Match Report: Ben Davies warms up Swansea for Chelsea date

Swansea 3 Stoke 1

Liberty Stadium

Ben Davies scored his first senior goal for Swansea as Michael Laudrup’s men produced the perfect dress rehearsal for their League Cup semi-final second leg here against Chelsea on Wednesday night with a 2-0 advantage from the away leg.

They go into that fixture following this comprehensive win over stubborn Stoke City.

After a lifeless opening first period, left-back Davies set Swansea on their way with a terrific individual effort on 49 minutes,  starting the move with a pass inside to Wayne Routledge before latching onto Ki Sung-Yueng’s through ball seconds later. The 19-year-old outmuscled Jon Walters, raced past Ryan Shawcross and sweetly struck his left-footed shot beyond Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to open his Swansea account.

Laudrup, Swansea’s manager, said: “I obviously did not expect the first goal to come from a run from the full-back, and if it had I thought it would have been the other full-back [Angel Rangel] so it is great for Ben. He deserved everything for what he is doing and this will be a very special day for him.”

After Davies’ first Swansea goal, Jonathan de Guzman bagged a double in the space of 23 minutes before Stoke striker Michael Owen broke his 15-month goal drought deep in injury-time. Yet that close-range header was scant consolation as Laudrup beamed over the ideal preparation before taking on Rafa Benitez’s star-studded outfit.

His only cause for concern is Chico Flores, who missed the yesterday’s match, and faces a race against time to be fit for the semi-final. The Spanish centre-back was injured in the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal last Wednesday, and Laudrup admits he can only be hopeful that Chico will be ready to take onChelsea.

“He has a knee injury and I did not want to take the risk,” Laudrup said, “because I knew Garry [Monk] or Kyle [Bartley] would do well in the type of games. I think he will be ready but I am not 100 per cent.”

Of Swans’ comfortable win, Laudrup said: “Winning and no injuries is always the perfect preparation. It was a very good performance and we dominated from the first minute. Stoke had to defend very deep and the only bad point of the first half was we did not score from the two or three good chances we had, but apart from that I was pleased. In the second half we continued but I knew we needed something special to score the first goal as if we scored the first goal I was sure we would win. The second goal was a fantastic free-kick, I have seen Jonathan score a lot of these goals in training so it is nice to see it in a game and the third was the best of the afternoon.

Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, had no complaints following the drubbing as the Potters conceded 13 goals in their last four Premier League matches. “We were second best from the first whistle to the last,” Pulis said. “Swansea were better and deserved to win. I’ve got no excuses. You have good and bad days in football and this was a bad day for us. We looked a yard short all over the pitch. We looked sluggish and sloppy. Whether it’s the fact we played Palace in extra-time and had to travel down early and not been able to do anything for two days because of the snow, I don’t know. We weren’t at the races, that wasn’t us.”

Danny Graham and Kenwyne Jones have been linked with January moves, but both strikers started on the bench. Swansea had a £3million bid rejected for Jones last week and Pulis claims he wants the forward to remain at the Britannia.

Swansea (4-4-2): Vorm; Rangel, Monk, Williams, Davies; Ki, De Guzman, Michu (Britton, 77), Routledge; Hernandez (Lamah, 63), Schechter (Graham, 73)

Stoke (4-5-1): Begovic; Whitehead, Huth, Shawcross, Cameron; Walters, N’Zonzi, Whelan, Adam (Jerome, 63), Etherington (Owen, 85); Crouch (Jones, 63)).

Referee: Mike Dean

Man of the match: Davies (Swansea)

Match rating: 7/10

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable