Swansea City 3 Sunderland 0: Llorente double eases pressure on Bradley


Fernando Llorente scored twice as Swansea City moved out of the Premier League relegation zone and eased the pressure on manager Bob Bradley with a 3-0 win over fellow strugglers Sunderland.

Going into Saturday's fixture the Welsh side's unbelievable 5-4 victory against Crystal Palace last month served as Bradley's only win since taking over from Francesco Guidolin in October.

But, after a first half low on excitement, Swansea took control in the second 45 minutes, to send abject Sunderland to the foot of the table.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, at the heart of everything for Swansea, broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 51st minute after handball was debatably given against Jason Denayer.

Swansea needed only three minutes to double their advantage as Llorente confidently turned home a Sigurdsson corner.

Sunderland rarely looked like finding a way back into the contest and a point-blank Llorente header 10 minutes from time compounded their misery.

Chances proved few and far between in the early stages but Sunderland went close in the 20th minute as leading scorer Jermain Defoe fired a left-footed effort narrowly over the bar after a well-worked counter-attack.

Swansea were startlingly short on quality in the final third but did threaten from a set-piece as Alfie Mawson headed over Sigurdsson's free-kick.

Free-kicks continued to look like Swansea's best hope of breaking the deadlock and Jordi Amat should have done better when he failed to keep another dangerous Sigurdsson delivery down.

But Swansea almost paid the price for not adequately defending a Sunderland set-piece, Lamine Kone unfortunate to see his header from Sebastian Larsson's corner land on the roof of the net.

Defoe was unable to hit the target from outside the box after latching on to Patrick van Aanholt's pass with an intelligent run, and Sunderland conceded almost instantly.

Denayer was harshly adjudged to have handled Wayne Routledge's cross, and referee Craig Pawson showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Sigurdsson made no mistake in coolly slotting his penalty down the middle before Denayer and Didier Ndong then combined to lose the ball in midfield, leading to a Modou Barrow strike that was turned past the right-hand post by Jordan Pickford.

But Pickford could do nothing to deny Llorente from the subsequent corner, the Spaniard taking advantage of some dreadful Sunderland marking to roll Sigurdsson's low delivery into the bottom-left corner.

Only the fine reflexes of Pickford prevented Amat from atoning for his earlier miss, the Sunderland shot-stopper tipping his close-range header over after yet another Sigurdsson free-kick.

Llorente did make it 3-0, however, powering home Jefferson Montero's right-wing cross, and a disheartening afternoon for Sunderland and manager David Moyes was summed up as they were denied a late consolation when Papy Djilobodji's header was tipped onto the crossbar by Lukasz Fabianski.