AppId is over the quota
AppId is over the quota
Gylfi Sigurdsson showed why he was one of the most inspirational signings of the January transfer window by leading Swansea to eighth place with their third straight win.
Sigurdsson, signed on loan from Hoffenheim, has rewarded his former Reading manager Brendan Rodgers with five goals in the past six games, and his double here helped Swansea brush aside a poor Fulham side and leapfrog them into the higher reaches of the Premier League.
Having dominated Fulham from start to finish, Swansea were applauded off the Craven Cottage pitch by home supporters, while their own fans celebrated a great day for Wales, with the rugby side’s defeat of France completing a Grand Slam.
Rodgers said: “It was a phenomenal performance. I thought this was our biggest game of the season and to come here and beat Fulham, who are in good form, was incredible.”
The Swansea manager knows all about Sigurdsson from their time together at the Madejski stadium, and added: “Gylfi is a goalscorer and a big talent. I knew what he could do for us. He’s a terrific boy and has slotted in wonderfully.”
It was the Icelandic midfielder who broke the deadlock after a lively start from two sides packed with attacking intent.
Swansea’s Danny Graham tested Mark Schwartzer with an early shot that the Australian keeper saved well, but his opposite number Michel Vorm trumped that save by tipping over a powerful drive from Clint Dempsey moments later.
Moussa Dembele, John Arne Riise and Bryan Ruiz all failed for Fulham from long range, while Swansea’s Scott Sinclair was denied twice, the second time by a great save from Schwartzer. Sigurdsson shot wide of the far post on the half-hour mark after a flowing move, with the ball switched from left to right and back again, but put Swansea ahead six minutes later.
He collected the ball when Fulham’s Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak played a loose pass into his own half. Sigurdsson laid it to Wayne Routledge on the right and although the little winger appeared to over-hit his cross, Sinclair was waiting beyond the far post to clip the ball back into the goalmouth, where Sigurdsson stooped to conquer, heading home from close range.
Fulham had no answer to Swansea’s composed passing football, and the game was up when Sigurdsson scored again in the 66th minute, exchanging passes with Routledge before sidefooting the ball home from close range.
With news filtering through that Wales had beaten France at the Millennium Stadium, Welsh joy was unconfined as Joe Allen seized on another defensive mistake by Philippe Senderos to curl a shot past Schwartzer from the edge of the penalty area.
Their fans celebrated wildly on the final whistle, while home supporters applauded their style, shortly after jeering their own players.
Swansea are now on 39 points, 17 points above the relegation zone, but Rodgers insisted: “Our first target is to get to 40 points and then see where we can go from there.”
Martin Jol was unhappy with some of his players’ performances and said: “I thought we did not play as a team and the players who would normally make a difference were not there.
“We were too sloppy and lost the ball and our shape against a good footballing team.
“Now we have to try to pick ourselves up against Manchester United.”
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