Swansea City closed the gap on the leaders at the top of the Championship as they beat bitter rivals Cardiff City 1-0 on Sunday.

Ben Wilmot’s first half goal was enough to give three points to Steve Cooper’s side as they moved two points behind West Brom at the top of the table.

Steve Cooper’s side moved to within two points of West Brom

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Steve Cooper’s side moved to within two points of West Brom

This was the first south Wales derby since February 2014 when Garry Monk marked his first game as Swansea manager with a 3-0 win over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Cardiff.

Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge were among the scorers that day, and the pair both started as Swansea boss Cooper made six changes in an attempt to arrest a run of poor form.

Swansea had picked up only one point from four home games, while Cardiff were also short on wins with two from their previous 10 outings.

Nathan Dyer impressed for Swansea in their win against Cardiff

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Nathan Dyer impressed for Swansea in their win against Cardiff

Sean Morrison saw his early near-post effort gathered, but the captain gave Cardiff concern when he fell awkwardly and needed lengthy treatment on a wrist injury.

Swansea quickly settled into their passing rhythm with Matt Grimes and George Byers shining in midfield and Andre Ayew relishing his lone-striker role.

Ayew raced onto a 10th-minute through ball from Byers and Cardiff were grateful to Lee Peltier’s goal-line intervention.

Bersant Celina almost punished goalkeeper Neil Etheridge’s poor clearance from inside his own half and Grimes fired over from 20 yards as Swansea continued to press.

The pressure was rewarded after 24 minutes when Swansea worked a short-corner routine and Routledge crossed for the unmarked Wilmot to power his header home.


Morrison deflected Ayew’s shot into the side-netting, with the Ghana striker heading wide from the resulting corner as Cardiff again neglected their defensive duties.

The pattern remained the same after the restart with Swansea bossing midfield and breaking quickly, and Grimes’ angled drive forced Etheridge into swift action.

Celina also prodded goalwards from a Jake Bidwell cross and Etheridge again collected comfortably at his near post.

Cardiff finally stirred from their slumber, with Swansea goalkeeper Freddie Woodman saving twice in as many minutes.

Woodman shovelled away Morrison’s header and then held Gavin Whyte’s volley on his line after Joe Ralls delivered an excellent cross to the far post.

Dyer and Celina had chances to extend the lead, but Swansea held on to celebrate the sweetest of victories.

Paul Cook saw his Wigan side pick up a point at Bristol City

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Paul Cook saw his Wigan side pick up a point at Bristol City

In Sunday’s other Championship fixture, Bristol City missed out on a chance to go second as they drew 2-2 at home to Wigan.

Lee Johnson’s side went ahead after 39 minutes through Andreas Weimann and it looked on track to be heading into the automatic promotion places.

Wigan levelled on the stroke of half-time, though, when Cheyenne Dunkley scored to make it 1-1 at the break.

Dunkley added his second after 53 minutes to complete the comeback for Paul Cook’s side.

They were denied all three points in the closing stages of the match when Pedro Pereira equalised four minutes from the end.

Bristol City moved back into the play-off places with that point but there are still just five points that separate the top 11 sides in the Championship.

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