Guidolin grabs first Swansea win as Ayew sinks Everton
Holly Thackeray | January 24, 2016
Everton 1-2 Swansea City
- Sigurdsson spot-kick gave Swans lead at Goodison Park
- Barry bagged equaliser around 25 minutes
- Ayew’s deflected strike put Swansea back in lead before break
- First victory for new gaffer Guidolin is Swansea’s second in a row
Swans soar to three points at Goodison Park
Everton’s poor Premier League home record continued, as goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Ayew saw new Swansea City gaffer Francesco Guidolin guide his side to a first victory under his tutelage.
The discontent continues at Goodison, despite a Gareth Barry consolation goal, with Manchester City up next in the Capital One Cup. While, the Swans (2/1 to next beat West Bromwich Albion) head back to Wales having nabbed a first ever Premier League triumph against Everton, and continue to clamber away from the relegation ruckus.
Sigurdsson spot-kick sparks Swans
Under pressure hosts Everton got off to a strong start, before injuries and sloppy defending put paid to their first-half hopes.
Returning midfielder Muhamed Besic began brightly, driving from deep before seeing his venomous shot clip off the outside of the post. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international had barely made that move, though, before the Toffees’ tactics were disrupted by a flare-up in Besic’s hamstring, forcing Roberto Martinez into an early change.
Winger Kevin Mirallas also had to be exchanged due to injury, with Steven Pienaar arriving on the Goodison pitch in his place. The Toffees were already behind by that point, however, thanks to a sweetly taken Sigurdsson spot-kick.
Sought-after centre back John Stones was sloppy in possession, dithering before a sluggish backpass was pounced upon swiftly by Ayew, who crucially just beat keeper Tim Howard to the ball to win a penalty.
Up stepped Sigurdsson then in the 17th minute, and the Iceland attacker unleashed a thumping finish from the spot into the top left corner, with Howard always guessing the wrong way.
Barry brief equaliser
Urged on by an Everton crowd seemingly craving more directness, smart work down the left flank by Cleverley and Leighton Baines almost immediately led to a leveller.
Baines’ beautifully curled cross bounced through the box for dangerous and alert Gerard Deulofeu, but the former Barcelona wideman’s volley was vitally blocked by Neil Taylor to go out for a corner.
Midfield dictator Gareth Barry was the one to capitalise from Deulofeu’s diligent delivery, flicking the ball instinctively past Lukasz Fabianski around the 25 minute mark, with a helpful deflection from Jack Cork.
Romelu Lukaku had a chance to hand the Toffees a lead just moments later, as Deulofeu popped a delightful ball over the top for the Belgian, after a Taylor error, but the striker could not keep it on target.
Ayew hands guests incentive
It took less than 10 minutes for Swans to nudge back in front, however, with energetic Ayew again proving a potent protagonist.
After calls for an Ashley Williams handball in midfield were waved away, the Welsh club continued forward, with Taylor slickly slipping Ayew in through on goal. The Ghanaian grabbed his chance and released the trigger, benefitting from a generous Stones deflection to deceive Howard and send Swans 2-1 up before half-time.
After the break, schemer Ki Sung-Yueng slid Wayne Routledge into the Everton box on his wrong foot, with Howard showing safe hands to collect. While, Ross Barkley blazed a low ball by Baines over the bar, though his shinned effort would have been ruled offside anyway, as the Toffees tried to find another equaliser.
Deulofeu again whipped in a defence-splitting cross, but this time it was Pienaar who failed to find his shooting boots, with Martinez’s men growing into the game.
Toffees pile on pressure to no avail
The addition of roaming right back Seamus Coleman added further thrust as Everton pegged Swansea back in their own half, but yet another inch-perfect Deulofeu ball across the face of goal went begging, as Lukaku inexplicably failed to make contact.
As the clock wound down, Lukaku tried his luck with a long-range header, but flexible Fabianski was more than equal to it, while Coleman scuffed wide and later over the bar as the Swans dug deep to snatch a second Premier League win on the bounce.