Getty Images

Swansea City 2-0 Leicester City: Foxes continue plunge as Swans clear drop

Leave a comment
  • Alfie Mawson hit a belter to put Swansea up 1-0
  • Martin Olsson doubled the lead before halftime
  • Leicester has gone 610 minutes without scoring

Swansea City has pulled much further off the relegation zone at Leicester City’s expense as the Swans picked up a 2-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium behind first-half goals from defenders Alfie Mawson and Martin Olsson.

While Swansea continues its climb free of the drop, Leicester City is moving in the other direction, now without a Premier League goal in a whopping 610 minutes and losing for the fifth straight match. It’s the first time since 1956 that the defending champions lost five straight league games at any point during the season.

There was a penalty shout straight away in the third minute, with Swansea feeling they should get a spot-kick after a shot by Gylfi Sigurdsson struck the arm of Wes Morgan while sliding to block the shot. The Foxes were forced to do plenty of defending early, with the in-form Sigurdsson looking dangerous.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The game eventually progressed into a back and forth midfield battle, with Swansea looking to hold possession and Leicester playing a physical foil to the hosts’ intent. Past the half-hour mark, there was another big decision for referee Jon Moss who only showed yellow to Robert Huth who clumsily went into a two-footed challenge that clobbered Tom Carroll, a decision that was met with plenty of boos around the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans would finally find a deserved breakthrough on 36 minutes. A free-kick from Sigurdsson just beyond the center circle was lobbed into the box, and it came first to the head of Fernando Llorente then Federico Fernandez, and before it could touch the ground, Mawson cannoned the ball into the back of the net with a vicious volley.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The margin would widen just ticks before halftime as a beautiful bit of passing between Llorente, Sigurdsson, and Olsson sprung the latter down the left, cutting inside and hitting for Swansea’s second in 1st half injury time.

Leicester City nearly found a way back into the game just past the hour mark with a pair of chances for halftime substitute Islam Slimani back from injury. He was threaded in by Riyad Mahrez, but Slimani was stoned by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. Slimani got a cross his way seconds later, but it was just out of his reach.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Following that big chance, Swansea effectively slowed the game to a crawl as they looked to ease the game through. Leicester held much of the possession, but could do little with it. The win for Swansea pushes them all the way up past Middlesbrough into 15th, four points above relegation. Leicester, meanwhile, drops to 17th, still just a single point above the drop.

FIFA bans Colombia midfielder Cardona 5 games for gesture

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona for five matches for making a discriminatory gesture with his eyes toward a South Korean opponent.

FIFA will allow Cardona to serve the ban in friendly games, so he should be available for Colombia’s World Cup opener against Japan on June 19.

[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]

Cardona has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150) because of the incident last month in a friendly in Seoul.

Cardona apologized at the time, saying he “didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry.”

Spurs’ Alderweireld won’t return until February

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Spurs finally got a bit of good news this weekend with a blowout of Stoke City.

That was a followed by a tough draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and bad news on an old injury.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Center back Toby Alderweireld is going to be gone into February, extending his time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 1 against Real Madrid.

Spurs were 6-2-2 in league when Alderweireld went down, and are just 2-2-2 since the injury. The Belgian has missed losses at Arsenal and Leicester, draws against Watford and West Brom, and wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke.

Tottenham did win both of its UCL matches since the injury.

Benitez: If we can’t add in January, work gets harder

David Davies/PA via AP
Leave a comment

Newcastle United has swung from the top half of the table to the fringes of the drop zone, something that hasn’t caught Rafa Benitez off guard.

The veteran manager has not lost sight of his August transfer window shortcomings. He hasn’t dwelled on it in the media, but Benitez is also very cognizant that his team has lacked depth at striker, out wide, and at left back.

[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]

To boot, most of his additions — Mikel Merino, Christian Atsu, Javi Manquillo — haven’t been loaded with experience.

“Some games we are the youngest team in the Premier League. We have to learn quickly. This team is working very hard. Little things we have to improve and we will be stronger.”

“We know our job. Everyone has an opinion. It’s not rocket science – we need players in some positions. If we can, fine, if not, we will have to work harder.”

Newcastle isn’t far away, but it’s woefully short at left back (to the point where it’s best options have been displaced center back Chancel Mbemba and right back Manquillo), and Benitez doesn’t trust Aleksandar Mitrovic up top with Joselu not firing (though Championship star scorer Dwight Gayle may be coming around).

Additions are still needed, and perhaps Benitez is marginally better off that Newcastle didn’t continue overachieving as it did early days.

Premier League Preview: Swansea City vs. Manchester City

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Man City leads all-time 22W-4D-7L
  • Swans winless in 11 vs. Man City
  • Last Swans win: 2012 at home

Manchester City can set the Premier League record for consecutive wins in a single season when it visits Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Each side has scored in the last eight meetings between the two in all competitions, which is about the only bit of good news for Paul Clement‘s side outside of their weekend win over West Brom. Man City has dominated the series in recent memory, and really all time.

[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]

And some good news for Man City, too: There won’t be any problem with what they do in their own changing room.

“Like any club, Manchester City are able to play music in their dressing room,” a Swansea City spokesman said following the fracas at the Manchester Derby.

Wilfried Bony will be fired up to face his former club, and he’s coming off a big goal to sink West Brom. He’s going to have a lot in the tank. From the Manchester Evening News:

“Every game I look forward to but it is special to play against your old team. Injuries had an impact on my time at City. When you come from a club where you play every game and then you are playing maybe once a month or two games a month it is completely different.”

Vincent Kompany is out for Man City.

What they’re saying

Swansea City back Alfie Mawson on slowing Man City“I’m very fortunate to test myself against the highest calibre of footballer there is. City are flying this season. They’ve got one of the best managers in the world. We’ve got to find a way to combat them. Every team is finding it hard and I’m sure it’s going to be a very tough game because of the quality and depth they have. We’ve got to be switched on for the entire game, as they’ll punish one lapse in concentration.”

Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne on the 11-point table lead“Lots of teams lost points this weekend so it is a big one for us [the win] just to put more pressure on the rest. We have to enjoy it and then focus again for Wednesday. It is a big gap. If we slip up we are still in the lead. We can’t be complacent. We need to do what we have all year. I prefer to be 11 points ahead than 11 points behind that’s for sure.”

Prediction

The run continues, as Paul Clement prioritizes Saturday’s trip to Everton and City cruises to a 3-0 win.