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Negredo lifts goal-shy Middlesbrough past Swans

Middlesbrough (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Alvaro Negredo scored a brace as goal-shy Middlesbrough got back to winning ways before Christmas with a 3-0 success which sent Swansea deeper into the relegation zone on Saturday.

The Spanish international had netted just three times for the Premier League strugglers, failing to score in 13 of his previous 15 appearances, since his summer signing.

But the 31-year-old forward was on target after 18 minutes at the Riverside off an Adam Clayton cross and 11 minutes later converted Boro’s first penalty of the season after Jordi Amat tripped up Adam Forshaw in the box.

Dutch midfielder Marten de Roon added a third on 58 minutes off a pin-point Gaston Ramirez cross as Boro rallied to just their fourth win since promotion from the Championship.

Middlesbrough moved above champions Leicester to 14th place as Swansea dropped to second-bottom.

The defeat piles more pressure on the Welsh outfit who headed north without Federico Fernandez and Ki Sung-yueng, who were both recovering from toe injuries.

Bob Bradley’s side had gotten off to a bright enough start with Modou Barrow having a cross cut out by Ben Gibson and a Gylfi Sigurdsson shot kept out by Boro keeper Victor Valdes.

Negredo had his first chance in the 10th minute but his effort was cleared by Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Danish midfielder Viktor Fischer hobbled off for the hosts with a knee problem early but Negredo grabbed the opener when he finished off a Clayton cross with Ramirez almost grabbing a second minutes later from a free-kick after being fouled by Angel Rangel.

Boro doubled their account before the half-hour mark when Amat tripped Forshaw in the box. Negredo made no mistake to ensure the home side ended the first period well in control.

Despite the odds stacked against them Swansea continued to press forward with Sigurdsson firing over the bar and Leroy Fer effort blocked.

But Swansea’s hopes of a late consolation goal were dashed when Valdes saved from Fernando Llorente late, as the visitors slumped to second from bottom ahead of Hull on goal difference.

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  1. Harry

    December 17, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Bradley is really struggling to move Swansea in the right direction. He can still save the Swans season since there’s still a lot to play for but if this form continues they will be in such a hole that it might be difficult to avoid relegation.

    • Christopher Harris

      December 17, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      Agreed. Unfortunately, the players are not good enough to keep them in the Premier League. Bradley is doing the best he can with the players at his disposal. The big question is whether Bob Bradley will still be at Swansea by the end of the transfer window.

      • LISTEAD

        December 17, 2016 at 4:50 pm

        Chris, I agree about the players but they are doing worse than they were under Guidolin, manager has a lot to do with it. I know this won’t be popular on here or any U.S. based site but doing well in Ligue 2 and AFCON isn’t the same as in a top league.

        • LISTEAD

          December 17, 2016 at 4:51 pm

          Sorry CAF not AFCON.

        • Christopher Harris

          December 17, 2016 at 7:11 pm

          At the beginning of this season, Guidolin won one game in the 7 he managed the Swans. Bradley, while not much better, has won two games in the 10 that they’ve played. The difference is negligible.

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