Stoke 2 - 0 Swansea City: Stoke banish Euro hangover
Stoke City brought a four-match losing run in the Barclays Premier League to an end as first-half goals from Matthew Upson and Peter Crouch earned them a comfortable victory over Swansea.
Potters manager Tony Pulis made 11 changes from the side knocked out of the Europa League by Valencia in midweek and he got the result he was looking for, with Upson heading in his first goal for the club in the 24th minute before Crouch followed suit from another set-piece 15 minutes later.
Scott Sinclair missed a glorious chance for Swansea in the first two minutes and they had to wait until injury-time for another, Asmir Begovic pushing Steven Caulker’s header on to the bar.
Both managers made changes in goal, with Pulis giving Begovic his first league start in three months ahead of Thomas Sorensen, while the ill Michel Vorm was replaced by Premier League debutant Gerhard Tremmel for Swansea.
After a lively start the tempo dropped, but in the 24th minute the deadlock was broken as Upson powered in a header from a Matthew Etherington corner while Tremmel stayed on his line.
Swansea responded well and full-back Neil Taylor was allowed to run from almost half way into the heart of the penalty area before Upson blocked.
The visitors were monopolising possession but lacked a cutting edge and they were undone again six minutes before the break from another set-piece.
This time Ryan Shotton’s long throw was Stoke’s weapon and Crouch had the simple task of nodding it in past the diving Tremmel.
Swansea pressed hard in the closing stages but did not test Begovic until injury-time, when the Bosnian keeper managed to get his fingertips Caulker’s bullet header onto the bar from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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