Let’s take a look at some of the main causes of discussion from yesterday’s evening’s Emirates FA Cup Fifth-Round Proper replay between Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea City and Jos Luhukay’s Sheffield Wednesday at the Liberty Stadium, as Carvalhal tasted sweet victory against his former club.
Ayew Opens Scoring For Triumphant Hosts
Explosive striker Jordan Ayew is loving life at Swansea this campaign and with his brother Andre cup-tied from the start, he continued his impressive scoring form.
The Ghanaian was introduced at half-time with Carvalhal looking to set the cat amongst the pigeons as the Sky Bet Championship visitors had proved a tough nut to crack up until that point and even threatened themselves at times, forcing a number of saves out of Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
And this was what he was able to do, instantly striking fear into the Wednesday defenders by posing a constant threat to goal, whether it be shooting himself or laying off teammates in the second period.
Ayew’s moment came in the 55th minute when Tom Carroll let one fly from range and it incredibly struck both posts and bounced back out, however, he was waiting for it to poach easily past Cameron Dawson between the sticks.
The strike was former Aston Villa man’s ninth of the season in all competitions and his second in football’s oldest competition, leaving his manager hoping that his run can carry on in a key Premier League encounter with West Ham United at the weekend.
Dyer Wraps Things Up For Carvalhal’s Men
After Ayew had grabbed the opener for the home side, the job was still far from complete for the Premier League outfit, they still needed another blow to get over the line and they got this with relative ease.
The extra goal came courtesy of a man who had played a part of his team’s first earlier in the affair, a star who was fresh from netting twice in Swansea’s replay thrashing of Notts County 8-1 in the previous round.
This was, of course, speedy English winger Nathan Dyer, whose goals against County were his first of the campaign in any competition, all three of his strikes this season have come in the FA Cup.
This particular one arrived ten minutes from time, Ayew winning the ball back in midfield and feeding England youngster Tammy Abraham to slip Dyer clean through on goal, squeezing an effort underneath Dawson and into the back of the net.
His finish was the final piece of the puzzle on the night for the Welsh team and sent the majority of supporters home with smiles on their faces in the sub-zero Swansea conditions, apart from those making the lengthy trip back to Sheffield.
Britton Makes Swans Return As His Boss Gets Wednesday Revenge
Aside from the result, it would be a very special night for two members of the home contingent for very different reasons in midfielder Leon Britton and manager Carvalhal.
The former made his return from an injury that has seen him out of action since mid-October, a time in which he has been caretaker manager of the team he has long represented.
The 35-year-old midfielder will be hoping that he can re-assume the captain’s armband and remain fit for the rest of the campaign, looking to guide the Swans to top flight safety and cup glory.
Meanwhile, his manager was facing off with the second-tier team that he left by mutual consent as gaffer just before Christmas amid a sluggish start to the season in the league, and managed to salvage revenge against them last night.
But, there is little doubting that the Spaniard will look back fondly on the twist of fate as it landed him where he is today and allowed him to make the move to Wales where he is flourishing, could it be topped off by avoiding relegation and further progression in this competition?
Welshmen Book Quarter-Finals Spot
The above point will all depend on, of course, who the Welsh club’s opponents may be in the last eight of the tournament, which they have reached themselves for the first time in 54 years.
This will rest on the outcome of this week’s other replay which is set to take place on Wednesday evening at Wembley stadium, Tottenham Hotspur host Rochdale.
The winner of the clash will be doing battle away from home with Carvalhal’s men in the quarter-final stages, vying for a spot in the Wembley Semi-Finals, a step closer to the sought-after Final.
Spurs are the favourites to be joining City in the quarters, but the fact that the Dale were able to cause a shock by getting a draw at Spotland in the first encounter will fill them with doubt.
However, whoever it may be that the Swans welcome to the Liberty in the next round, they will be feeling confident having only lost twice in 2018, despite being the first PL side in over ten years to be taken to replays in the third, fourth and fifth rounds of the FA Cup.
So, now that the matter of Emirates FA Cup action has been attended to for Swansea for the next few weeks at least and Wednesday another year, both teams attentions will now turn to domestic league football, it’s now time to find out who they’ll be facing next.
The crucial matchups are coming thick and fast for Carvalhal’s men, who slipped back into the bottom three with defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend, they play host to fellow strugglers West Ham on Saturday afternoon.
Whereas, Luhukay’s men are back in the West at the weekend, travelling to face off with high-flyers Bristol City in the Championship, they’re currently sitting in 17th in the standings.
Meanwhile, AFC will have just under a month to wait until they contest a spot in the final four with either Tottenham or Rochdale in South Wales, with the tie taking place over the weekend of 16-19 March, join us tomorrow once again for fallout from the week’s other replay to find out who they will be hosting.