Swansea Delighted to Win ‘Ugly’ at Villa

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Convincing? Resounding? Impressive?

uglyFar from it, but Swansea City’s narrow, and perhaps somewhat fortunate, win at Aston Villa on Saturday was exactly the sort of ‘ugly’ three points that Garry Monk and co would have been craving.

Indeed, grinding out a win whilst playing badly is a trait that has been missing since the Swans reached the top flight in time for the 2011/2012 season.

And the club desperately needed a win regardless of performance. For while media talk of Monk and his staff being under pressure was ridiculous – Swansea’s recent statistics ahead of the Villa Park clash told their own story.

No win and just three goals in six league and cup games – compounded by a lacklustre display in the home defeat against Stoke last Monday night.

In short, when your side is on that sort of run, you settle for any type of win.

All of sudden, the Swans lie 12th, seven points clear of the dreaded bottom three and just one off the top half of the table – and all talk of panic is averted.

But that is not to say all problems are solved. Monk’s side still turned in a display that was a long way off the heights they were seemingly hitting in August.

The fluency and zip with which they attacked against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United is yet to fully return, and for as long as Bafetimbi Gomis’ barren run lasts – the reliance on Andre Ayew’s ability to score goals appears heavy.

And the visitors still appear susceptible at the back. Even after scoring what appeared a certain late winner on Saturday, hesitant defending allowed Villa a corner from which Joleon Lescott fired wastefully over. The nervy finish was synonymous with a side trying to hold on for a long awaited victory.

However, for nigh on five seasons now, the Swans have been prone to playing well and not winning, to not taking advantage of dominance, and to feeling aggrieved when opposition have come away with underserved spoils.

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Very rarely have they ground out a success whilst playing badly.

And as an added bonus on Saturday, the superb free kick from the thus far misfiring Gylfi Sigurdsson was the moment of the quality from the Icelander the Jack Army have been waiting for. Sigurdsson’s all round display, his most assured in a Swansea shirt since the 2015/16 campaign began, suggests Monk’s most talismanic player is making a welcome return to form.

Of course, Premier League leaders Arsenal will offer a far sterner test than Villa at the Liberty Stadium this Saturday, and a better indication of where the Swans are at.

But at least Monk’s men will go in on the back of a victory, albeit an ugly one.

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