Report | Stoke City 2 Swansea City 0
Swansea City fell to defeat at Stoke after second-half goals from Sam Clucas and James McClean gave the hosts the three points at the bet365 Stadium.
Steve Cooper’s side started far the brighter of the two sides in the Potteries, and were later denied by the woodwork as Matt Grimes hit the bar with a free-kick.
But Clucas hit a low strike into the bottom corner nine minutes into the second half, before McClean wrapped things up in stoppage time.
The result saw the Swans miss the chance to climb back into the play-off places and their run without a win here extend to 19 years.
Cooper had made two changes from the win over Wigan, Marc Guehi making his debut in place of Ben Wilmot, while Jake Bidwell came in for the ill Kyle Naughton.
Joe Rodon was named among the substitutes and came off the bench in the second half for his first appearance since October following injury.
The Swans made a bright start, nice work from Bersant Celina and Bidwell ended with the former sending an inviting ball flashing across the six-yard box.
Rhian Brewster then skinned Liam Lindsay down the flank, with the Stoke defender somehow avoiding a booking for using his hand to try and drag the ball away from the striker.
It was all Swansea, with Conor Gallagher forcing Jack Butland into an excellent save from George Byers’ intelligent pass.
At the other end Grimes made a crucial tackle to stop Nick Powell leading a Stoke break-out in what was proving an open contest.
Freddie Woodman was the next keeper in action, making an outstanding stop from an angled Joe Allen drive.
Tom Ince blasted high and wide from distance, while the Swans twice failed to make the most of opportunities for Celina in space down the left.
Stoke should have led in the 33rd minute when a rapid break saw Clucas in on goal, but Woodman did well to deny the former Swansea man.
It remained goalless at the break, with Celina the first to chance his arm after the break but bent his curling strike over the bar.
Gallagher then did Clucas all ends up, but his shot was easily held by Butland.
But it was Stoke who hit the front as Clucas fired home from the edge of the area, hitting a lot strike from Allen’s clever lay-off.
Swansea so nearly equalised seconds later, Grimes bending an unstoppable free-kick over the wall to beat Butland, but not the bar.
Brewster had a goalbound backheel blocked after smart work by Gallagher and Roberts, while Sam Vokes wastefully headed a corner wide at the other end.
The Swans produced a lovely flowing move with 20 minutes remaining, but Lindsay did superbly to block Brewster’s effort after Celina and Bidwell had combined to great effect.
Substitute Lee Gregory should have made the game safe but he fired well over from Tommy Smith’s intelligent pull-back.
It kept Swansea’s hopes of rescuing a result alive but McClean made sure there was no way back as he blasted home in time added on.
Stoke City: Jack Butland; Tommy Smith, Danny Batth, Liam Lindsay, Bruno Martins Indi; Joe Allen (captain), Sam Clucas; Tom Ince (Nathan Collins 87), Nick Powell (Mame Diouf 90); James McClean; Sam Vokes (Lee Gregory 69).
Substitutes: Adam Davies, Jordan Thompson, Jordan Cousins, Julien Ngoy.
Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Connor Roberts (Joe Rodon 75), Ben Cabango, Marc Guehi, Jake Bidwell (Borja Baston 83); Conor Gallagher, Matt Grimes (captain); Andre Ayew, George Byers (Yan Dhanda 77), Bersant Celina; Rhian Brewster.
Substitutes: Erwin Mulder, Ben Wilmot, Jay Fulton, Wayne Routledge.
Referee: Gavin Ward