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Published: Mon, May 15, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Premier League Preview: Sunderland vs. Swansea City

Premier League Preview: Sunderland vs. Swansea City

City held on for the three points and are now within touching distance of cementing a top four spot.

Swansea will stay up if Hull City lose at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

"We had a formation where, at times, we were able to keep the ball".

The Swans chalked a third clean sheet in four games (Manchester United's highly dubious penalty the only goal this club have conceded in that stretch), firmly putting the team's poor defensive record in perspective; Swansea's unusually high 69 goals against rather the product of Bob Bradley's tactically suspect 85 days in charge than any indication of the quality of the players themselves.

Fernando Llorente's early goal gave Swansea a dream start and propelled the Swans to a crucial victory.

Clement was Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Real Madrid when they lifted their 10th European Cup in 2014 and was also a part of the coaching staff when Chelsea won a league and FA Cup double in 2010.

Another assist for Sigurdsson saw him notch up his eighth of 2017, more than any other Premier League player.

By now no one believed Sunderland were about to reprise last weekend's shock win at Hull, which did so much to boost survival optimism in south Wales.

But Sunderland could and possibly should have prevented it, with the World Cup victor sending a bullet header into an empty net after Pickford came and failed to collect.

The Premier League match between Sunderland and Swansea will be broadcast live on NBCSN.

Swansea opted to consolidate their lead in the second period and they were happy to let Sunderland have the ball, with the Black Cats struggling to create anything in the final third.

As Swansea manager Paul Clement pointed out this week, it seems perverse for a side to celebrate narrowly avoiding relegation.

Sunderland's improved performance was nearly rewarded in the 66th minute through Khazri whose volley from the edge of the box was cleared away by Fabianski.

The allocation was sold out within hours, meaning Swansea will have impressive support on Wearside as they seek to extend their top-flight status into a seventh season.

And, three minutes later, full-back Billy Jones somehow shot wide from close range after Fabianski had pushed substitute Wahbi Khazri's free-kick back into a risky area.

Wahbi Khazri was the striker's replacement but it was a Seb Larsson delivery which nearly crafted a response seconds before the Tunisian's introduction, as Defoe was denied at the back post by Lukasz Fabianski.

They had a system, intelligent play and in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, two men capable of the kind of quality which has been absent for just about the full season at the Stadium of Light.

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