English Premiership

Stoke's European push receives blow

2016-04-02 19:09
Gylfi Sigurdsson (AFP)

Stoke-on-Trent - Italian striker Alberto Paloschi completed Swansea City's comeback from a two-goal deficit as they drew 2-2 at Stoke City on Saturday in a result that checked the Potters' charge for European football next season.

The draw left Stoke eighth in the Premier League table and three points behind Manchester United, currently sixth and occupying the last Europa League place on offer to English clubs ahead of their match against Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay headed Mark Hughes's men into a 13th-minute lead before Bojan Krkic doubled Stoke's advantage in the 53rd minute.

However, Gylfi Sigurdsson gave Welsh visitors Swansea hope by pulling a goal back with 22 minutes remaining at the Britannia Stadium.

And the Swans were all square through substitute Paloschi's shot in the 79th minute.

It did not take long for Stoke to break the deadlock when playmaker Marko Arnautovic held off Angel Rangel before producing a perfectly weighted cross to the far post where Afellay nodded the ball into the net.

Both teams struggled to produce much in the way of clear-cut chances in the rest of the first half but that changed with three goals after the interval.

A neat Stoke move in midfield saw the ball come to Bojan and the Spaniard, 30 yards from goal, beat his man and then struck a low shot which beat former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and went in off the base of the post.

But from 2-0 down Swansea, comfortably above the relegation zone, fought back commendably.

Iceland midfielder Sigurdsson gave the Swans hope with a fine solo goal that saw him evade a tackle on the edge of the box and whip in a low shot past wrong-footed Stoke goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard.

Paloschi had only been on the field for eight minutes when he levelled the scores.

Receiving a pass from Ashley Williams with his back to goal, Paloschi made space for himself, turned and struck a powerful shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Arnautovic went close to winning the game for Stoke with a free-kick that hit the side-netting six minutes from time and Afellay then saw a 25-yard shot just clear the bar as Swansea held out for a point.

Read more on:    stoke  |  swansea  |  english premiership  |  soccer


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