Swansea stun Saints at St Mary’s in well earned victory

Swansea came to St Mary’s knowing that they needed a performance. With Gylfi Sigurdsson suspended and no replacement for the departed Wilfried Bony, a win seemed unattainable against an in-form Southampton side.

Their best tactic was to try and dominate in midfield, with Saints duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama absent and, overall, they seemed to do just that.

It was goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski who was key in the opening stages of the game, with the Pole getting fingertips to divert a looping left wing centre from Eljero Elia. Moments later it looked as though it was going to be a long afternoon for Swansea after Marvin Emnes had to be substituted due to injury. On came rookie striker Modou Barrow, and coped admirably with the challenge in front of him; constantly proving to be a handful for the Saints defence with his direct running.

Swansea responded in earnest to their apparent bad luck, with Bafetimbi Gomis, who is yet to really make an impact, rifling a shot that appeared to have Fraser Forster worried. Saints just couldn’t seem to turn their possession into goals, as crosses evaded players in the box, and their efforts either went just wide, were blocked or kept out by Fabianski.

The second half brought more of the same, with the home side attacking and dominating possession. Top scorer Graziano Pelle was on balance disappointing in terms of turning chances into goals, and Ronald Koeman may want to consider bringing in attacking reinforcements before the transfer window slams shut.

Just before the hour mark, the Swans started to ease their way back into the game, stringing meaningful passes together, and crafting chances. Jonjo Shelvey, drafted in for Sigurdsson, was key to the Swans, as eluded to by Coral in the match preview.

Midway through the first half, he cracked an effort onto Forster’s post and, with 10 minutes to go, he unleashed his best effort yet which flew into the top corner. Swansea showed steel here, and can use this as a platform to push on. Koeman, meanwhile, may want to re-evaluate his plans for the rest of the season with the Saints slipping to fourth, joint on points with an in-form Arsenal.