Swansea 2-1 Watford: Jamal Lowe double fires Swans to comeback victory
Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Swansea and Watford at the Liberty Stadium as Jamal Lowe’s double saw the Swans seal victory after Tom Cleverley had put the Hornets ahead
Saturday 2 January 2021 17:24, UK
Jamal Lowe struck twice as Swansea climbed to second in the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-1 comeback victory over promotion rivals Watford.
The red-hot Lowe made it six goals in as many games for Swansea to inflict a first defeat on new Watford manager Xisco Munoz, who had seen his side lead through Tom Cleverley.
Swansea’s fifth win in eight games moves them above Brentford into the automatic promotion places, and six points above Watford who drop to sixth.
The Swans’ two previous home games had been marred by booing and jeering outside the Liberty Stadium as players took the knee in the fight against racial injustice.
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The Welsh club have launched an investigation into the matter and were relieved to see no such pre-match protest this time.
Swansea boasted the best defence in the Championship with only 12 goals conceded prior to kick-off.
But centre-back lynchpin Ryan Bennett was missing with hamstring trouble, and Swansea suffered a new blow in the warm-up when Joel Latibeaudiere was injured and had to be replaced by Ryan Manning.
Swansea started on the front foot with confidence high after only one defat in seven games.
Connor Roberts’ driving runs were a huge threat down the right and the wing-back flashed a centre across the six-yard box where Korey Smith just failed to apply a telling touch.
Watford responded when former Swansea loanee Ben Wilmot robbed Lowe by the corner flag and Andre Gray almost squeezed home his cross at the near post.
Andre Ayew headed over for Swansea in an action-packed opening but Watford were ahead after 20 minutes.
The home side struggled to clear after being caught out playing from the back and Cleverley’s drive from outside the box was too hot for Freddie Woodman to handle.
Roberts wanted a penalty when falling under Jeremy Ngakia’s challenge, but the Wales international was soon back on his feet to set up an opportunity which Jay Fulton placed narrowly wide.
Swansea continued to push for an equaliser and Ben Foster tipped over from Ayew before making an even better stop to deny Smith.
But the former England goalkeeper had no chance moments later when the impressive Marc Guehi drove forward and found Smith.
He helped it on to Lowe on the edge of the box and the in-form forward curled home his fifth goal in six games off the far post.
Swansea started the second half as they had finished the first and Jake Bidwell had the ball in the net from a Roberts cross only for an assistant’s flag to cut the celebrations short.
Watford did fall behind, though, when Smith’s centre evaded Foster and Lowe showed the predatory instincts which have served him so well in recent weeks by heading home at the far post.
Lowe’s second brought a strong response from the Hornets and Troy Deeney and Francisco Sierralta both had efforts blocked by brave home defending.
Skipper Deeney blazed over at the far post, but Swansea weathered the storm and were boosted in the final minutes when loan signing Morgan Gibbs-White was welcomed back after three months out.
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