High-Flying Taffs Heading For Premiership?

Last updated : 27 November 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor



Swansea 1 Derby 0
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Swansea City:  De Vries, Rangel, Williams, Tate, Bessone,Orlandi (Allen 60), Pratley, Van der Gun (Butler 77), Britton,Dyer, Beattie (Trundle 90). Subs Not Used: Cornell, Dobbie, Lopez, Serran.

Federico Bessone smashed home a late winner as Swansea moved up to third in the Coca-Cola Championship with a richly-deserved victory over struggling Derby.

Paulo Sousa's side, who went into the game on the back of a 10-match unbeaten run, were in control throughout at the Liberty Stadium but were unable to apply the necessary finishing touch until Bessone's 81st-minute winner - his first goal for the club.

The Argentinian latched onto a delightful through ball from substitute Joe Allen before thumping home a left-footed shot into the top corner to the delight of the home faithful.

Although Derby defended bravely, they could have few complaints with the final result having failed to offer anything by way of an attacking threat.

And while Swansea look set to challenge at the top end of the table this season, the Rams remain in 18th - just three points clear of the relegation zone.

Swansea, who were still without the injured duo of Garry Monk and Mark Gower, recalled Andrea Orlandi in place of Allen following the latter's exertions with the Wales Under-21 side.

Derby boss Nigel Clough made two changes to the side that defeated Coventry 2-1 prior to the international break. Jake Livermore replaced Stephen Pearson, who was ruled out with a slight groin strain, while Bryan Hughes came in for Paul Dickov as Clough opted to switch to a 4-5-1 formation.

The hosts quickly settled into their stride and were almost handed the lead early on.

Derby winger Gary Teale was guilty of a woefully short backpass and Nathan Dyer skipped around goalkeeper Stephen Bywater before fiing his shot against the outside of the post from an acute angle.

Swansea remained the dominant force and started to carve out chances with regularity as the first half wore on.

Cedric van der Gun headed over from an Andrea Orlandi corner before seeing a long-range strike whistle wide, while Bywater was forced into a smart stop to tip Craig Beattie's powerful low shot around the post.

The end of the opening period saw the Swans earn a succession of corners, but Derby weathered the storm to reach the interval on level terms.

Swansea continued to hold the upper hand in the second half and Ashley Williams saw a header fly over the crossbar within two minutes of the restart.

Soon after, the impressive Dyer picked up a ball from Alan Tate before delivering a dangerous cross that narrowly evaded Beattie.

Swansea introduced Allen in place of Orlandi on the hour mark as they looked to engineer a breakthrough.

Sousa's men came close again after 70 minutes when Beattie found space in the area and fired in a left-footed shot which Bywater gathered at the second attempt.

Robbie Savage then made a superb challenge to prevent Dyer from converting a cross from Pratley, who saw an effort of his own saved by Bywater moments later.

The hosts' total dominance was finally rewarded with nine minutes remaining as Bessone latched onto Allen's pass before thundering a powerful shot past Bywater.