Stoke City earned a point deep into injury-time courtesy of a Charlie Adam penalty in a game that they will be disappointed not to have won.
The visitors took the lead early on when Peter Crouch`s flick on found its way to Jonathan Walters who bustled his in between two Swansea defenders before applying a cool finish. Walters` goal came in his 100th consecutive Premier League start and was well taken. Although Swansea pressed and searched for an equaliser, it was Stoke who managed to double their advantage on 25 minutes. Following a series of short and quick passes Stephen Ireland was played through to grab his first Premier League goal for the Potters. Two assists for Crouch and a two goal lead for Stoke.
Stoke`s problems as of late have been that they either do not score, or when they do score, they ship sloppy goals. That did not change today. Wilfried Bony, who has been disappointing since his Summer arrival managed to latch onto a De Guzman cross in the 56th minute. The goal came only two minutes after Arnautovic`s withdrawal and Mark Hughes was guilty of trying to shut up shop too early. The same kind of sheepish decisions cost us the lead at Old Trafford a few weeks ago and it appears that Hughes has not learnt his lesson.
In the 74th minute Swansea equalised through Nathan Dyer after he chested the ball down in a congested penalty area and volleyed home. At this point the game had turned and Swansea started to press for the winner. In the 86th minute Wilfried Bony tucked away his second of the game following a low cross by Jonjo Shelvey. Ryan Shawcross was turned far too easily by Shelvey in the build up which gave Shelvey acres of space to produce the cross.
It wasn`t until the 96th minute that the game was decided when Stoke won a controversial penalty. Regular taker Walters shied away from taking it so up stepped Charlie Adam to slot home the spot kick. For the fourth game in a row Stoke City had taken the lead and failed to close out the game.
The cracks are starting to appear under Mark Hughes and the fans are starting to tire with the team`s inability to hold onto a lead. It seems as though the balance of the squad just isn`t right and we cannot score without conceding. To be fair to Hughes, he has inherited another manager`s squad and tried to completely change the style of play with limited investment. Having said that, football management is a results game and the clock is ticking. Although many Stoke fans would have taken a point before the match, having lost a two goal lead it is simply not enough.
Made the wrong subs and it cost us.
After shipping two early goals, he made positive changes to turn the game around and his side were unlucky not to get the 3 points.