Swans on 36 points in Premier League table
Federico Fernandez scored his first Swansea City goal to earn a crucial 1-0 win over Aston Villa in a tense encounter at the Liberty.
In a game of few chances, the Argentinian's intervention proved the difference with keeper Brad Guzan punching Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick into Fernandez's shoulder, with the ball bouncing into the net.
That was enough to earn the Swans victory, with this win moving Francesco Guidolin's side up to 15th - 11 points above third-bottom Sunderland, who have two games in hand - with seven games to play.
The Swans made three changes to the starting XI.
Stephen Kingsley - who made his first Premier League start in the win at Arsenal earlier this month - got the nod at left-back in place of Neil Taylor, who missed out due to a series of minor knocks.
Ki Sung-Yueng returned to midfield, with Wayne Routledge moving to the bench, while Bafe Gomis led the line with Alberto Paloschi among Francesco Guidolin's substitutes, which also includes Jefferson Montero, who missed last weekend's trip to Bournemouth with flu.
Swans head coach Guidolin was back in the dugout for the first time after missing the games against Arsenal, Norwich City and Bournemouth with a chest infection.
SWANS: Lukasz Fabianski, Angel Rangel, Federico Fernandez, Ashley Williams (capt), Stephen Kingsley (Wayne Routledge, 86), Jack Cork, Ki Sung-Yueng (Leon Britton, ht), Leroy Fer, Modou Barrow (Kyle Naughton, 79), Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bafe Gomis.
SUBS: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Jordi Amat, Jefferson Montero, Alberto Paloschi.
ASTON VILLA: Brad Guzan, Ciaran Clark, Idrissa Gueye, Ashley Westwood, Joleon (capt), Jordan Veretout (Andre Green, 61), Jordan Ayew, Alan Hutton, Carles Gil (Gabriel Agbonlahor, 74), Rudy Gestede, Aly Cissokho.
SUBS: Mark Bunn, Jores Okore, Leandro Bacuna, Scott Sinclair, Carlos Sanchez.
It proved a pretty uneventful first half at the Liberty, with the Aston Villa looking the more lively of the teams.
Jordan Ayew - brother of Swans star Andre - carved open the first opportunity after eight minutes as he robbed Jack Cork of possession before racing on and firing over from the edge of the box.
At the other end, Cork dived in to head Gylfi Sigurdsson's outswinging corner wide while the Icelandic midfielder's finely-thread through ball found Modou Barrow in the box, but he was flagged offside.
Villa then saw Rudy Gestede head straight at Lukasz Fabianski, before the striker's overhead kick was headed out for a corner by Ashley Williams.
From the resulting corner, Ciaran Clark rose highest but the defender's header flew over the crossbar.
That was the end of a low-key first-half, with both sides heading into the break on level terms.
HALF-TIME: Swans 0 Aston Villa 0
The Swans made a change at the break as Leon Britton come on in place of Ki Sung-Yueng.
And within ten minutes of the restart the Swans got the goal they were looking for.
Sigurdsson's inswinging free-kick was punched by Brad Guzan into Federico Fernandez's shoulder with the ball dropping into the net for the Argentinian's first goal for the club.
The Swans - and the crowd - were buoyed by the goal, but Villa did well to contain the hosts from adding to their lead.
In fact, they went close to an equaliser with 17 minutes to go as Joleon Lescott met Carles Gil's dangerous corner, but his header bounced into Fabianski's hands.
Head coach Francesco Guidolin made another change as the game entered the 78th minute as Kyle Naughton replaced the lively Barrow.