Swansea 0 Stoke 1: Stoke climbed above Swansea in the Premier League table as Bojan Krkic’s early penalty saw the Potters win back-to-back top-flight games for the first time since December 2011.
The game’s decisive moment came as early as the fourth minute when Ashley Williams brought down Bojan and the Spaniard confidently tucked away his second goal of the season to send Stoke to a 1-0 victory which moves them to 11th place in the Premier League.
But Swansea might wonder whether they should have played against 10 men for most of the night following goalkeeper Jack Butland’s rash challenge on Andre Ayew outside the area after 17 minutes.
Butland took a bad touch from Geoff Cameron’s back pass and as 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 and reached for the red card.
Referee Robert Madley, however, judged it a fair challenge and waved play on much to Swansea’s obvious displeasure.
Stoke started brightly and Bojan slipped past Federico Fernandez and tempted Williams into a careless challenge which was firmly punished from the spot, the fourth penalty in the last five fixtures between the two clubs.
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.
For Swansea, their worrying slide continues and they now fall to 14th place in the Premier League table.
Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Shelvey, Cork (Ki 59), Barrow (Sigurdsson 59), Ayew (Eder 80), Montero, Gomis.
Butland, Johnson, Cameron, Wollscheid, Pieters, Adam (van Ginkel 70), Whelan, Shaqiri, Bojan (Ireland 79), Arnautovic (Afellay 75), Joselu.
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