Stoke continue league revival with 1-0 away win over Swansea
A resurgent Stoke continued its domestic revival following a narrow 1-0 win over Swansea on Monday.
The Potters had made its worst ever start to a Premier League season after failing to win any of its opening six matches.
However, Mark Hughes’ side followed up league wins over Bournemouth and Aston Villa with victory in south Wales.
“We started slowly but now we are starting to pick up points with our performances because we weren’t too bad at the beginning of the season we just weren’t getting the points we felt we deserved,” Hughes said.
Bojan scored the game’s only goal, a fourth-minute penalty, which he won and converted shortly after being brought down by Ashley Williams.
The former Barcelona attacker capitalized on Angel Rangel’s tame header near the center circle before ghosting past Federico Fernandez and into the area, where he was upended by the Swansea captain. Bojan sent the resulting spot kick into the top corner, his second goal of the season.
Forward Xherdan Shaqiri spurned two opportunities to double Stoke’s lead shortly after the interval shooting high and wide.
Swansea improved after the restart and Jonjo Shelvey saw his effort cannon back off the post shortly before the hour mark. After outmuscling Stoke defender Philipp Wollscheid, he surged into the box and struck from an acute angle, but to his dismay the ball hit Jack Butland’s right-hand post and refused to cross the line.
Shaqiri’s finishing may have been wayward but his passing proved more precise as he picked out Marko Arnautovic in the area, only for the Austrian to send a chipped effort past Lukasz Fabianski’s goal.
Substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson sent a looping effort just wide following his introduction but Gary Monk’s side failed to get the breakthrough as it slipped to defeat.
That loss leaves Swansea without a win in five league games since its 2-1 victory over Manchester United in August.
“I need to get the players back to the level that I know they can perform at. I have big confidence in this group,” Monk said.
“I’ve got a good group of players. They’ll work hard and we’ll stick together and make sure that we come through this little period and come back strong,” he added.