Stoke 2 Swansea 0: Crouch doubles up to helps Potters to first win of the season
16:34 GMT, 29 September 2012
Peter Crouch netted twice as Stoke registered their first win of the season by defeating Swansea at the Britannia Stadium.
The striker scored both goals in the first half, with slack defending by the visitors allowing him to head in Glenn Whelan's corner in the 12th minute.
Crouch then found little resistance in the Swansea box once again nine minutes before the break as he fired the ball at Michel Vorm and reacted to convert the rebound, taking his tally for the campaign to five goals in all competitions.
Doubled up: Peter Crouch celebrates his second goal
Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson, Walters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam (Etherington 68), Kightly, Crouch.
Subs not used: Sorensen, Jones, Owen, Edu, Whitehead, Upson.
Goals: Crouch 12, 36
Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Britton, Ki, Michu, Hernandez (Routledge 63), Graham.
Subs not used: Tremmel, Monk, Shechter, Moore, de Guzman, Tiendalli.
Ref: Moss (W Yorkshire)
Premier League results, fixtures and table
That form will keep the debate going
about a potential England recall for the 31-year-old, while his club
will perhaps be breathing a little easier now having finally recorded a
victory in their sixth Barclays Premier League game of the season after
drawing four and losing one of the opening five.
Swansea, meanwhile, started the
campaign well but have now lost three league matches in a row and need
to turn things around quickly.
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 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 Asmir
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.
Tucked away: Crouch scores from close range
All about you: Crouch takes in the plaudits
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.
Tussle: Stoke City's Steven N'Zonzi, left, challenges Swansea City's Ki Sung-Yung
Ben 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
Swansea continued to attack and Graham might have done better with an effort he scooped over the goalframe.
Trouble: Michael Laudrup's side are in poor form
Sandwich filling: Michu is squeezed out by N'zonzi and Glenn Whelan
Stoke hit back and Michael 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.
Hunted down: Angel Rangel is tracked by Walters
Double trouble: Crouch challenges Chico Flores while Michael Owen (right) waits on the bench