Olivier Ntcham inspires Swansea City to victory over injury-hit Bristol City
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Bristol City suffered just their third defeat of the year in the Championship as Swansea City won 2-0 at the Swansea.com Stadium.
Olivier Ntcham was the difference as he set up Liam Cullen for his seventh goal of the season and then scored himself with a finish just outside the box. Swansea had several other chances to score with Joel Piroe hitting the post and Cullen nearly doubling his tally but the Robins failed to threaten the home goal.
As a result of the defeat Nigel Pearson’s side are 14th now going into the international period. They have won once in five matches and have only scored two goals from open play in that period.
The hosts started on the front foot and Joel Piroe fired a shot in the opening attack as part of a warning sign to City. The visitors’ first chance came from Mark Sykes who fired a 30-yard shot at Andy Fisher but the home goalkeeper was easy to it.
Approaching the half-hour mark, Swansea put Max O’Leary to work with Harry Darling forcing him in to a much-needed save from his powerful header. Former Robins midfielder Liam Walsh tried to score on the follow up but his attempt was blocked.
Swansea opened the scoring through Liam Cullen who netted his seventh goal of the campaign in simple fashion. Olivier Ntcham picked the ball up and thread it through to the forward to hit a low left-footed to the right-hand side of O’Leary comfortably beaten.
City did push for an equaliser in the first-half and the closest they went was former Swans loanee Andy King getting a shot blocked, but that nearly opened up a counter-attack for the hosts, but they could not break fast enough.
At half-time, Pearson changed things as Weimann replaced Tanner, pushing Sykes to right-back, and letting Weimann attack from the flanks. It didn’t have the desired outcome though as Piroe hit the post for the home side. It prompted another substitution with Anis Mehmeti replacing Harry Cornick. Nahki Wells then came on for Sam Bell, pushing Weimann back to right-wing.
Swansea doubled their lead with 12 minutes remaining as a ball wasn’t cleared and man-of-the-match Ntcham was able to sneak a ball under O’Leary in a crowded penalty box. In the aftermath, Omar Taylor-Clarke was forced off with an injury and was replaced by Kane Wilson, who made his first competitive appearance since October.
City fans cheered in the second minute of additional time as they thought they had pulled a goal back but the linesman flag brought the celebrations to an early end. Weimann was adjudged to have been offside when he headed the ball past Andy Fisher.
Bristol City (4-3-3): Max O’Leary; George Tanner (Andi Weimann, 46), Zak Vyner, Cam Pring, Jay Dasilva; Omar Taylor-Clarke (Kane Wilson, 78), Alex Scott; Mark Sykes, Harry Cornick (Anis Mehmeti, 61), Sam Bell (Nahki Wells, 67)
Yellow Cards: Nahki Wells , Mark Sykes 82’
Swansea City (4-3-3): Andy Fisher; Ryan Manning, Nathan Wood, Ben Cabango, Harry Darling; Olivier Ntcham (Matthew Sorinola 90+), Matt Grimes, Luke Cundle (Morgan Whittaker, 71), Liam Cullen (Jamie Paterson, 61), Liam Walsh (Oli Cooper, 71), Joel Piroe.
Goals: Liam Cullen 34, Olivier Ntcham 78’
Yellow Cards: Joel Piroe 82, Ryan Manning 82.