Swansea will begin 2021 in third place in the Sky Bet Championship after being held to a goalless draw by Reading.
Steve Cooper’s side had been second at the start of the day, but Brentford’s win earlier in the evening bumped them down a place, and they trail the Bees by a point.
Reading will be happy with that point, especially after some excellent saves from Rafael – denying Andre Ayew on more than one occasion – kept them level. They remain sixth in the table.
Reading hold Swansea at the Liberty
It was Swansea who had the better of the game and the better of the chances in the first half. After 33 minutes Ayew had the chance to head home a great cross from Connor Roberts, but saw his effort saved well by Rafael. Four minutes later Marc Guehi should have scored as the ball fell perfectly to him six yards out following a corner, but he could only blaze over the bar.
There was a blow for Swansea early in the second half as defender Ryan Bennett was forced off with injury. His replacement Joel Latibeaudiere, however, nearly forced the opener just after coming on, as he rose highest on 55 minutes to meet a cross in the box, but saw his effort brilliantly saved by Rafael down low to his left.
And Rafael was at it again on 71 minutes, once again brilliantly reacting to deny Ayew’s close-range header that seemed destined for the goal.
Reading had their own chance to win it late on as Tom McIntyre got free at the near post from a corner, but his headed effort was brilliantly tipped over by Freddie Woodman.
Man of the match – Andre Ayew
Sky Sports’ Lee Hendrie:
“He stood out a million miles for me. He’ll be disappointed he didn’t score and didn’t put the icing on the cake, but his overall play was brilliant.”
Both sides are next in action at 3pm on Saturday, January 2. Swansea host Watford at the Liberty Stadium, while Reading travel to the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield.