Aston Villa 0 Swansea 2: Early bird Dyer helps Swans break away duck
on such a high, Villa made a terrible start to the new year as Swansea snatched an early lead following a blunder by Warnock. The defender needlessly lost possession in his own half and Dyer took full advantage, collecting the loose ball, driving into the box and firing a shot into the corner of the net.
The hosts looked to make a quick response, but Gabriel Agbonlahor appeared to be put off by his team-mate Bent as he headed Charles N”Zogbia”s cross wide, and Swansea then went close to doubling their advantage, Andrea Orlandi given the space to advance before flashing a strike across Guzan”s goal.
No stopping that: Wayne Routledge (left) blasts Swansea”s second goal into the net
Centre of attention: Routledge celebrates with Andrea Orlandi (left) and Dyer (right)
Stephen Ireland saw an effort deflected behind and James Collins a header saved as Villa attempted to get back on level terms, but a cross-cum-shot from Dyer in between issued another warning at the other end.
Warnock suffered more embarrassment just before the half hour mark as he was left for dead by Dyer, whose cut-back was met by Graham to bring a stop out of Guzan.
Last game in the shirt Villa striker Darren Bent (left) has been linked with Liverpool
N”Zogbia blazed a free-kick over the bar and Swansea were soon breaking forward again, this time Orlandi teeing up Graham, who sent his shot just wide.
Villa struggled to muster much in way of reply and were grateful that the damage was not greater by the time the interval came. Within just two minutes of the restart, though, the hosts had fallen further behind, with another error on their part playing a role.
Over the bar: Villa midfielder Charles N”Zogbia (right) tries his luck with a free-kick
Guzan sent his goal-kick to a white shirt and the ball came to former Villa man Routledge, who burst forward, laid on a pass for Graham and then reacted swiftly when the striker hit the post, tucking away the rebound to register his first goal for Swansea.
There was no let-up, with Orlandi almost slipping in Graham, and Richard Dunne summed up Villa”s frustrations when he shoved over Dyer, picking up a booking in the process.
Perfectly timed: Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov (left) tackles Routledge in full flight
After N”Zogbia”s shot was blocked and Dunne headed over, it was then the Villa fans who vented their anger, making their displeasure known at McLeish”s decision to substitute Ireland for Albrighton.
Ciaran Clark tried to turn and shoot in the Swansea box, but the ball was taken away from him before he could pull the trigger.
Bad day at the office: Villa manager Alex McLeish was greeted with boos at the final whistle
The visitors continued to threaten, with Dunne doing just enough to ensure Graham”s shot could not trouble Guzan and the goalkeeper then managing to stop Joe Allen squeezing through.
N”Zogbia nearly pulled one back at the death, but his shot hit the goal frame and the boos rang out around the ground from Villa fans at the final whistle as another home loss was confirmed.
Despairing dive: Swansea striker Danny Graham shoots past Villa defender Richard Dunne