Swansea hot-shot Joel Piroe struck a dramatic added-time winner as City snatched a 3-2 success that dealt a heart-breaking blow to Peterborough’s survival hopes.
The Dutch striker fired his 17th goal of a prolific season in the first minute of stoppage time to settle a Sky Bet Championship thriller and leave rock-bottom Posh looking doomed.
Piroe made no mistake with a fine left-footed finish after an initial Olivier Ntcham shot was diverted into his path by Hannes Wolf.
It ensured Russell Martin’s men left a rain-soaked Weston Homes Stadium with maximum points from a game they initially dominated before having to come from behind to triumph.
Difficult conditions predictably proved no inconvenience to a City team boasting the best possession statistics in the Championship as they controlled the opening half.
The only shock was it took until the stroke of half-time for Michael Obafemi to break the deadlock.
Frontman Obafemi had seen an early snap-shot beaten away by Swansea native Dai Cornell in the Posh goal before fluffing another glorious opportunity when scooping over from close range after a cut-back from Piroe.
Piroe was then thwarted by a full-stretch save from Cornell, but the seemingly inevitable breakthrough finally arrived in the 44th minute as Obafemi poked a shot past Cornell from a tight angle after being picked out by a defence-splitting Jamie Paterson pass.
Posh were rarely able to get the ball, let alone cause problems, in the opening half as they continue to chase a first win of 2022 – and of the second reign of boss Grant McCann.
But they were a different beast in the second period with a more positive and aggressive approach quickly paying dividends as they mounted a terrific turnaround courtesy of two goals in 12 minutes.
The terrific Ricky-Jade Jones surged down the left and delivered a perfect low pass for Sammie Szmodics to fire past City keeper Andy Fisher from close range in the 52nd minute to restore parity.
Posh looked to have suffered a major blow when Jones succumbed to a shoulder injury just after the hour, but his replacement Jack Marriott made an immediate impact to put them ahead.
The frontman was gifted a 63rd-minute goal with his first touch as he slotted past Fisher from close range after a shocking error from Kyle Naughton under pressure from Szmodics.
That was enough to lift Posh off the bottom of the table for all of eight minutes until their lead was wiped out.
Obafemi was in the right place at the right time to volley in his second goal of the night after a Cyrus Christie header from Jamie Paterson’s cross hit the near post in the 71st minute.
And even worse was to come for Posh as Piroe fired Swansea to glory late on to leave Posh seven points from safety.
What the managers said…
Peterborough’s Grant McCann: “We let Swansea dictate most of the first half. We knew what they were going to do, we had a plan to stop it, but we didn’t get it right. We reshuffled for the second half, played a lot more on the front foot and
got ourselves back into the game before going ahead. We were hoping we could then manage the game, but we sat back again which could be down to a lack of confidence and organisation.
“That defeat has hurt me – and I’ve told the players that. I can’t fault the effort but what really upset me is how we have crumbled when 2-1 up and allowed Swansea to control the last 20 minutes. When you do that against good, experienced Championship players you’ll get punished. The gap is seven points with nine games to go and most people looking at the table will say it’s over, but we’ll refocus the group and keep trying to improve.”
Swansea’s Russell Martin: “The players showed real courage to get control of the game back. We should have been out of sight by half-time and it’s just a shame it has had to take a brilliant strike from a guy in Joel to get us there in the end. He’s got such composure and a ruthless mentality in front of goal for a young man and if there’s one person you want a chance to fall to, it’s him.
“I’m really pleased to win, but it’s just that spell when we were nowhere near for 15-20 minutes in the second half… that’s why we’re where we are in the league. We’re capable of producing some incredible moments and playing some brilliant
football but the gap between when we’re really good and when we’re not is far too big. Then, all of a sudden, the guys turned it back on again.”