by Adam Evans
Date: 9th April 2019
Venue: Liberty Stadium
SWANSEA City kept their play-off chances alive by overcoming nine-man Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium.
First half goals from Daniel James and Mike Van der Hoorn made it look like the Swans were going to run riot. However, a goal against the run of play from James McClean changed things just before the break.
James was fouled consistently in the second half which resulted in Bruno Martins Indi and Tom Edwards being sent off for the Potters.
Top goal scorer, Oli McBurnie, sealed the three points with a header in the closing stages to bolster his side’s play-off hopes with a 3-1 win.
The Swans started building chances early on in the match, with the first coming to Oli McBurnie; he opted against using his strong foot though and could only turn his shot wide.
Soon after, the Scotsman had another opportunity, but he was denied by a reflex save by Jack Butland, who got down to his left promptly.
The pressure paid off in the 23rd minute after the man in form, James cut onto his right foot to bend it past Butland who had no chance with the ball grazing the post on its way in.
Five minutes before the break, Swansea skipper Mike van der Hoorn doubled the home side’s lead after he got a vital touch on Wayne Routledge’s strike.
In added time McClean pulled one back for the Potters with an effort from outside the box, which beat Kristoffer Nordfeldt in the bottom right corner of his goal.
Just 10 minutes into the second half, Martins Indi made Stoke’s comeback more difficult as he was shown a straight red card for a professional foul on James; the Dutchman was the last man. Stoke were then reduced to nine men on the hour mark after Edwards also clattered James.
Swansea could have had their third of the evening and put the game beyond the visitors, but McBurnie struck his close range volley over.
Daniel James had a chance on the break, but he rocketed his shot high and wide of the target.
With five minutes left, Barrie McKay’s cross found Oli McBurnie who converted a close range header to put the game beyond Nathan Jones’ side.
Manager Graham Potter said he was “delighted and very proud” with the display as well as the result.
“The players were incredible, the first-half performance was so good,” he said.
“Our energy levels for a fourth game in 11 days, against a team that hadn’t conceded a goal in six games and had been on a good run, were incredible.
“The collective effort was incredible and there were some high-quality performances there. The first half was our best half of the season so far.”
Swansea City: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Mike Van Der Hoorn (C), Oli McBurnie, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge (Jay Fulton 67’), Cameron Carter-Vickers, Daniel James (Joel Asoro 86’), Matt Grimes, Connor Roberts, Kyle Naughton (Barrie McKay 76’), George Byers
Stoke City: Jack Butland, Joe Allen, Ashley Williams, Peter Etebo (Charlie Adam 90’), Benik Afobe (Nathan Collins 64’), Sam Vokes (Mame Biram Diouf 78’), James McClean, Danny Batth (C), Bruno Martins Indi, Sam Clucas, Tom Edwards