Swansea City secured their third home win on the bounce as Matt Grimes’ first goal of the campaign proved enough against Rotherham United.
Steve Cooper was without a number of key players for the visit of the Millers, although his side carried the greater threat throughout at the Liberty Stadium.
And they took the lead in the first half as captain Grimes struck from the edge of the box.
Liam Cullen, Jamal Lowe, Jake Bidwell and Yan Dhanda all had chances to make the triumph more convincing before the visitors applied some late pressure.
But, ultimately, Swansea proved they can cope without a number of vital men as they strengthened their place in the Championship’s top six with victory over Paul Warne’s side.
The Swans made four changes from the 1-0 loss to Norwich City before the international break.
Two of those were enforced, with Cullen and Ben Cabango coming in for the injured Andre Ayew and Marc Guehi.
It was Cullen’s first ever league start for the Swans, and the Wales Under-21 international was coincidentally a mascot when this fixture took place at the Liberty Stadium in 2006.
Dhanda and Grimes also came into the starting XI, with Kasey Palmer and Korey Smith dropping to the bench.
The absence of Ayew and Guehi meant Connor Roberts is now the only man to start every single league game for the Swans this term.
And there were more concerns before a ball had even been kicked as it was revealed Jordon Garrick and Viktor Gyokeres missed out after returning positive coronavirus tests.
But as far as matters on the pitch were concerned, the Swans looked to start on the front foot and targeted the Millers’ right flank.
The first chance of the game fell to Cullen who rose above the Rotherham defence to head Grimes’ corner goalwards, although Jamal Blackman reacted well to palm away the academy product’s effort.
In truth, there was precious little to shout about, with Rotherham carrying a threat from set-pieces while Swansea – who were marginally the better side – looked to do more on the deck.
And after Matt Crooks had a shot blocked, Swansea broke through Lowe who looked to pick out Cullen on the edge of the box from the right wing, although goalkeeper Blackman was alert to the danger.
But the hosts found the breakthrough just before the half hour mark as Rotherham could only clear Roberts’ corner to Grimes who saw his driven shot from the edge of the 18-yard box take a slight deflection before rippling the back of the net.
Blackman no doubt should have done better, but Grimes will have been delighted to notch what was his first goal of the campaign and his first since the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough under Graham Potter in April 2019.
It really gave the hosts a lift, and they well and truly clicked in attack as Bidwell’s driven cross found Lowe at the back post after good play from Dhanda and Cullen, although the striker volleyed over, albeit from an offside position.
Lowe then wasted a glorious opportunity after Roberts’ sheer persistence saw him keep the ball in play before he picked out the summer signing in the box, but the former Wigan man could only strike the post with the goal at his mercy.
Freddie Woodman had been a mere spectator for long periods, although he hacked clear as George Hirst threatened before making a routine save to deny Jamie Lindsay at the end of the half to ensure Swansea deservedly led at the break.
Cullen’s only senior goal for the Swans came in the memorable 4-1 win over Reading at the Madejski Stadium in July, and he had two opportunities in quick succession to bag his first Liberty goal after the restart.
Blackman made a routine save to deny the 21-year-old with the first effort, and the youngster was unable to make a strong contact with his second chance after being teed up by Roberts following Grimes’ deep cross into the box.
Rotherham improved, although they struggled to carry much of a threat.
Dhanda was well denied by Blackman from a free-kick before Jay Fulton headed over from the resulting corner.
Wayne Routledge replaced Cullen with 17 minutes left on the clock, and the home side should have gone 2-0 up soon after as Lowe squared to Bidwell, but his shot was superbly blocked by Wes Harding.
Bidwell then headed wide from a tight angle after being picked out by Dhanda, who was duly replaced by Palmer, as Swansea went in for the kill.
However, Swansea survived a major penalty scare four minutes from time as the ball appeared to brush the arm of Ryan Bennett on his own goal line, but referee Matthew Donohue refused to point to the spot.
Rotherham continued to press and forced Woodman into an error, although substitute Smith cleared off his own line before Angus MacDonald fired over at the death as Cooper’s men withstood a late barrage of pressure to claim all three points.
Want the latest Swansea City news straight to your inbox?
Join hundreds of Swans fans in getting the breaking news, transfer gossip and big interviews sent to your inbox on a daily basis.
Sign up below and then each day at 4pm you’ll receive a handy round-up of all the day’s latest news with links to read the full articles.
All you have to do is click here and select the Swans newsletter.
The best part? It’s completely free!
Swansea City: Woodman; Cabango, Bennett, Naughton; Roberts, Fulton, Grimes (C), Bidwell; Dhanda (Palmer 76); Cullen (Routledge 73), Lowe (Smith 87).
Subs not used: Benda, Rushesha, Williams, O Cooper, Manning, Latibeaudiere.
Goal: Grimes 28
Yellow cards: Bennett 32
Rotherham United: Blackman; Olosunde (Clarke 46), Ihiekwe (C), MacDonald, Harding; Jozefzoon (Vassell 62), Lindsay (Miller 46), Crooks, Barlaser, Wiles; Hirst (Smith 53).
Subs not used: Johansson, Jones, Thompson.
Yellow cards: Barlaser 45+1
Referee: Matthew Donohue
You can re-live the match updates in full below: