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Swansea held by Watford in Bradley's first home game

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Gomes

Bob Bradley’s first home game as Swansea City manager ended in a goalless draw as the hosts were held by Watford.

After the two sides played out an insipid first half, Hornets keeper Heurelho Gomes made an excellent sprawling save to deny Mike van der Hoorn from close range.

Swansea poured forward in desperate search of a winner but Watford had a penalty appeal rejected when Valon Behrami fell under a challenge from Kyle Naughton.

Gylfi Sigurdsson then hit the post for the Swans, who are winless in the Premier League since the opening day of the season and stay second from bottom in the table.

Watford’s well-earned point sees them climb one place up to ninth, while Bradley’s side gained a first clean sheet since that triumph at Burnley.

Mawson shines as Swansea labour

Having begun his Swansea tenure with a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal, former USA boss Bradley took the bold decision of making five changes for his first game at the Liberty Stadium.

They included a debut for centre-back Alfie Mawson, tasked with shackling Watford’s physically imposing strike partnership of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo.

The 22-year-old, signed from Barnsley in the summer, coped well but, in truth, neither defence was properly tested in a first half in which both sides struggled to threaten.

Winless since the opening day of the season, Swansea were devoid of confidence and their hesitance in attack created a sense of anxiety inside the Liberty Stadium.

They improved vastly towards the end of the game, with Modou Barrow’s electric pace and direct running causing Watford countless problems.

But Swansea’s finishing was poor, with van der Hoorn, Fernando Llorente and Sigurdsson all squandering good chances.

Watford hold firm again

While Swansea languished in 19th, Watford went into the match in 10th, having kept their season’s first clean sheet in victory at Middlesbrough six days earlier.

Walter Mazzarri’s men were unable to seize on their opponents’ unease, and struggled to contain the Swans in the latter stages of the match.

They held firm for a second successive clean sheet, however, owing much to Gomes’ late saves and Swansea’s weak finishing.

Watford might even have snatched victory had their late penalty appeals – one for a Naughton handball and another for his perceived foul on Behrami – been successful.

But a goalless draw was perhaps a fair reflection of a match in which neither team produced enough quality to warrant three points.

Man of the match – Modou Barrow (Swansea)

Modou Barrow<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

What they said

Swansea City manager Bob Bradley told BBC Sport: “The second half was strong and we came out right from the beginning looking for a goal. It didn’t happen but there are a lot of positives.

“It was important to get a clean sheet and the play from our centre halves was solid as Deeney and Ighalo are difficult to play against. This is a step we can build on.

“I think the team we picked today made sense. There is disappointment for sure, but a shared feeling of an all-round good effort.”

Watford boss Walter Mazzarri told BBC Sport: “The first half was the best we have played and how I want my team to play. We have to be more aggressive in the last 25 metres.

“I tend to not comment on the referees, but today there were two very clear penalties for us. Those decisions are the ones that meant we did not go away with the three points.

“I was very happy with the performance because today we played in a very smooth way, we didn’t throw long balls, we played from the defence and I liked it, they are doing what I have said.”

More to follow.

Line-ups

Swansea

  • 1Fabianski
  • 26Naughton
  • 5van der Hoorn
  • 6Mawson
  • 35Kingsley
  • 7BrittonBooked at 71mins
  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 17Barrow
  • 23SigurdssonBooked at 49mins
  • 15RoutledgeSubstituted forLlorenteat 68′minutes
  • 10Bastón

Substitutes

  • 2Amat
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Fer
  • 9Llorente
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 22Rangel
  • 24Cork

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 18ZuñigaSubstituted forAmrabatat 63′minutes
  • 5Prödl
  • 4Kaboul
  • 3Britos
  • 25Holebas
  • 37Pereyra
  • 11Behrami
  • 29CapoueBooked at 45minsSubstituted forGuédiouraat 78′minutes
  • 9Deeney
  • 24Ighalo

Substitutes

  • 6Mariappa
  • 7Amrabat
  • 17Guédioura
  • 19Sinclair
  • 23Watson
  • 27Kabasele
  • 30Pantilimon
Referee:
Paul Tierney
Attendance:
20,694

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home11
Away10
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home15
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Swansea City 0, Watford 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Swansea City 0, Watford 0.

Attempt saved. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ki Sung-yueng.

Attempt saved. Adlène Guédioura (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Roberto Pereyra.

Attempt saved. Kyle Naughton (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Modou Barrow.

Modou Barrow (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by José Holebas (Watford).

Attempt missed. Nordin Amrabat (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Odion Ighalo.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Valon Behrami.

Hand ball by Odion Ighalo (Watford).

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Modou Barrow.

Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Odion Ighalo (Watford).

Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Odion Ighalo (Watford).

Offside, Watford. Heurelho Gomes tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Adlène Guédioura replaces Etienne Capoue.

Foul by Borja Bastón (Swansea City).

Sebastian Prödl (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Leon Britton (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Etienne Capoue (Watford).

Attempt saved. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Modou Barrow.

Hand ball by Nordin Amrabat (Watford).

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Sebastian Prödl.

Attempt blocked. Fernando Llorente (Swansea City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Offside, Watford. José Holebas tries a through ball, but Odion Ighalo is caught offside.

Booking

Leon Britton (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Leon Britton (Swansea City).

Nordin Amrabat (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by José Holebas.

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Fernando Llorente replaces Wayne Routledge.

Alfie Mawson (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

Foul by Modou Barrow (Swansea City).

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Mike van der Hoorn (Swansea City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross.

Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Etienne Capoue (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Nordin Amrabat replaces Juan Zuñiga.

Attempt blocked. Odion Ighalo (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

goal

Source: BBC Football Read Original Article: Swansea held by Watford in Bradley's first home game

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