For photos from the match scroll to PHOTOSTREAM above left. For stats, click on the match stats tab. Manager reactions and press conferences to follow.
Charlie Adam netted a last-gasp penalty to earn Stoke City a dramatic 3-3 draw against Swansea City on Sunday.
The visitors had surrendered a two-goal lead at the Liberty Stadium and looked set for their fourth defeat in six Barclays Premier League games when a controversial call from referee Robert Madley handed Mark Hughes' men a lifeline. Jonathan Walters' eighth-minute goal, which came on his 100th consecutive league start, gave Stoke an ideal platform, and Stephen Ireland's first goal in almost two years doubled their advantage before the break. But a double from Wilfried Bony, sandwiching substitute Nathan Dyer's equaliser, put Swansea on course for a remarkable comeback win. That was until Wayne Routledge was adjudged to have handled on the line deep into stoppage time, with Adam keeping his cool from the resulting spot-kick.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup made five changes from the 1-0 defeat by Cardiff City in their last league match. Gerhard Tremmel and Bony were two of the additions in the absence of the suspended Michel Vorm and injured Michu. There was also a double switch in the middle for the Dane, as Jonjo Shelvey and Dyer dropped to the bench to be replaced by Alejandro Pozuelo and Roland Lamah. Stoke manager Mark Hughes made just one change from the 1-1 draw against Southampton, with Wilson Palacios coming in for Glenn Whelan.
The visitors took the lead with just eight minutes on the clock, as Walters brushed aside two defenders before steering an effort past Tremmel and in off a post. Swansea looked to respond but it was Stoke who extended their lead in the 25th minute as Ireland scored his first Barclays Premier League goal since December 2011, controlling a ball from Peter Crouch brilliantly before firing home.
Asmir Begovic, a scorer in his last game, denied Swansea twice before the interval, keeping out Bony’s effort and Routledge’s rebound. The half-time break served the hosts well, though, and in the 56th minute they were able to get back into the game. Bony found the back of the net, beating Begovic with a powerful header after a fine cross from Jonathan de Guzman.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and they were rewarded once again in the 74th minute as Dyer, who had come on 19 minutes earlier, controlled well with his chest before shooting past Begovic. Bony's 86th-minute strike, which he slotted coolly past a helpless Begovic, looked set to secure the points, but a last-minute scramble in the area resulted in a penalty and Adam earned the visitors a share of the spoils.
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup: “I just feel so sorry for my players. After being two goals down, we pinned Stoke back in their own half, and we continued to play and create chances. We scored three goals in the second-half but then this happens in the last minute.
“If I thought the players deserved to win on Thursday [ in the UEFA Europa League], they deserved it even more today. Even in the first half, we played good football. They scored the first goal when we were a man down with Ashley Williams injured.
“We then went 2-0 down, and from there it was uphill. In the second half, we played only in one half. I don’t remember Gerhard having to make any saves in the second-half. We scored three goals, which would have made it a fantastic win.
“Overall, from what I saw of the players today – with and without the ball - it was really great. They showed great character, which they have shown many times. There were so many good things today. I can only repeat that I feel sorry for them that they only gain one point instead of three.”
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: "First half, we were excellent – we came with a game plan and really executed it well. But second half, obviously we knew that there would be a response from Swansea and certainly there was – credit to them. They put us under pressure and, from my point of view, we're disappointed we didn’t deal with that pressure as well as we could have.
"Obviously to concede three goals in the manner we did wasn’t what we've been about this season; we have only conceded, prior to today’s game, 11 goals in the Premier League in 10 games, so defensively we have been fine. In that second half, we lost a little bit of energy. We had to substitute Stevie Ireland and Wilson Palacios because of injury, [and] Marko Arnautovic just couldn't get in the game so we made a change there and I felt that unfortunately hindered us.
"The substitutions that Swansea made gave them a little bit more energy. The momentum of the game totally shifted in the second half and we didn’t deal with it so that’s a lesson for us to learn that we can't allow that to happen in the future."
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|12 Feb 2014||v Stoke (A)|
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