Graham opens league account to complete Swans' day
Swansea City 2 Stoke City 0
Monday 03 October 2011
Danny Graham began to repay his £3.5m transfer fee by scoring his first Premier League goal for Swansea City to seal a morale-boosting victory over Stoke City as footballing beauty beat the "Beast" yesterday.
The Swans' record signing from Watford in the summer had not found the back of the net in five attempts for the Welsh club in the top flight. But, after Scott Sinclair's ninth-minute penalty, Graham ended his long wait in the 85th minute after dispossessing former Middlesbrough team-mate Jonathan Woodgate before coolly beating Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to open his Swansea account.
The Swansea manager, Brendan Rodgers, said: "Danny has been outstanding since he arrived at the club, but when you have his quality then it was only a matter of time.
"It was a wonderful finish. He was under pressure one versus one and lots of strikers would lash at it and miss the chance. He showed great composure and technique in his finish. It's great for him to get off the mark because he knows strikers are judged on goals."
Rodgers believes his side can claim 10 home victories this season and Swansea were on their way to triumph No 2 after Sinclair's opener. A precise through-ball from the outstanding Joe Allen did not appear to threaten the Stoke backline until Ryan Shawcross clumsily upended Wayne Routledge, leaving referee Michael Jones with little option but to signal towards the spot.
The award of the spot-kick was, bizarrely, in almost identical fashion to the one Swansea gladly received against West Bromwich Albion two weeks previously. Rodgers' men had the same end result as Sinclair coolly stepped up on a humid afternoon to send Begovic the wrong way.
Stoke, fresh from their Europa League victory over Turkish side Besiktas on Thursday night, began slowly, but gradually imposed their renowned physicality on to this hard-fought battle and could have drawn level on 21 minutes.
Jonathan Walters outmuscled Mark Gower and the Republic of Ireland striker saw his excellent 25-yard effort tipped on to the crossbar by the Swansea keeper Michel Vorm.
Stoke should have gone down to 10 men following a reckless tackle from Andy Wilkinson on pint-sized winger Nathan Dyer, but Jones cautioned the Potters full-back as well as Peter Crouch for a late challenge on Gower.
Glenn Whelan hit the post with a second-half free-kick for Stoke then Sinclair forced Begovic into a superb flying save before Graham sealed the win.
Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, said: "Ryan's challenge was poor and it gave Swansea the start everyone in the Premier League wants. It lifted them.
"We hit the post and woodwork and, from that point until the second goal, I thought we were the team who would get the equaliser," he added.
Substitutes: Swansea Moore 6 (Routledge, 66), Lita (Graham, 90). Stoke Huth 5 (Wilson, 33), Jerome 5 (Delap, 54), Shotton (Pennant, 80). Booked: Swansea Taylor, Routledge, Gower. Stoke Wilkinson, Whelan, Pennant, Shotton, Crouch.
Man of the match Allen. Match rating 6/10.
Possession: Swansea 55% Stoke 45%.
Attempts on target: Swansea 5 Stoke 6.
Referee M Jones (Cheshire).
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
Latest in Sport
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Australian Open 2015: Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka match preview
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures