Swansea stop rot on Bradley’s home debut
Swansea City are still without a win since the opening day of the season but did take a step in the right direction by drawing 0-0 at home to Watford on Bob Bradley’s home debut.
The result ended a sequence of four consecutive defeats for the struggling Swans, including their 3-2 loss at Arsenal last weekend in Bradley’s first game at the helm. However, the Welsh side have now gone eight matches without a victory and remain in the relegation zone, two points from safety. In contrast, Watford are still in the top half having been beaten only once in their last six games after this stalemate at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea had not won in front of their own fans since May and in an attempt to kick-start his new team’s season American boss Bradley made five changes to the side beaten narrowly by Arsenal.
Among the changes, young defender Alfie Mawson, a £5 million ($6.1m, 5.6m euros) summer signing from second-tier Barnsley, came in to make his Premier League debut.
The big centre-back helped Swansea frustrate Watford’s powerful strike pairing of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, although the Hornets almost got a lucky breakthrough just before the interval.
Deeney nudged a free-kick 30 yards out into the path of Younes Kaboul and his shot took a massive deflection off the Swansea wall only to loop narrowly over with Lukasz Fabianski beaten. The hosts should have been in front just after the hour mark, but when Mike van der Hoorn stretched to meet a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick five yards out, Heurelho Gomes made a fantastic save.
The lively Modou Barrow then set up Sigurdsson for a shot from just outside the area that beat Gomes but came back off the post with seven minutes left.
It was a frustrating finish for Swansea, and Bradley will now hope to oversee a first win when his team visit an improving Stoke City next weekend. — AFP