Stoke defeat lacklustre Swans
Crouch double gives Potters first league victory
By Daniel Storey. Last Updated: 30/09/12 3:41pm
Peter Crouch: Two goals for Stoke and England striker
Stoke City gained their first victory of the season against a lacklustre Swansea City at the Britannia Stadium, with two first-half goals from Peter Crouch giving them a 2-0 win.
The Potters were entirely dominant during a first period in which Swansea looked sloppy defensively and uninventive in attack. Michael Kightly was able to find too much space in behind Ben Davies on the right wing, and Crouch was the principal benefactor.
The striker's first was an unmarked header from a 12th minute corner, and his second came from four yards ten minutes before the break, Crouch following up after his original shot was parried by Michel Vorm.
Stoke now have an identical points and goal difference record to their opponents, and whilst Tony Pulis will be relieved that his side finally have their first win, the manner of the victory in particular will have impressed the Welsh boss.
For Laudrup, concerns will continue to grow. His side have now gone three games without a win, point or goal in the Premier League, and although they improved as the game progressed, Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal was rarely tested.
Stoke began the contest brightly and grabbed an early lead after Vorm's save from Jon Walters led to a corner.
Crouch was left unmarked when it was swung in by Glenn Whelan, allowing the frontman to crash a header past the helpless Vorm.
Swansea were almost in trouble at the back again moments later as Vorm was charged down by Crouch, but they survived that before seeing Charlie Adam rifle an attempt over the bar.
The visitors looked to apply some pressure of their own and after Michu had struck a weak effort at Begovic, a lapse at the back by the Potters saw them pass the ball straight to Danny Graham, whose shot on the turn was saved.
At the other end Vorm, who had prepared for the match by training with rugby tackle bags, showed his strength by coming out to beat Adam to the ball and punch it away, a collision which left the Stoke man temporarily down hurt.
After getting back to his feet Adam sent a curler into Vorm's arms and Michu then bent an effort just the wrong side of Begovic's left post.
The hosts regained their momentum and in the 36th minute they doubled their advantage as Crouch struck once more.
Sloppiness by Swansea again played its part, with Crouch able to bring the ball down from a floated cross into the area and then tuck it away on the follow-up after Vorm had parried his initial shot.
The away side came out after the restart looking full of purpose and Begovic was called upon to tip a Ki Sung-yueng effort over the bar.
Davies then went down in the box, seeming to look for a penalty and being rewarded only with a booking for diving - one of the hot topics for Tony Pulis in the build-up to the game.
Swansea continued to attack and Graham might have done better with an effort he scooped over the goalframe.
Stoke hit back and Kightly was just unable to convert from close range as he strived to meet Adam's cross.
Crouch looked intent on securing his hat-trick, but headed one effort on to the bar and then missed with an attempted overhead kick before being substituted.Kightly and Walters also tried their luck towards the end to no avail, but the Potters had done enough.
|Stoke City||Team Statistics||Swansea City|
|5||Shots on Target||3|
|5||Shots off Target||6|
|357||Total Passes (All)||558|