Championship
SwanseaSwansea City2MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough1

Swansea City 2-1 Middlesbrough: Last-gasp Andre Ayew penalty gives Swans dramatic win

By Gareth VincentBBC Sport Wales at Liberty Stadium
Neil Warnock leads Middlesbrough's protests after Swansea's contentious late penalty
Neil Warnock leads Middlesbrough's protests after Swansea's contentious late penalty

Swansea City climbed to third in the Championship thanks to a dramatic 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough which left Neil Warnock fuming.

Andre Ayew scored a stoppage-time penalty for the second time in as many games to secure the win.

He had earlier put Swansea ahead, but Middlesbrough deservedly levelled in the 91st minute through Sam Morsy.

Ayew's spot-kick came in the 97th minute after referee Gavin Ward had initially given a corner.

Ward then changed his mind, possibly on the advice of his assistant, with the officials deeming that George Saville had fouled Jake Bidwell.

The late drama left Warnock raging at the officials as Swansea climbed to within a point of the automatic promotion places with two games in hand.

Middlesbrough stay ninth having lost despite controlling much of the game.

Warnock had been hoping to celebrate the new contract he signed this week with a positive result, with Middlesbrough announcing on Thursday that the 72-year-old has agreed to stay on as manager next season.

He is already making plans for 2021-22, though it is not yet clear which division Middlesbrough will be in given that the play-offs are within reach despite this result.

Swansea have loftier ambitions, although it was hard to tell as much during a scrappy first half in which neither side gained any control.

The visitors produced what threat there was in the opening half hour, with Marc Bola's centre creating a chance for Duncan Watmore only for Marc Guehi to make a goal-saving block.

Yannick Bolasie's long-ranger forced the first save of the day from Freddie Woodman, yet it was Swansea who went ahead through their one first-half shot on target.

Conor Hourihane's free-kick was dealt with initially, but Connor Roberts headed the ball back into the box and Bola and Jonny Howson collided as they attempted to clear.

The angle was tight as the ball dropped to Ayew, but his well-struck half-volley flashed past Marcus Bettinelli at the near post, thanks in part to a deflection off Djed Spence.

Warnock spent much of the first half berating the officials, but now his defenders took some flak.

Andre Ayew fires home his 12th goal of the season
Andre Ayew fires home his 12th goal of the season

His mood darkened early in the second half when referee Ward blew for a questionable foul by Bolasie on Jay Fulton just as Bola unleashed a fierce drive from the edge of the D which flew beyond Woodman and into the net.

Middlesbrough continued to ask questions, with Chuba Akpom firing wide before Saville headed narrowly off target.

Swansea were offering little going forward, largely because they could not keep hold of the ball, and the leveller the visitors deserved arrived when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing found Morsy and his shot beat a flat-footed Woodman at the near post.

Warnock urged his players to push on in search of victory, but it was Swansea who claimed an extraordinary win after Saville was controversially adjudged to have fouled Bidwell as he slid to clear.

Ayew had scored a 96th-minute penalty to give Cooper's men victory at Stoke on Wednesday.

He repeated the trick here, sending Bettinelli the wrong way before making a point of celebrating with Swansea's management team.

Swansea head coach Steve Cooper:

"It wasn't a fluid game. I think you come up against certain teams, managers and styles and you know it's going to look a certain way at times. It was probably a bit too much of that, truth be told.

"It's a busy schedule. It was only a couple of days ago we were four hours away, we didn't get back until 3.30am, they've had an extra day's rest, made a load of changes and they've got a massive squad to pick from.

"It was going to be tough. But if ever there's a message to give to supporters to thank them for their support having been one year away from the stadium, then that's for them.

"That is for them. That is for the Jack Army because they've seen a team there that is absolutely fighting like mad for them."

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock:

"I'm sure I'll get an apology now from (director of referees) Alan Wiley, which I've had three or four times in the last six weeks. I've had that many apologies I don't know what to do with them.

"He (Gavin Ward) thought it was a free-kick to them (and so disallowed Marc Bola's goal). He hadn't see (Yannick) Bolasie won the ball. It's either a penalty or a goal. He's blown the whistle before Bola's shot hit the goal and gave a defensive free-kick.

"I'm a little bit bewildered about the penalty. He pointed for a corner kick but he assures me that when he thought about it he thought George (Saville) didn't get any of the ball and he thought it was a penalty. I asked 'Why did you point to the corner flag? Were you guessing?'. That's what he said.

"We are going to have to be a good team next year, to overcome all the decisions that go against us. But we will be. We'll do it off our own bat. I thought we played some great stuff today and i was really pleased. I thought we came of age."

Line-ups

Swansea

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Woodman
  • 26Naughton
  • 44Cabango
  • 5GuehiBooked at 71mins
  • 23Roberts
  • 6Fulton
  • 8Grimes
  • 3ManningBooked at 64minsSubstituted forBidwellat 73'minutes
  • 7SmithSubstituted forLoweat 67'minutes
  • 14Hourihane
  • 10A Ayew

Substitutes

  • 2Bennett
  • 9Lowe
  • 17Whittaker
  • 18Hamer
  • 19Arriola
  • 21Dhanda
  • 22Latibeaudiere
  • 24Bidwell
  • 31Cooper

Middlesbrough

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 6Fry
  • 4Hall
  • 17McNair
  • 5MorsyBooked at 88mins
  • 2DijksteelSubstituted forSpenceat 16'minutesSubstituted forMendez-Laingat 77'minutes
  • 22SavilleBooked at 47mins
  • 16HowsonBooked at 90mins
  • 27BolaSubstituted forJohnsonat 77'minutes
  • 14BolasieBooked at 39minsSubstituted forKebanoat 66'minutes
  • 18WatmoreSubstituted forAkpomat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Johnson
  • 10Akpom
  • 13Archer
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 20Fisher
  • 21Kebano
  • 29Spence
Referee:
Gavin Ward

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home5
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Swansea City 2, Middlesbrough 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Swansea City 2, Middlesbrough 1.

  3. Post update

    Goal! Swansea City 2, Middlesbrough 1. André Ayew (Swansea City) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

  4. Booking

    Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Penalty conceded by George Saville (Middlesbrough) after a foul in the penalty area.

  6. Post update

    Penalty Swansea City. Jake Bidwell draws a foul in the penalty area.

  7. Post update

    Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jamal Lowe (Swansea City).

  9. Post update

    Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by André Ayew (Swansea City).

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Swansea City 1, Middlesbrough 1. Sam Morsy (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jamal Lowe (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Matt Grimes.

  13. Booking

    Sam Morsy (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Sam Morsy (Middlesbrough).

  15. Post update

    Conor Hourihane (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Ben Cabango.

  17. Post update

    Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by André Ayew (Swansea City).

  19. Post update

    Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Jamal Lowe (Swansea City).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich35237551252676
2Watford35199746242266
3Swansea33198643241965
4Brentford34189761362563
5Reading351861149371260
6Barnsley34176114237557
7Bournemouth351511950341656
8Cardiff351591153351854
9Middlesbrough35148134138350
10Stoke351212114139248
11Millwall35101693433146
12Bristol City35143183648-1245
13Preston35135173945-644
14Luton34128142840-1244
15Blackburn34127154839943
16QPR331110123439-543
17Nottm Forest351010152834-640
18Huddersfield35108173951-1238
19Derby34108162538-1338
20Coventry35911153246-1438
21Birmingham35811162643-1735
22Rotherham3295183543-832
23Sheff Wed3497182443-1928
24Wycombe3458212357-3423
View full Championship table

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