Bojan on the spot as Stoke sink struggling Swansea

Date published: Monday 19th October 2015 9:57

Bojan Stoke City celebration

Bojan scored an early penalty as Stoke City beat Swansea City 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium to claim a third successive Premier League victory.

Bojan converted a spot-kick he won himself following a foul by Ashley Williams in the third minute, and the Spaniard’s early contribution proved to be a match-winning one for the visitors.

Jonjo Shelvey fired an effort against the post in the second half, but Swansea rarely threatened Jack Butland’s goal and slip to 14th in the table, without a win since August.

Stoke on the other hand have recovered from a poor start to make it four wins in a row in all competitions, with games against Watford and then Chelsea in the Capital One Cup up next for Mark Hughes’ side at the Britannia Stadium.

The odds appeared stacked against the Potters going into the game as they had not won at the Liberty Stadium in four previous Premier League visits and not recorded back-to-back away wins in almost four years.

However, Stoke were the form team of the pair having won 1-0 at Aston Villa last time out, while Swansea had not won in five league and cup outings.

Those contrasting confidence levels were reflected almost instantly when Jack Cork’s mistake allowed Bojan to run at the heart of the Swansea defence.

Bojan slipped past Federico Fernandez and tempted Ashley Williams into a careless challenge which was firmly punished from the spot, the fourth penalty in the last five fixtures between the two clubs.

Bafetimbi Gomis met Cork’s cross to send a header wide, but Stoke were almost the architects of their downfall when Jack Butland’s bad touch might have landed him and his team in trouble in the 17th minute.

As Andre Ayew closed in on the ball the England goalkeeper went in to the challenge studs first. There was no doubt that Butland took the ball, but some officials might have considered his actions reckless. Referee Robert Madley, however, judged it a fair challenge and waved play on much to Swansea’s obvious displeasure.

Joselu’s acrobatic bicycle kick drifted wide at the other end before Xherdan Shaqiri created a clearer opening when his reverse pass caught Neil Taylor sleeping and Glen Johnson flashed his shot across goal.

Swansea were struggling to find any rhythm, and slick Stoke approach play between Glenn Whelan and Marko Arnautovic deserved a better finish than Charlie Adam’s wasteful effort.

The pattern remained the same after the interval with Swansea labouring for an opening and Stoke lively on the counter, Shaqiri firing wide twice and Arnautovic having the ball in the net only to be flagged for offside.

But Swansea were within inches of equalising when Jonjo Shelvey raced onto Ayew’s pass and fired under the body of Butland to strike the far post, the closest they got to scoring.

Substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson also went close with a long-range effort, but Stoke’s excellent defensive organisation kept them at bay as these sides’ contrasting recent fortunes continued.

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