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Swansea City 2-1 Wigan Athletic: Andre Ayew scores winner for Swans

Rhian Brewster celebrates after scoring for Swansea
Rhian Brewster has won six caps for England's Under-21 side

Swansea returned to the Championship play-off places, coming from behind to beat relegation-threatened Wigan.

Wigan took an early lead when Nathan Byrne smartly finished a counter-attack.

Swansea levelled two minutes later as Conor Gallagher set up fellow loanee Rhian Brewster to score his first goal since joining from Liverpool.

The Swans pushed for a winner in the second half and Andre Ayew provided it with a cheeky backheel.

The result lifts Swansea up to fifth place in the Championship, while Wigan remain second from bottom of the table, still two points away from safety.

Paul Cook's side may feel this was a missed opportunity to gain at least a point in their fight for survival, but Swansea were good value for their victory.

They had come into this match with high hopes after a productive January transfer window so far, with head coach Steve Cooper making full use of his contacts from his previous role in charge of England Under-17s.

Three members of Cooper's 2017 Under-17 World Cup-winning squad - Brewster, Gallagher and Chelsea defender Marc Guehi - have joined this month, and the two who started against Wigan, Brewster and Gallagher, made a big impression.

Gallagher, who had excelled on loan at Charlton earlier this season, slotted seamlessly into the Swans midfield, helping the hosts make a vibrant start to the game.

Swansea defender Connor Roberts tangles with Wigan's Kieran Dowell
Swansea defender Connor Roberts tangles with Wigan's Kieran Dowell

But it was Wigan, with only one win in their previous 15 matches, who took the lead after 16 minutes.

The visitors sprang a counter-attack on the left wing and Kieran Dowell played a low cross to right-back Byrne, who was allowed to wander into the middle of Swansea's penalty area, take a touch and pick his spot with a calm finish.

Wigan's joy was short-lived. Less than three minutes later, Gallagher threaded a fine through ball to Brewster, who swept a low left-footed finish into the far corner to score his first goal in senior football.

There was a buzz to the game at this point, played at quick pace with chances at both ends, Wigan's Joe Garner and Swansea's Ayew both heading wide from promising positions.

Although the tempo slowed a little, there was still plenty of goalmouth action in the second half, albeit more contained to the visitors' penalty area.

Bersant Celina, Kyle Naughton and Gallagher all went close with shots on goal as Swansea began to take control of the game.

And it was Celina who was the architect of the decisive goal, darting down the left wing past Byrne and pulling the ball back to Ayew, who deftly backheeled it into the net to score his 12th goal of the season.

Swansea were relatively comfortable from that point and, apart from Byrne's half-volley in added time which whistled narrowly over, Wigan seldom looked like salvaging a draw.

Swansea City head coach Steve Cooper: "I am pleased with the performance. We started well, we got on the front foot and looked to be the team we want to be.

"Conceding was disappointing, it's never good to concede, but to be fair the boys did not let it affect them and scored pretty soon to get back in the game.

"Half-time was important. We got some messages to the players. We felt we were not quite at the level we want be at. We weren't poor but we wanted to be better, and second half we were good.

"We looked a threat, we moved the ball, we were on the front foot. We pressed them better than in the first half and, in the end, scored a really good goal."

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook: "Same old, same old. We've been there before.

"Swansea started the game very strongly, they've got a lot of good players and have recruited well with Brewster and Gallagher coming in. Plenty of energy.

"We managed to take the lead and then we gave a goal away which you couldn't make up. But it's the way our season's gone. We gave away another cheap goal.

"I must commend lads for our honesty, they don't lie down. But we lacked quality that's for sure."

Line-ups

Swansea

  • 27Woodman
  • 23Roberts
  • 44Cabango
  • 20Wilmot
  • 26Naughton
  • 28ByersSubstituted forFultonat 85'minutes
  • 8Grimes
  • 22A Ayew
  • 33Gallagher
  • 10Celina
  • 19BrewsterSubstituted forRoutledgeat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Guehi
  • 6Fulton
  • 9Bastón
  • 15Routledge
  • 21Dhanda
  • 24Bidwell
  • 25Mulder

Wigan

  • 1Marshall
  • 2Byrne
  • 21KipreBooked at 89mins
  • 33Naismith
  • 3Robinson
  • 8EvansSubstituted forRobertsat 80'minutes
  • 5Morsy
  • 9LoweSubstituted forMasseyat 64'minutes
  • 20Williams
  • 30Dowell
  • 14GarnerSubstituted forMooreat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4MacLeod
  • 11Massey
  • 12Pearce
  • 18Roberts
  • 19Moore
  • 22Dunkley
  • 23Jones
Referee:
James Linington
Attendance:
15,659

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamWigan
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home13
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Swansea City 2, Wigan Athletic 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Swansea City 2, Wigan Athletic 1.

Attempt missed. Nathan Byrne (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Ben Cabango.

Attempt saved. Kieffer Moore (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nathan Byrne.

Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jay Fulton (Swansea City).

Booking

Cedric Kipre (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Cedric Kipre (Wigan Athletic).

Jay Fulton (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Jay Fulton replaces George Byers.

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Wayne Routledge replaces Rhian Brewster.

Conor Gallagher (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cedric Kipre (Wigan Athletic).

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Kyle Naughton.

Substitution

Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Gary Roberts replaces Lee Evans.

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by André Ayew.

Hand ball by Lee Evans (Wigan Athletic).

Attempt missed. Bersant Celina (Swansea City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Kal Naismith.

Attempt blocked. André Ayew (Swansea City) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Conor Gallagher.

Attempt blocked. Kieffer Moore (Wigan Athletic) header from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kieran Dowell with a cross.

Foul by Rhian Brewster (Swansea City).

Kal Naismith (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

George Byers (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kieran Dowell (Wigan Athletic).

Goal!

Goal! Swansea City 2, Wigan Athletic 1. André Ayew (Swansea City) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bersant Celina.

Substitution

Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Kieffer Moore replaces Joe Garner.

Substitution

Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Gavin Massey replaces Jamal Lowe.

Attempt missed. Joe Garner (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Ben Wilmot.

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Rhian Brewster.

Foul by Ben Wilmot (Swansea City).

Joe Garner (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Joe Garner (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Kal Naismith.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Jamal Lowe.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Cedric Kipre.

Attempt missed. Conor Gallagher (Swansea City) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Connor Roberts.

Offside, Swansea City. Rhian Brewster tries a through ball, but Bersant Celina is caught offside.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Joe Williams.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1West Brom271411250302053
2Leeds28157643241952
3Fulham28146842301248
4Brentford28145944212347
5Swansea2812973431345
6Nottm Forest2612863526944
7Millwall28111163632444
8Bristol City2812884240244
9Preston2812793934543
10Sheff Wed28126103931842
11Blackburn28117104035540
12Hull28116114036439
13Cardiff2891273941-239
14QPR28115124651-538
15Derby2891092936-737
16Reading27106113431336
17Middlesbrough28810102835-734
18Birmingham2896133445-1133
19Charlton2878133741-429
20Huddersfield2878133144-1329
21Stoke2774163342-925
22Barnsley2859143551-1624
23Wigan2858152543-1823
24Luton2763183358-2521
View full Championship table

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