Ramsey, Archer and Akpom goals earn Middlesbrough fine comeback win at Swansea
Swansea City conceded three second-half goals to suffer a 3-1 defeat against Championship promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough.
The Swans started well and took the lead in the 15th minute through what was Joel Piroe's 14th goal of the campaign.
But having defended well and limited the visitors to few clear cut chances, Boro's quality shone through as Aaron Ramsey and Cameron Archer struck in quick succession, with Chuba Akpom adding a late penalty as Swansea's woeful run of results continued, despite a largely spirited display.
READ MORE:Swansea City news as Jamie Paterson hope outlined and Russell Martin reveals 'bravest' player he's worked with
The only alteration to the line-up from the Luton Town defeat last weekend saw captain Matt Grimes replace injured Joe Allen in midfield.
Boro wasted no time in showing why they are the division's form team as they controlled possession early on, with Swansea's January transfer target Archer curling wide after four minutes following a direct run upfield by Ramsey.
But the Swans had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring a minute later as Ollie Cooper was alert to intercept in the final third, although the Welshman followed Archer in failing to bend an effort on target.
It gave the home supporters a lift though, and the groans from recent home fixtures were parked as both sides contributed to what was an entertaining affair in a lively atmosphere.
And the Swansea chants turned to cheers in the 15th minute as a prolonged period of patience on the ball was fully rewarded.
Luke Cundle found Ryan Manning in space on the left, and the Irishman's driven shot was guided into the net by Piroe.
The Swans were playing with plenty of confidence in possession while they showed energy and desire to press and defend whenever Michael Carrick's outfit got into dangerous positions.
Middlesbrough always carried a threat when they did manage to get upfield and they dominated the final stages of the first-half, but Swansea threw their bodies on the line and stuck to task, with Riley McGree curling straight at Andy Fisher with what was his side's first shot on target on the stroke of half-time.
Olivier Ntcham replaced Cooper for the second-half as the rain continued to pour in south Wales.
The Swans were not intent on sitting on their slender advantage and set about bagging a second while also grafting to keep Carrick's side well away from their own goal.
They thought they had doubled their advantage shortly after the break as Jay Fulton lashed into the net after Zack Steffen had denied Piroe from the initial effort, although the offside flag was raised.
But the four minutes that followed dramatically altered the course of the match.
Swansea failed to replicate their creativity from the earlier set-piece and were hit on the counter attack as McGree set Ramsey free, and after evading the attention of Grimes and Matty Sorinola, the attacker lashed in off the post.
It reenergised those in red and white while the 1,200-strong contingent of away supporters were sent into raptures just before the hour mark as they took the lead.
The hosts were unable to clear their lines from a corner, and Tommy Smith's scuffed effort fell nicely to Archer who headed home from close range to complete a remarkable turnaround.
Akpom ghosted beyond Joel Latibeaudiere before drilling into the side netting from an acute angle as Swansea desperately looked to regain some kind of control of the contest.
Akpom then drilled a low shot at Fisher after referee Peter Bankes played a timely advantage following a cynical shirt pull from former Boro man Nathan Wood, with Manning firing wide at the other end seconds later as the game became increasingly stretched.
Jamie Paterson replaced Cundle with 20 minutes left on the clock to get his first taste of action on home soil since the 1-0 defeat to Norwich City in the first fixture after the World Cup break.
He almost made an immediate impact as he curled goalwards following slick build-up play from Ntcham and Piroe, only for Steffen to stoop low to his left to palm the effort away.
But Swansea shot themselves in the foot 13 minutes from time as Latibeaudiere clumsily challenged McGree in his own box, and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Akpom sent Fisher the wrong way to cap off another fine away win for Boro as Swansea's winless run was stretched to five matches ahead of fixtures against Millwall and Bristol City before the international break.
• None Swansea City news as Jamie Paterson hope outlined and Russell Martin reveals 'bravest' player he's worked with
• None Jeers and groans don't help Swansea City players, they need their supporters more than ever
• None Alan Curtis insists Swansea City owners have belief Russell Martin will turn the tide after 'letting him down' in January
• None Get the latest Swansea City news into your inbox every day for FREE