Sport Soccer

Monday 20 November 2017

Controversial late penalty spoils Swans' epic fightback

Swansea 3 Stoke 3

Graham Clutton

There were six goals, eight bookings, a penalty and a point apiece at the Liberty Stadium, where Stoke City relinquished a two-goal half-time lead before snatching a dramatic point in stoppage-time.

First-half goals from Irishmen Jonathan Walters and Stephen Ireland put Stoke on course for what should have been their first Premier League win since the end of August.

However, Swansea recovered after the interval and established a winning position courtesy of two goals from Wilfried Bony and a third from the dazzling Nathan Dyer.

Then, with only seconds left, referee Robert Madley sentenced Wayne Routledge to a night of misery by awarding Stoke a controversial penalty.

A Charlie Adam corner was headed back across the box and as Steven Nzonzi headed goalwards the ball appeared to brush Routledge on the arm.

Television replays confirmed that Routledge was extremely unfortunate. Swans boss Michael Laudrup said: "There was only one man in the whole stadium who saw it and, unfortunately, that was the referee."

Stoke's half-time advantage was thoroughly deserved, not only for their clinical finishing, but the manner in which they prevented Swansea from playing their traditional style of attractive football. Walters struck first in the eighth minute and then played his part in setting up Ireland's 25th-minute second.

It was a different story after the break, however, with Bony showing why Laudrup paid Vitesse Arnhem £12m for his services.

His first, in the 56th minute, was a bullet header from a Jonathan de Guzman cross and his second, after Dyer's 77th-minute equaliser, was an equally ruthless finish.

Stoke gave it one final blast and when Madley pointed to the spot, Adam did the rest. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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