Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Sunderland 2 Swansea 0

Swansea were taught a lesson in the harsh realities of the Premier League, brought back down to earth as their five-game unbeaten run came to a halt thanks to two moments of stand-out quality in an otherwise largely forgettable affair.

From the high of putting Arsenal to the sword, a week on they were left to reflect on what might have been after failing to make the most of their hegemony when it came to possession. They eventually succumbed to well-taken goals in each half from Stephane Sessegnon, the Benin international, and substitute Craig Gardner to leave them with just a single victory from their 12 visits to Wearside.

With Gylfi Sigurdsson, the midfielder on loan from Hoffenheim making his full debut at the heart of most of their good work, the visitors should have emerged with at least a share of the spoils from a spectacle hardly helped by the blustery conditions.

However, they were left to rue a pivotal passage of play which led to Sessegnon breaking the deadlock in the 14th minute. Wes Brown’s mistake allowed Sigurdsson’s astute pass to pick out Nathan Dyer, whose low cross from the right found its way to Scott Sinclair, unmarked at the far post. The midfielder’s rushed finish from five yards succeeded only in finding the crowd behind Simon Mignolet’s goal. Within 60 seconds, the hosts were ahead.

Sessegnon cut in from the left flank and although James McClean, stationed inside the area, was unable to control the in-coming pass, fortunately for the hosts, the ball fell invitingly for Sessegnon, who, still with plenty to do, curled a memorable right-foot finish past Michel Vorm into the top corner from a narrow angle for his fifth goal of the season.

After losing forward Nicklas Bendtner to a gashed eye following a clash with Angel Rangel, the hosts almost took an early lead when Vorm blocked Seb Larsson’s near-post effort, but the visitors carved out chances of their own, and Danny Graham should have done better with a close-range header from Sigurdsson’s inviting cross.

After the break, Sigurdsson’s 30-yard free-kick forced Mignolet into a hurried save, while an ugly two-footed lunge by Larsson on Sinclair went unpunished by Chris Foy, the referee who sent off Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany for a challenge that was no more offensive in the Manchester derby earlier this month.

Sessegnon came close to doubling his tally with a near post header from McClean’s cross, and substitute Connor Wickham should have done better when shooting wide from close range.

The second goal came five minutes from time, Gardner making an almost immediate impact after coming off the bench, controlling a Sessegnon pass with his chest to send a looping 25-yard effort into the top corner to seal a sixth victory of manager Martin O’Neill’s nine-match reign, leap-frogging their opponents in mid-table in the process.

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