effort narrowly wide of Michel Vorm’s goal and seen Ashley Williams block a teasing cross intended for Agbonlahor before the equaliser arrived in the 22nd minute.

Williams was caught upfield, and when no one filled in for the Swansea captain Agbonlahor had an easy finish from another excellent Albrighton centre to net his first goal since New Year’s Day. But Lambert’s men were level for barely four minutes before Guzan, having received the ball back from Ron Vlaar, could only direct his clearance at Shelvey, who did the rest.

Villa started the second half strongly but could not create a meaningful chance, and with 17 minutes left Shelvey’s deep cross allowed Hernandez to cut inside two defenders and fire high into the net.

Villa misery was complete when Nathan Baker fouled Marvin Emnes in stoppage time for Bony to convert his 24th goal of the season from the spot and end Swansea’s 17-month wait for back-to-back Premier League wins.

“That goal was typical Jonjo,” said Swansea’s manager, Garry Monk, of Shelvey’s strike. “He’s come into the dressing room shouting, ‘Goal of the season’. He tries it in training. It was no fluke.”

While Swansea and Monk can plan for another season of top-flight action, Lambert and his team are still glancing nervously over their shoulders.

Line-ups:

Swansea (4-2-3-1): Vorm; Rangel (Taylor, 77), Amat, Williams (capt), Davies; Britton, Shelvey; De Guzman (Fulton, 83), Hernandez, Routledge (Emnes, 88); Bony

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Guzan; Bacuna (Lowton, 46), Vlaar (capt), Baker, Bertrand; Albrighton, Westwood, Delph, El Ahmadi (Holt, 75); Weimann (Robinson, 67), Agbonlahor.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg.

Man of the match: Shelvey (Swansea)

Match rating: 6/10

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