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Barclays Premier League

Britannia Stadium (ATT 26,678) 26th February 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: H Webb

Stoke Stoke City vs Swansea City Swansea

Stoke 2

M Upson (24)
P Crouch (39)

ft

Stoke overpower Swans

Potters boss masterminds his side's first win in five league games

Last Updated: 27/02/12 8:31am

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Matthew Upson: Is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring the opener

Matthew Upson: Is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring the opener

Tony Pulis saw his Stoke side end a four-match losing run in the league with a 2-0 win over Swansea.

Man of the match: Peter Crouch. The giant striker's aerial prowess caused Swansea difficulties for the majority of the game Save of the match: Asmir Begovic. Stoke's goalkeeper had little to do all afternoon but in the dying moments of the game tipped Steven Caulker's header onto the bar. Miss of the match: Scott Sinclair. He ballooned over from four yards after he been teed up perfectly by his team-mate Nathan Dyer. Goal of the match: Peter Crouch. It was partly a goalkeeping mistake by Gerhard Tremmel but Crouch's movement to find the space to get his header off was top-class. Talking point: Stoke won their first league game in five matches. Have they ended their mid-season slump and can they qualify for Europe again?

First-half goals from Matthew Upson and Peter Crouch gave Stoke the foundation for them to go and earn what turned about to be a comfortable win in the end.

Pulis made 11 changes to the team that was beaten in Valencia in midweek and his players' freshness was key in this victory as they pressed Swansea for 90 minutes.

Swansea rarely threatened throughout the game despite enjoying large chunks of possession in the game.

However, they had an early opportunity through Scott Sinclair and Asmir Begovic pushed Steve Caulkner's header onto the bar in injury time.

Both managers made changes in goal, with Pulis giving Begovic his first league start in almost three months ahead of Thomas Sorensen, while the ill Michel Vorm was replaced by Premier League debutant Gerhard Tremmel for Swansea.

The teams' preparations could not have been more different, with Stoke playing both legs of the Valencia tie and an FA Cup clash with Crawley while Swansea, who won the reverse fixture 2-0 in October, took the opportunity to head off to Tenerife for a training camp.

Over

Brendan Rodgers' side got their first glimpse of goal inside two minutes, and it was a very good one, Nathan Dyer breaking down the right and pulling the ball back for Sinclair, who skied his shot horribly over the bar.

Stoke immediately broke down the other end and a long throw from Ryan Shotton was only half cleared to Glenn Whelan on the edge of the box, and his shot was flicked on by Crouch but well blocked by the Swansea defence.

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 as Tremmel chose to stay on his line.

Swansea responded well and full-back Neil Taylor was allowed to run virtually from the halfway line into the heart of the penalty area before Upson produced a crucial block.

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 Shotton's long throw was Stoke's weapon and Crouch had the simple task of nodding it in past the despairing dive of Tremmel.

Long-throw

Stoke began the second half looking hungry for a third and again it was set-pieces that were causing problems for Swansea, although Tremmel did well to punch the ball away after Crouch had headed an Etherington corner towards goal.

At the other end, Dyer, who had looked Swansea's most dangerous player, curled a shot wide of the far post but it was a rare break for Swansea and in the 55th minute Jon Walters almost made it three.

Shotton's long throw again picked out the head of Crouch, who beat Tremmel to the ball comfortably to flick on but Walters could only place his header over the bar.

Stoke were pressing very high up the pitch, not allowing Swansea's defenders any time on the ball, and even when they did manage a spell of pressure they could not test Begovic.

Both managers made changes, Cameron Jerome replacing Etherington for Stoke while Luke Moore and Josh McEachran came on for Sinclair and Dyer for Swansea.

Shotton was having a fine game for the hosts and curled in a superb cross that Walters probably should have done better with than head wide of the near post.

Swansea pressed hard in the closing stages but did not test Begovic until injury-time, when the Bosnia international somehow managed to push Caulker's bullet header onto the bar from Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick.

The victory, Stoke's first points in the league since a draw with Liverpool on January 14, meant Pulis' side climbed above their opponents and into 12th place in the table.

Stoke CityTeam StatisticsSwansea City
2Goals0
21st Half Goals0
2Shots on Target3
3Shots off Target4
4Blocked Shots2
8Corners4
14Fouls8
0Offsides0
1Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
66Passing Success84.7
26Tackles26
65.4Tackles Success61.5
26.4Possession73.6
56.4Territorial Advantage43.6
194Total Passes616
26Total Crosses19
156Lost Balls167
43Recoveries61
20.71st Half Poss.79.3
27.32nd Half Poss.72.7

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Arsenal 17 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 17 23
10 Liverpool 17 22
11 Everton 17 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 16 19
14 Sunderland 17 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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