Joe Allen was Stoke City’s controversial match-winner as they edged Swansea City 1-0 in a scrappy battle between two of last season’s relegated Premier League clubs.
The Wales international bagged his first goal of the season, which looked offside, and first since January as the Potters claimed a welcome win at the bet365 stadium.
Allen’s clinical close-range second-half strike did the damage as the club toasted back-to-back home league wins for the first time since March 2017 when they beat Crystal Palace in the top flight.
Defeat for Swansea, who complained Allen’s effort should have been disallowed, means they have now not won consecutive away league matches since January 2017 and also ended their recent two-match unbeaten run.
The opening chance of the first half didn’t come until the 20th minute, as Stoke fans booed their team for a lack of ambition going forward.
And despite good possession from the home side, it was the visitors who had the first chance of the half when midfielder Matt Grimes rifled wide with an ambitious left-foot shot in the 20th minute.
Four minutes later defender Kyle Naughton hit a shot straight at Stoke keeper Jack Butland as the Swans started to find their feet.
Stoke finally created a chance to score from a hopeful punt forward which split the Swans’ defence in two. Wolves loanee Benik Afobe was through on goal but Dutch keeper Erwin Mulder raced off his line just in the nick of time to smother the effort.
Afobe should have scored less than a minute later when Allen teed him up, unmarked, in front of goal. However, the Congo forward amazingly shot wide of the left post with a woeful effort.
At the other end Butland denied midfielder Nathan Dyer as the Swans countered, but then Stoke should have really taken the lead, only for another glorious chance to go begging.
Midfielder Tom Ince was the culprit this time, not even managing to hit the target from close-range after Senegalese midfielder Mame Diouf had headed into his path.
But the breakthrough eventually came, 12 minutes after the break as Allen slotted home from close-range when he looked to be offside.
Ince’s left-foot shot deflected off Afobe and straight to Allen who was never going to miss from point-blank range.
Swans midfielder Daniel James went close to equalising in the 72nd minute but his right-foot deflected shot was well saved by an alert Butland.
Ince should have put the game to bed with five minutes left but even though he blazed over from close-range the home side had done enough for only their second win in eight Championship outings this term.
There was a late scare when Scotland international Oli McBurnie forced Butland to athletically tip over the bar, but Stoke held on.
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