West Ham 1-0 Swansea: Kouyate Grabs Winner as Hammers Edge Tight Affair to Ease Pressure on Bilic

Alex Gidden
90Min

Cheikhou Kouyate ​produced a rare moment of quality to help ease the pressure on West Ham manager Slaven Bilic and grab the East London side a vital three points against Swansea City.

The midfielder's fine finish a minute before half-time proved to be enough to separate the two sides in a contest that did little to entertain the watching 60,000 inside the London stadium. 

Whilst the victory was by no means pretty, it will at least calm the Hammers' relegation fears, although the same cannot be said for the visitors, who were timid once again and are fast running out of time to avoid the drop.


FBL-ENG-PR-WEST HAM-SWANSEA

With the hosts coming into the game on the back of a five-match losing streak, they started on the front foot, but in truth, rarely tested Lukasz Fabianksi in the opening 20 minutes.

The Pole was ready when called into action though, and did well to stop Robert Snodgrass' header from crossing the line.


FBL-ENG-PR-WEST HAM-SWANSEA

The ever-capable Manuel Lanzini then had a couple of long range attempts, both of which flew over the bar, as the Hammers continued to look the more likely to score.

As Swansea struggled to do anything meaningful with the ball, Fabianski was on-hand once again to keep his team level when he got down well to keep Andre Ayew's low curling effort out following a mistake by Alfie Mawson on the half-hour mark.

The close call did at least wake the visitor's from their Saturday afternoon slumber as they finally started to ask a few questions of the West Ham defence. Gylfi Sigurdsson finally forcing a save from Darren Randolph with a free-kick.

As the half-time whistle approached, a sombre home crowd came were finally given something to cheer about when Cheikhou Kouyate made the breakthrough. Picking up the ball from midfield, the Senegalese burst forward and unleashed a fierce low drive from the edge of the area that flew past the diving Fabianski and into the bottom right hand corner. 

FBL-ENG-PR-WEST HAM-SWANSEA

The Hammers nearly doubled their lead moments after the interval but full-back Sam Byram was only able to find the side-netting from a tight angle. 

Despite making a number of attacking substitutions at half-time, Paul Clement saw very little improvement from his side in the first 15 minutes of the second-half. As time wore on, they did at least begin to see more of the ball but it was West Ham who still offered more of a goal threat as a Lanzini free-kick flew inches over.


West Ham United v Swansea City - Premier League

With the match entering the final stages, a couple of opportunities finally presented themselves to Swansea, however, Leroy Fer failed to react in time to convert a Sigurdsson corner before substitute Luciano Narsingh blazed over a minute later after he had been put through on goal.

As the Swans pressed for an equaliser, they were indebted to Fabianksi yet again when the keeper made another good save to deny Ayew. 


West Ham United v Swansea City - Premier League

The Polish shot-stopper was then relieved to see Johnathan Calleri's volley crash into the side netting with what proved to be the last real effort on goal from either team, as Swansea failed to mount a serious assault on the Hammers goal late on and subsequently slipped to their 19th league defeat of the season.

A first win for over a month will be a major boost for West Ham as they go eight points clear of the bottom three. The win is also likely to dispel talk of Bilic's possible exit from the club, however things are less rosy for the away side, who looked low on confidence and remain in the drop zone with just six games left to save their Premier League status. 


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