West Brom 0-2 Swansea City: Joel Piroe and Cyrus Christie strikes earn Russell Martin’s men fine victory

Joel Piroe and Cyrus Christie both struck in the second-half to earn Swansea City an impressive 2-0 win over West Brom at The Hawthorns Stadium.

The Swans have endured some torrid moments on the road of late but looked far more like the side Russell Martin would like during the contest with Steve Bruce’s outfit.

Piroe notched his 15th goal of the campaign to put Swansea ahead late on before January signing Christie put the icing on the cake six minutes later as the Swans earned a huge three points while keeping their 13th Championship clean sheet in the process.

A nine-day break afforded Swansea the chance to pick the bones out of the wretched 4-0 loss to Sheffield United ahead of the trip to the Midlands.

Prior to the contest, head coach Martin revealed Kyle Naughton and Hannes Wolf were available following thigh and hamstring injuries respectively, with both being thrown straight into the starting line-up against the baggies.

The other alteration from the Bramall Lane battering saw Michael Obafemi start, with Finley Burns, Joel Latibeaudiere and Olivier Ntcham all dropping to the bench.

Having started so many away games poorly of late, the Swans will have been pleased with the levels of control they enjoyed in what were grim conditions owing to the continuous rain.

Clear cut openings were at a premium early on, but it was West Brom who had the best chance as Dara O’Shea’s cross found Callum Robinson unmarked on the edge of Swansea’s six-yard box, although his header struck the base of Andy Fisher’s post .

While there were no rewards when it came to the scoreboard, the visitors were able to take plenty of encouragement from their boldness in building attacks from the back.

Goalkeeper Johnstone remained untested, although the home fans – who had seen just one win in the 12 matches prior to the Monday night encounter – grew increasingly restless given the Swans’ dominance of the ball.

Former Swan Kyle Bartley drilled wide following a set-piece before Grady Diangana was unable to flick Robinson’s cross goalwards late on in the opening half.

But the Swans created two significant opportunities before the half-time whistle was sounded.

Captain Matt Grimes fired just wide from the edge of the box before Christie’s bullet header from a Ryan Manning cross was palmed away by Johnstone to ensure the score remained level at the break.

It was far from perfect, although it was an improvement from those in the striking coral kit.

The 750 or so members of the Jack Army were encouraged and thought they had a goal to celebrate four minutes after the restart, although Piroe could only drill against the post from an acute angle.

The game was there to be won for both sides.

Wolf and Ben Cabango had shots blocked in quick succession before Diangana was denied by Fisher.

Obafemi spurned a glorious chance to put his side in front as he could only head Manning’s cross over from close range with 20 minutes left on the clock.

Robinson then curled against the post as Ntcham replaced Paterson late on.

The Frenchman made an instant impact by beating two markers before squaring to Piroe who drilled through the legs of Johnstone to send the fans away into raptures.

Korey Smith replaced Obafemi to shore things up defensively, and Christie drilled home his second goal for the club five minutes from time to earn his side their fourth away league triumph of the campaign with a showing that offered huge hope going forwards.

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West Brom: Johnstone; O’Shea (Furlong 46), Ajayi, Bartley (C), Townsend; Molumby (Grant 77), Mowatt, Reach (Castro 65), Diangana, Robinson; Carroll.

Subs not used: Button, Gardner-Hickman, Kipre, Clarke.

Swansea City: Fisher; Cabango, Naughton, Manning; Wolf, Downes, Grimes (C), Christie; Paterson (Ntcham 77), Piroe (Joseph 90+2); Obafemi (Smith 83).

Subs not used: Hamer, Burns, Latibeaudiere, Fulton.

Yellow cards: Downes 33, Cabango 64

Goals: Piroe 79, Christie 85

Referee: Dean Whitestone

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