Swansea City vs. Stoke City  3 - 1

Article

Laudrup delighted with ´dominate´ Swansea

20 January 2013 03:22

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup was thrilled with his side's 3-1 win over Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Teenager Ben Davies scored his first senior goal while Jonathan de Guzman struck a second half double in the comfortable victory with Michael Owen nabbing a consolation goal at the death for the visitors.

The win comes at a perfect time for the Welsh side as they prepare to take on Chelsea in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday and Laudrup believes his side will now head into the tie full of confidence.

"Winning is always the perfect preparation, winning and no injuries," he said after the victory.

"I think it was a very good performance, we dominated from the first minute.

"In the first half Stoke had to defend very deep and the only bad point of the first half was we did not score from the two or three good chances we had, but apart from that I was pleased with everything.

"In the second half we continued, but I knew we needed something special to score the first goal, if we scored the first goal I was sure we would win.

"I obviously did not expect it to come from a run from the full-back, so it is great for Ben and he deserves everything for what he is doing and this will be a very special day for him.

"The second goal was a fantastic free-kick. I have seen Jonathan score a lot of these goals in training so it is nice to see it in a game and the third was the best of the afternoon."

In contrast, Stoke manager Tony Pulis admitted his side were completely outclassed as they slumped to their third successive league defeat.

"We were second best from the first whistle to the last," he said.

"Swansea were better and deserved to win. I've got no excuses.

"You have good and bad days in football and this was a bad day for us. We looked a yard short all over the pitch. We looked sluggish and sloppy.

"Whether it's the fact we played (Crystal) Palace in extra-time (in their FA Cup third-round replay in midweek) and had to travel down early and had not been able to do anything for two days because of the snow, I don't know, but it wasn't us today."

Article

Premier League: Swansea 3 Stoke 1

19 January 2013 18:17

Swansea City are unbeaten in six English Premier League games after a 3-1 win over Stoke at the Liberty Stadium.

Ben Davies opened the scoring with an excellent goal early in the second half before Jonathan de Guzman added two quality goals to seal the result.

Michael Owen added a late consolation with his first ever strike for Stoke.

Laudrup made eight changes from the loss to Arsenal midweek, Michel Vorm, De Guzman and Wayne Routledge were the only survivors.

Asmir Begovic, Glenn Whelan and Charlie Adam all returned for Stoke, with Dean Whitehead filling in at right-back while Kenwyne Jones, a Swansea target, was among the substitutes.

Swansea started the brighter of the two teams, with Pablo Hernandez dragging a shot wide of Begovic's goal in the opening minutes, before Michu miscued a volley from just outside the area after a good lay-off from Itay Shechter.

Stoke began to frustrate the hosts as the match went on, but they were struggling to get men ahead of the ball, with Peter Crouch cutting an isolated figure in attack.

Swansea's first real chance of the half came after 26 minutes when Hernandez found Michu with a long ball into the box but the Spaniard couldn't re-arrange his feet and sent his volley off target.

That was quickly followed by a chance for the visitors; Matthew Etherington should have done better as he failed to hit the target from a tight angle inside the box following a neat exchange with Adam.

Etherington then nearly handed the Swans a lead in the 36th minute when he over-played deep inside his own half, allowing Angel Rangel to dispossess him before crossing for Michu, who should have scored with his header inside the six-yard box.

The second half sparked instantly into life when Davies gave Swansea the lead with a superbly taken first goal for the club. The left-back shrugged off Jonathan Walters before skipping past Robert Huth and slotting a low right-footed finish calmly past Begovic.

Less than 10 minutes later the hosts doubled their lead through a fantastic free kick from De Guzman. Michu was fouled just outside the box, allowing the Dutchman to step up and curl a sweetly struck, right-footed effort into the top corner.

The Dutchman got himself on the scoresheet again with 10 minutes to play. He made a lung busting run to support Danny Graham, whose lay-off was sublimely controlled and De Guzman provided a finish to match.

Owen grabbed a late consolation for Stoke with his first goal for the club as a late substitute, the striker got a slight touch on Cameron Jerome's cross to take it into the net.

Article

Pulis proud of Welsh success

19 January 2013 07:03

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has spoken of his pride at Welsh clubs doing well in the English Premier League this season.

But he will be putting his sentiment to one side when Stoke face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Stoke are looking to do the double over Swansea this season, and the Welshman is eager for his side to build momentum.

"As a Welshman, it's wonderful to see the four clubs doing so well and it could turn out to be a fantastic season," Pulis told the club's website.

"As well as Swansea's success, it would be lovely to see Cardiff get into the Premier League, so that we have two Welsh clubs at that level. On top of that, Newport and Wrexham have a great chance of getting back into the League.

"First and foremost though, as manager of this football club, my focus is on us getting a result in this game, which we know will be very tough.

"Swansea have done absolutely fantastic this season. I think when Brendan Rodgers left, a lot of people thought they would implode.

"Michael Laudrup has done a fabulous job and really taken them to another level. The great thing for Swansea is that it is the fourth consecutive manager who has kept them moving forwards. You can go right back to when Kenny Jackett was there.

"People forget about the impact he made, but he really set the ball rolling and then Roberto Martinez and Brendan gave it more momentum."

Pulis is hopeful his decision to take his side to south Wales late on Thursday will have a positive impact, given the poor weather engulfing the country.

"With all the bad weather that was forecast, we didn't want the players spending six or seven hours travelling down on the Friday," he said.

"We've had a tough period in terms of matches, so there is a good deal of emphasis on rest and recuperation at the moment rather than intensive training, so hopefully the fact that we have made the early trip will work in our favour."

Article

Premier League preview: Swansea v Stoke

17 January 2013 09:39

Stoke City will look to end their English Premier League losing streak when they travel to Swansea City on Saturday.

Stoke are 10th on the table following heavy losses to European champions Chelsea and Premier League winners Manchester City in their past two league outings.

But the Staffordshire club returned to winning ways against Championship side Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Tuesday and have set their sights on securing three points at the Liberty Stadium.

"Going to Swansea is never easy because they keep hold of the ball well, and they have some top players in their team," said Stoke forward Jon Walters, who conceded two own goals and missed a penalty against Chelsea before returning to form with a brace against Palace.

"This win has given us confidence though, so we will get ourselves ready for that game and hopefully do enough to get the three points on Saturday."

Ninth-placed Swansea are seven points adrift of an unlikely European berth, but could climb as high as seventh in the standings with their eighth win of the season.

Swansea were beaten 1-0 at Arsenal in the FA Cup on Wednesday, but remain buoyed by an unbeaten run of seven matches in all competitions before their trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Michael Laudrup made six changes to the Swansea side that drew with Everton in the Premier League against Arsenal and is expected to make a similar amount of alternations on Saturday.

"We try to use the squad as much as possible," he said.

"We have played some big sides recently, but most importantly we have always been competitive.

In an intriguing side note, Stoke may be tempted to start Kenwyne Jones against the side that had a bid for the forward rejected at the weekend.

Jones has been largely unused for Stoke this season but scored the opening goal in the win against Palace.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25