Swansea booed off after Murray’s strike puts Brighton up to eighth
Swansea’s shocking home form continued as Glenn Murray’s first-half strike gave Brighton victory in front of an angry Liberty Stadium crowd.
Murray applied the finish to Anthony Knockaert’s cross for the only goal of the game as the hosts were booed off. Paul Clement’s men were already low on confidence going into the game and their morale only sank lower as the 90 minutes played out.
Brighton didn’t have to do much to win the game and Swansea – who are now in the bottom three – are facing a long battle with relegation based on their current form.
Clement said: “If we play at that level we can’t expect to win. The way we defended for the goal was very, very poor. After that you see a team that is really struggling with confidence.”
He added: “The boos affected the team and some individuals, but our job is to deal with that. We’re in a bad moment, there is no doubt about that. We need to stop this vicious cycle of a poor performance and then a bad result. The players in this group have been in this situation before and we have belief we can get out of it.”
A small section of Swansea fans had protested against chairman Huw Jenkins before kick-off and their team’s lack of self-belief became more than evident as the first half wore on.
A series of misplaced passes saw boos ring out from a home crowd frustrated with their side’s campaign. And the mood inside the ground soured further when Brighton went ahead. Federico Fernandez gave Murray too much room and he bundled Knockaert’s delivery past Lukasz Fabianski. Murray then went close again and only a superb save from Fabianski stopped Lewis Dunk making it 2-0.
Swansea’s set-piece delivery was woeful, with Ki Sung-yueng and Sam Clucas wayward from dead-ball situations. Tammy Abraham was the only bright note for the hosts, but a comeback never looked like happening.
Clucas was replaced and booted a bottle on the Swansea bench, summing up his side’s frustration. Luciano Narsingh, brought on as a substitute, struck the bar when through on goal in what was the best chance, but by the time Mike Dean blew to end the game the catcalls from the home crowd were entirely predictable.
Brighton moved up to eighth with this win and manager Chris Hughton said: “We had to defend well and it was a really good away performance. For us to be where we are surpasses our expectations, but we have to be guarded against any sign of complacency.”
Swansea (4-3-3) Fabianski 7; Naughton 6, Mawson 6, Fernandez 5, Clucas 5 (Routledge 79); Ki 5, Carroll 5 (Narsingh 59), Fer 6; Dyer 6, Ayew 6 (McBurnie 79), Abraham 6. Subs Nordfeldt (g), Van der Hoorn, Mesa, Fulton. Booked Fernandez, Clucas. Brighton (4-4-2) Ryan 7; Bruno 6, Duffy 7, Dunk 7, Bong 6; Knockaert 7, Stephens 6, Propper 6, Izquierdo 6 (March 66); Gross 7 (Brown 85), Murray 7 (Hemed 79). Subs Krul (g), Goldson, Schelotto, Suttner. Booked Dunk. Referee M Dean (Cheshire).
Beaten: Glenn Murray gets the ball before Nathan Dyer during a bad day for Swansea