De Guzman fires Swans to victory
Published 19/01/2013 | 17:20
Jonathan de Guzman netted a second-half double as Swansea warmed up for their midweek cup date against Chelsea with a 3-1 victory over Stoke at the Liberty Stadium.
After a sluggish, goalless first half, Ben Davies gave the hosts the lead shortly after the break with his first senior goal.
De Guzman dispatched a curling free-kick into the top corner just before the hour, then coolly finished from Danny Graham's lovely pass before Michael Owen got a late consolation with his first goal for Stoke.
Peter Crouch volleyed Stoke's first real chance over after 25 minutes, but the England striker showed superb touch to release Matthew Etherington moments later, only for the winger to find the side-netting.
The malaise was even affecting Michu, as Swansea's top scorer inexplicably headed wide from Angel Rangel's pinpoint cross just shy of the half hour mark.
The game desperately needed a goal, and thankfully it arrived in just the fourth minute of the second half. Davies nipped in to beat Jon Walters to a low pass before turning and outpacing Ryan Shawcross to fire low across Asmir Begovic and put Swansea ahead.
De Guzman made it 2-0 in the 57th minute. Charlie Adam cynically fouled Michu on the edge of the box and the Dutchman curled a fantastic free-kick into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of Begovic.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis threw on Kenwyne Jones and Cameron Jerome for Crouch and Adam in response but the former Cardiff man only succeeded in delighting the home fans as he somehow spooned wide from barely two yards out.
Graham was introduced in place of Itay Shechter and was given a tremendous reception as chants of "We want you to stay" rang out. And the former Watford man made an instant impact as he perfectly cushioned a long pass from Wayne Routledge into the path of De Guzman, who lofted his finish over Begovic.
Substitute Owen flicked in a header in stoppage time for Stoke, but it was far too little, too late.