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21:55 19th October 2015

REPORT: Potters Down The Swans

STOKE CITY returned to Barclays Premier League action following the international break with a well organised victory at Swansea City.

Bojan’s 4th minute penalty proved to be the decisive goal of the game and in the process secure the Potters their third successive league victory and inflict a first home defeat of the season for the Swans.

The triumph at the Liberty Stadium also saw Stoke gain their first win in South Wales in over 20 years and their first away at Swansea in the Premier League era.

Mark Hughes made two changes to the side that had beaten Aston Villa before the international break.

Xherdan Shaqiri returned from injury to make his first appearance since being forced off against Bournemouth last month while Joselu was handed his second start of the campaign, leading the Potters line in South Wales.

Mame Diouf missed out after being granted compassionate leave while Jonathan Walters did not travel after picking up a groin strain in training.

Stoke got off to a flying start with just four minutes on the clock when Bojan burst forward from halfway, drawing Ashley Williams into a challenge in the area before being bundled over and winning a penalty.

The Spaniard stepped up to confidently smash the ball into the top right corner, sending Lukasz Fabianski the wrong way and grab his second goal of the campaign.

Swansea were left to rue several half-chances before the 20 minute mark.

Jonjo Shelvey fired a free-kick from 25-yards well over the crossbar before Bafetimbi Gomis headed a cross from the right wide.

The Potters were almost a casualty of their own doing midway into the half after Jack Butland miscontrolled a pass back that spun a yard in-front of him.

Despite pressure from Swansea forward Andre Ayew, the England international did well to remain alert and win the ball with a sliding challenge outside his area.

It took Stoke some time to re-find their momentum after going ahead so early on, but created a spell of possession just before the half-hour mark.

Joselu connected brilliantly with Shaqiri’s dink toward the edge of the area to send a spectacular overhead effort over.

Shaqiri was involved once again moments later, picking out Glen Johnson who dragged a shot well wide of goal before another slick move came to nothing when Charlie Adam sliced a long range effort off target.

Despite the hosts seeing plenty of the ball, the Potters set up well and kept the Swans at bay as they went into the break with a one goal advantage.

HT: Swansea City 0-1 Stoke City

The second half started relatively quiet with both sides creating several non-threatening attempts on goal.

Stoke had the ball in the net on 55 minutes when Marko Arnautovic poked Erik Pieters’ cross into the bottom corner from 7 yards, but the Austrian was rightly called up for being a yard offside.

Swansea then had their best effort of the game just minutes later.

Referee Robert Madley correctly played advantage deep in the Stoke half before Shelvey found space down the right side of the penalty area and drive a thunderous effort that had the inside of the post rattling.
Substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson then had Butland scrambling on 69 minutes. The Icelandic international unleashed an outstanding right footed effort from 30 yards, which whistled agonisingly wide of the upright.

The Potters continued to defend resolutely and remained well organised as the hosts saw more of the ball upon the final 10 minutes of the game.

Eder saw an effort go wide from just inside the area, before Ki sent a misjudged header at the near post well off target as Stoke saw out the game to record all three points in South Wales.

FT: Swansea City 0-1 Stoke City


    The Potters played out four replays to finally beat Bury in the FA Cup in 1955