Image: Football Soccer – Swansea City v Watford – Barclays Premier League – Liberty Stadium – 18/1/16 Swansea’s Ashley Williams celebrates scoring their first goal Reuters / Rebecca Naden Livepic
Swansea City climbed out of the relegation zone after a first-half header by captain Ashley Williams gave them a 1-0 win over Watford on Monday just hours after they named Francesco Guidolin as their new head coach.
The 60-year old, appointed until the end of the season to work alongside caretaker manager Alan Curtis, watched from the terraces as Swansea leapfrogged Newcastle into 17th position on 22 points from as many games, one more than the Magpies.
Watford stayed 12th on 29 points, having suffered a fourth successive defeat after a bright spell in December, when striker Odian Ighalo was named the Premier League’s player of the month and coach Quique Sanchez Flores bagging the managerial award.
Reeling after winning just one of their last 11 games, Swansea produced a gritty performance and were rewarded with a 27th-minute winner, when Williams rose above his markers to head home a Ki Sung-Yueng cross from the right.
Watford were more purposeful after the break but failed to create a single clear-cut chance at Liberty Stadium and were lucky not to concede a second when substitute Bafetimbi Gomis rattled the post in stoppage time.
“It was one of our better performances of the season,” Curtis told Sky Sport television. “We could have done with the second goal but it is a huge three points.
“The crowd played a huge part as well. Everyone is delighted and it is the start of a long road between now and the end of the season.
“I’m sure the new manager will be more than pleased with what he saw.”
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic and Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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