Rhian Brewster’s seventh Championship goal and an Andre Ayew penalty gave Swansea a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday to boost the hosts’ promotion hopes.
After a quiet first half where Wednesday looked the better side, Swansea were rejuvenated after the break and Brewster fired them in front with a powerful strike from close range (51).
The Liverpool loanee’s opener seemed to damage Wednesday’s confidence and Swansea were two up midway through the second half as Adam Reach barged over Connor Roberts in the area before Ayew coolly slotted his penalty into the bottom corner (66), sending Joe Wildsmith the wrong way.
Substitute Atdhe Nuhiu scored very late on for the visitors with a powerful header (90+4), but Steve Cooper’s side held on for all three points which now means they sit in eighth place on 60 points – four points off the last play-off spot. Wednesday, meanwhile, remain in 14th on 52.
How Swansea kept themselves in the play-off picture
Wednesday had the better chances in a relatively uneventful first half. Jacob Murphy had a glorious chance to fire the visitors in front in the 13th minute, but the unmarked winger lifted his first-time effort over the bar.
Parma loanee Alessio Da Cruz had a goalbound shot denied by Marc Guehi in the 35th minute and the Dutchman missed another good chance to break the deadlock in first half injury-time, nodding Barry Bannan’s excellent cross over the bar from close range.
Brewster fired Swansea in front before Ayew’s penalty after the break and Wednesday struggled to find a way back in.
But Nuhiu came off the bench to score a powerful header from a fine Murphy cross, but the visitors could not carry that momentum forward as Swansea held firm.
Man of the Match – Marc Guehi
The central defender, on loan from Chelsea, made a goal-saving block in the first half and put in a calm, assured performance at the back to limit Wednesday from really threatening the Swansea goal.
What the managers said…
Sheffield Wednesday’s Garry Monk: “We were so far on top in the first half and we could have killed them off. In the game in this period here without crowds we should have given them an uphill battle to climb in the second half and stretch them and pick them off. we had opportunities but didn’t kill them off.
“In the second half there were a couple of moments where it was poor decision making and rash moments and we find ourselves two goals behind. It was an uphill battle from that point.”
Swansea’s Steve Cooper: “We got the three points and we needed that. Mixed bag performance wise. We didn’t keep the ball enough or show enough bravery in the first half. Wednesday were the better team but second half we looked much better.
“We played really well to get the two goals and I would have like to have seen that to see the game out. I thought we could have game managed better late in the game. We turned over a bit too much but we’re all happy.”
Swansea travel to Birmingham City for a 6pm kick-off on Wednesday evening. Sheffield Wednesday, meanwhile, host Preston later (kick-off 7:45pm) on the same day.