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Swansea take big step towards safety with win at Sunderland

15 May 2017
Swansea take big step towards safety with win at Sunderland

Sunderland: Pickford 5, Jones 5, O'Shea 5, Kone 6, Manquillo 6, Denayer 5, Ndong 6, Larsson 5, Borini 5, Anichebe 5, Defoe 5. Substitutes: Leroy Fer (for Ki, 66 mins) 6, Jack Cork (for Britton, 77 mins) 6, Luciano Narsingh (for Llorente, 88 mins) 6.

Goals from the impressive Fernando Llorente and Kyle Naughton offered Swansea a Premier League lifeline, leaving them on 38 points, level with Crystal Palace and, most importantly, four clear of 18th-placed Hull, who visit Selhurst Park on Sunday.

That did not last at the Stadium of Light, the hosts never threatening to recover from a poor early goal as Fernando Llorente beat Jordan Pickford to head home Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick. With Hull now two points behind them, and facing two tough matches against relegation rivals Crystal Palace and then Tottenham, Swansea may well have done enough already.

It was a rare mistake from Pickford and he was picking the ball out of the net again in stoppage time at the end of the first half.

The touching moment was nearly met with a goal as Didier Ndong fired wide following powerful build-up play from Victor Anichebe, but two minutes later Swansea took the lead.

Jermain Defoe has scored five goals in four previous Premier League appearances against Swansea for Sunderland, including a hat-trick in January 2016.

According to the laws of the game, a penalty taker can not touch the ball again until another player has done so, leaving referee Robert Madley with no choice but to rule out the goal.

Another assist for Sigurdsson saw him notch up his eighth of 2017, more than any other Premier League player.

"I honestly thought it would go down to the last game of the season". Clement, whose side have won three of their last four games, was minded to linger a little longer.

"I'm not complaining it hasn't gone to the last game as I predicted, " Clement joked after Swansea secured a seventh straight season of Premier League football.

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A minute later, substitute Wahbi Khazri volleyed an effort from 25 yards on goal but didn't catch the ball as cleanly as he would have liked and Fabianski was on hand to stop the effort.

Free tickets given to Swansea City supporters have appeared on ticket selling websites for more than £60.

And, three minutes later, full-back Billy Jones somehow shot wide from close range after Fabianski had pushed substitute Wahbi Khazri's free-kick back into a unsafe area. Much to Larsson's disgust Andre Marriner, the referee, not only disagreed but booked the Swede for protesting.