Swansea 2-0 Fulham: Dempsey own goal & penalty miss, Graham score
Clint Dempsey endured a day to forget as an own goal and missed penalty helped Swansea record a 2-0 Premier League victory over Fulham at the Liberty Stadium.
Victory for Swansea takes them above Fulham in the table and they have now kept six clean sheets at the Liberty Stadium, with goalkeeper Michel Vorm again to thank for his spot-kick save.
It was Swansea who dominated the early possession, Scott Sinclair working his way into a good position only to see his shot deflect off Andrew Johnson and just over the wrong-footed Mark Schwarzer just after the quarter-hour mark.
A minute later, Swansea could have taken the lead; Mark Gower’s teasing cross headed over by Ashley Williams who should at the very least have hit the target. Luke Moore then went close with a fantastic effort on the turn from outside the box before the Swans had a great shout for a penalty turned down when John Arne Riise appeared to wrestle Leroy Lita to the ground, his arms also coming into contact with the ball.
Conversely, Fulham offered very little in attack, Andy Johnson found himself too isolated up front after Martin Jol decided to rest the influential Bobby Zamora.
If the first half failed to inspire, the second immediately sparked into life. Swansea continued their dominance in possession and got their reward ten minutes into the second period, albeit a little fortuitously. Schwarzer punched out Gower’s corner and the ball eventually fell to Sinclair, whose miscued shot deflected off Dempsey’s shin and past the stranded Schwarzer.
Having lacked any sort of ambition prior to Swansea’s opener, Fulham then went straight up the other end and should have equalised. Dempsey nearly made instant amends, deftly playing in Bryan Ruiz who saw his shot excellently saved by Vorm. Suddenly it was now all Fulham, Dempsey and Riise both going close before Johnson was again denied by the impregnable Vorm as the striker tried to flick it beyond him and inside the far post.
Having sat back and let Fulham dictate, Swansea nearly made it two when Kemy Augustien hit the outside of the post with his first touch and Danny Graham dallied too long on the ball as Schwarzer narrowed the angle to save. With time running out, Martin Jol rolled the dice and brought on Kerim Frei for Moussa Dembele and the substitution nearly paid off immediately. Frei wriggled his way into the box and was upended by Ashley Richards to give Fulham a lifeline. But Dempsey saw his chance of retribution disappear as Vorm saved brilliantly to his right, having been booked for making the American wait too long.
And just to rub salt into the wound, Graham made sure of the points in injury time, diverting Gower’s cross past the luckless Schwarzer.
Fraser Masefield / Eurosport
Swansea: Vorm, Richards, Williams, Caulker, Taylor, Routledge, Britton, Gower, Sinclair, Lita, Moore. Subs: Tremmel, Graham, Dyer, Dobbie, Monk, Bessone, Agustien
Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, John Arne Riise, Dembele, Davies, Etuhu, Dempsey, Ruiz, Johnson. Subs: Etheridge, Orlando Sa, Gecov, Bjorn Helge Riise, Hughes, Frei, Briggs.