Wilfried Bony finally opened his Stoke City account as his double helped earn the Potters a third victory in a row as Swansea remain winless since the opening weekend.
It was a long time coming. Wilfried Bony went six games without a goal before Monday night’s tie with Swansea, but a goal in either half ensured the run was halted.
An efficient Stoke performance was more than enough to cast a confidence-drained Swansea side.
Joe Allen continued his bright run of form, providing two assists for Bony, who will hope the shackles on his goalscoring ability are now off.
Stoke City come flying out of the blocks
Mark Hughes was forced into one change for Monday night. American Geoff Cameron was forced to sit out through a knee injury. Charlie Adam came in to shield the back-four.
Other than that, the manager named an unchanged side from the win over Hull last time out.
It didn’t take long for Stoke to make their mark on the game. Three minutes, in fact. A scuffed effort from Allen fell into the path of Bony who poked home following a Xherdan Shaqiri corner.
More pressure followed as efforts from Shawcross and Adam went close.
Swansea have developed a habit of scoring goals from nothing. Five minutes after going ahead, Stoke were pegged back.
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Swans talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson found a yard on the edge of the box and dug out a cross. Poor marking from Phil Bardsley allowed Wayne Routledge to nick in front and guide the ball beyond Lee Grant.
In what was becoming a frantic first period, Adam then saw his rasping drive strike the post. Good play from Marko Arnautovic brought the ball down before laying off to the Scot.
Moments later, Shaqiri was forced off the pitch after failing to run off a knock. Egyptian Ramadan came on in his place.
Adam and the woodwork were quickly becoming acquainted. This time the midfielder’s curling effort found the top of Lukasz Fabianski’s right-hand post.
If twice wasn’t enough, Arnautovic, wanted to join the woodwork club. A perfect through ball from Allen found the Austrian who rounded the keeper. His effort, though, hit the post.
As referee Michael Oliver blew for half-time, you began to wonder if it would be one of those nights.
Second-half ascendency for Stoke
Ramadan was becoming in pain Swansea’s backside.
The Egyptian was causing problems and eventually his directness told. A driving run preceded a driven cross into the opposition penalty area.
Defender Alfie Mawson couldn’t handle the pace of the cross as he turned the ball into his own net.
Stoke kept dictating play and were soon rewarded for their efforts.
A neat ball from Arnautovic found Allen, whose drive was parried by Fabianski. The ball rebounded to Allen who cleverly dinked a looped pass to Bony for his second of the evening.
Swansea, in a rare venture into Stoke’s penalty area, came close to nicking a second.
Borja Baston’s effort clipped Bruno Martins Indi before looping onto Grant’s crossbar. It was as close as Swansea came as the Potters stood firm for their third straight win.
Former Swans back to haunt club
It was very much night that belonged to Allen and Bony – two of Swansea’s prized assets of yesteryear.
Allen was once again instrumental in the middle as Bony finally found his scoring touch.
With Bony now on board the Stoke City momentum train, the timing of the loss of the other two in the front line couldn’t be worse.
Shaqiri’s withdrawal from the game means the Swiss may miss the fixture at the London Stadium.
Arnautovic picked up his fifth booking of the campaign and will sit a one-match suspension.
Two negatives in what was undoubtedly an night of positives for Stoke City as the pace looks set to keep gathering. A trip to West Ham United await Stoke in the next round of fixtures.