De Guzman shines as Swansea wins

De Guzman shines as Swansea wins

Published Jan. 19, 2013 12:00 a.m. ET

Jonathan de Guzman scored twice in the second half Saturday to help Swansea beat Stoke 3-1 in the Barclays Premier League.

After a sluggish, goalless first half, Ben Davies gave the hosts the lead shortly after the break with his first senior goal.

De Guzman dispatched a curling free-kick into the top corner just before the hour, then coolly finished from Danny Graham's lovely pass before Michael Owen got a late consolation with his first goal for Stoke.

Graham's future is in doubt with Sunderland and Norwich having submitted bids for the striker, but the Swansea faithful made clear their desire for him to stay after his appearance as a second half substitute.


Kenwyne Jones, linked with a move to Swansea should Graham leave, also made an appearance off the bench but had little chance to make an impact.

While Swansea eventually emerged comfortable winners, there was little to enthuse about during a drab opening half, with both sides struggling to generate any attacking tempo, and finding themselves unable to pick apart packed defenses. Swansea initially started promisingly as Stoke dropped very deep from kick-off.

Asmir Begovic tipped a Pablo Hernandez effort just wide of the post, although the Spaniard was offside, before Michu fired high and wide after Itay Shechter harried and dispossessed Robert Huth.

But Stoke soon settled and the action dried up as the sides cancelled each other out. Peter Crouch volleyed Stoke's first real chance over after 25 minutes, but the England striker showed superb touch to release Matthew Etherington moments later, only for the winger to find the side-netting.

The malaise was even affecting Michu, as Swansea's top scorer inexplicably headed wide from Angel Rangel's pinpoint cross just shy of the half hour mark.

De Guzman then failed to connect with a Wayne Routledge cross after the winger had skinned Jon Walters down the left to cap a first half lacking in quality.

The game desperately needed a goal, and thankfully it arrived in just the fourth minute of the second half. Davies nipped in to beat Walters to a low pass before turning and outpacing Ryan Shawcross to fire low across Begovic and put Swansea ahead.

Michu should have doubled the lead two minutes later as Hernandez's pull back fell to him, but makeshift full-back Dean Whitehead made a brilliant block to prevent him adding to his 16-goal tally for the season.

But De Guzman did make it 2-0 in the 57th minute. Charlie Adam cynically fouled Michu on the edge of the box and the Dutchman curled a fantastic free-kick into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of Begovic.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis threw on Jones and Cameron Jerome for Crouch and Adam in response but the former Cardiff man only succeeded in delighting the home fans as he somehow spooned wide from barely two yards out.

Graham was introduced in place of Shechter and was given a tremendous reception as chants of "We want you to stay" rang out.

And the former Watford man made an instant impact as he perfectly cushioned a long pass from Routledge into the path of De Guzman, who lofted his finish over Begovic.

Substitute Owen flicked in a header in stoppage time for Stoke, but it was far too little, too late.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.