Marco Silva and Paul Clement both felt their hearts skip beats before pure elation on Saturday, as it’s increasingly clear the race to avoid the final relegation place is between their clubs.
Hull City boss Silva saw his side go down a man on a controversial red card to Oumar Niasse, but the 10-men Tigers won anyway.
For Clement and Swansea, their bid to keep pace with Hull was threatened when Federico Fernandez gave away a second-half penalty. But Marko Arnautovic missed his attempt and Tom Carroll scored at the other end to insure a win.
It was, to say the least, emotional for both men. Here’s Clement:
“I knew at half-time it was 0-0 at Hull and they were down to 10 men. It is a terrific result for them. I did feel it would be a game they would win. We have to concentrate on our jobs. We have massive game next week at Old Trafford.
“I thought we needed three wins and a draw. Hull are in the driving seat but we will chase them down until the last moment.”
So how about the man in the driving seat? Silva on the red card and the effort:
“I don’t want to talk about this situation and I respect the referee and officials, but this is not the first time that something like this has happened. Today we have achieved what we needed, but it was very hard.
“I’m really happy but we still have four games to fight. Maybe in January no one would believe in our club to survive. I don’t know what the future is.”
Neither man is committing to anything but confidence in his players and their willingness to fight. Hull leads Swans by two points, and Swans have a two-goal advantage in differential.
It should be a fun run to the end, with the teams home and away on the same weekends for each of the final four weeks. Swans will know Hull’s result once, and the flip is true once.
It should come down to the final week, and Hull will have a much stiffer test than their relegation opponents.
Southampton vs. Hull City – April 29
Manchester United vs. Swansea City – April 30
Hull City vs. Sunderland – May 6
Swansea City vs. Everton – May 6
Sunderland vs. Swansea City – May 13
Crystal Palace vs. Hull City – May 14
Hull City vs. Tottenham Hotspur – May 21
Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion – May 21