Swansea City eased any lingering relegation concerns by thrashing Stoke City at the Swansea.com Stadium.

Liam Cullen's seventh goal of the season midway inside the first half got the hosts up and running, after Jay Fulton had clattered a low effort off the post, on a night brimming with attacking endeavour from the Swans.

Niall Ennis had the ball in the net for the visitors following a mistake from Carl Rushworth, but saw his effort ruled out following a collision as the Brighton loanee was attempting a throw.

A third home win in four for the Swans was sealed just after half-time, as Matt Grimes thundered in a superb penalty, before Josh Key rounded off a superb move for a third around 17 minutes from time.

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The result leaves Swansea seven points clear of the dropzone ahead of the visit of already-doomed Rotherham United on Saturday, while the manner of this win will have provided the perfect tonic for what was a disappointing outing at Middlesbrough last time out.

Indeed, results elsewhere ensured the gap between the Swans and the bottom three was down to just four points at the start of the evening, resulting in a fairly twitchy atmosphere heading into this one.

Some might well have been wondering how the dreaded r-word had even entered the conversation again. After conquering Cardiff City in the South Wales derby, the overriding feeling was that Swansea were more or less home and dry.

Victory over the Bluebirds was supposed to be the platform on which to build a strong end to the season, but since that sensational day, the Swans had previously carried about as much momentum as an asthmatic tortoise with some heavy shopping.

Luke Williams himself struggled to hide his own annoyances after the limp defeat on Teesside, a performance he declared 'unacceptable' before going on to demand some 'blood and thunder' from his side, against a Stoke outfit that had previously enjoyed back-to-back wins on the road.

With that in mind, he will have surely been delighted with what he saw here

Fulton sliced wide within the opening exchanges as Swansea eased their way onto the front foot early on, with the midfielder coming even closer on 14 minutes, drilling a low effort onto the outside of the post following some clever work from Jamie Paterson.

And it was Paterson at the heart of what was a deserved opening goal, receiving the ball back from Grimes following a short free-kick, before clipping in a cross that found the foot of Cullen, who got ahead of his man to poke home.

Cullen might have had a second just moments later had he kept a crashing drive down, and it probably wouldn't have flattered the Swans, such was the nature of their encouraging start.

Even so, Wouter Burger probably should have tested Rushworth at the other end after rising highest to meet a Million Manhoef corner, but could only head wide.

A let-off for the Swans, and hearts were surely in mouths when Ennis bundled home in bizarre circumstances after a mistake from Rushworth, who appeared to lose control of the ball after attempting a throw. Replays suggested he had made contact with Ennis, who pounced onto the loose ball before poking home, only for referee Keith Stroud to rule it out.

Stoke were seemingly emboldened by that flash point, with Manhoef drilling just wide 10 minutes before the break.

Frustrations began to creep in for the hosts, and threatened to boil over completely on the stroke of half-time, with Paterson perhaps lucky to pick up just a yellow card after clattering into Burger with a heavy sliding challenge.

However, they steadied themselves to tighten their grip on the contest shortly after half-time as McNally clipped Cooper on the edge of the area.

There's perhaps some debate as to whether it was inside the area, but Stroud had seen enough to point to the spot, and Grimes made no mistake smashing home his fourth goal of the season from resulting penalty.

Stoke laboured in their attempts to pull one back, with Josh Laurent firing wide on the turn inside the box, but Swansea weren't to be denied, and added gloss to a hugely satisfying night with a really well-worked third.

Substitute Jamal Lowe got the better of McNally on the left-hand side, before darting forward to tee up Key, who wrong-footed the Stoke defence with a superb touch before lashing into the net.

Lowe nearly had a goal of his own a few minutes later, but his audacious lob was narrowly too high. Grimes too couldn't keep a free-kick down, but there was little room for disappointment on what many will consider one of Swansea's best performances of the season.

If the Swans can now keep up some semblance of momentum there's a chance this campaign might just end on something of a high after all.

Swansea City: Rushworth; Key (Walsh 77), Darling, Cabango, Tymon; Fulton (Abdulai 77), Grimes; Ronald, Cooper (Lowe 69), Paterson (Govea 77); Cullen (Patino 83)

Subs: Fisher, Yates, Kuharevich, Humphreys

Stoke City: Iversen; Hoever, McNally, Rose, Stevens (Baker 79); Laurent, Burger (Thompson 64) ; Manhoef (Campbell 64), Bae (Cundle 46), Vidigal; Ennis (Leris 64)

Subs: Bonham, Wilmot, Haksabanovic, Tchamadeu


All over.

A really, really good night for the Swans.

Added time

Five added minutes here.

Grimes curls the freekick over the bar.

Yellow card

Thompson booked for tripping Govea on the edge of the box.


Comfortable for Rushworth

Vidigal curls an effort goalwards.

Straight at Rushworth.


Lowe looks to catch out Iversen with a lob from distance.

Just over.

Cullen is replaced by Patino, by the way.

Lowe has a go

Clips a ball across goal inside the box. Not sure if that's a shot or a cross, but the result's the same as it comes to nothing.

Stevens replaced by Baker for Stoke

Triple Swans change.

Fulton off for Walsh.

Paterson off for Abdulai.

Key replaced by Govea.

GOAL! Swansea City 3-0 Stoke City (Key)

Oh that's a nice goal.

Lowe gets the better of McNally out wide on the left. Scampers clear before squaring for Key, whose touch wrong-foots the Stoke defence, allowing him to burst through and finish.


Sub for Swansea

Cooper replaced by Lowe.

Yellow card

Cullen into the book after him and Rose tussle.

Rose looks like he's all over him, bit the freekick goes the other way. Think Cullen's been booked for his protests.

Freekick's floated in and Stoke win a corner.

Straight out of play for a goal kick.

Triple sub for Stoke

Burger off for Thompson.

Manhoef and Ennis replaced by Campbell Leris.


Laurent turns and shoots.


Two bookings

Darling and Manhoef both into the book after a lively exchange of ideas in the middle of the Swans half. Bit of back and forth, with others getting invovled.

Anyway. Stoke have a freekick , which is played short and yields a corner.

Lovely move

Cullen sweeps his effort wide following a nice corner kick routine.

GOAL! Swansea City 2-0 Stoke City (Grimes)

Smashed into the top corner by the skipper.


Big chance here.

Luke McNally clips Cooper near the edge of the area.

Perhaps some debate as to whether it's inside the box, but Ketih Stroud says penalty.

More like it

Paterson is still a good footballer, though.

Gets in behind the Stoke defence and flashes the ball across the box.

Can't find a Swans foot.

Paterson with a hilariously bad effort

It's about 10 yards short of the corner flag.

He laughs it off. As well he might.

Second half

Change for Stoke as Cundle is on for Bae.


That's the end of the first half.

Swansea in front.

Manhoef is in!

Beats the offside trap and races away.

Darling does really well to track back and put a bit of pressure on, and it's enough to put Manhoef off.

Does get a shot away, but it's so wide it look set to go out for a throw until the whistle goes.

Added time

One minute to be added on here.

Yellow card

Paterson into the book for clattering into Burger.

Was a bit of back and forth between him and Hoever moments before.

Anyway, Ronald puts in a cross and it doesn't find anyone.

Good work from Darling

Does well to get in front of Ennis and win a foul as Stoke look to break.


Good ball in by Paterson.

Cabango is rushing onto it at the far post, but it's just beyond him.

Yellow card

Stevens booked for a foul on Ronald out wide.

Just wide

Ball is played in by Vidigal, and Swansea initially clear. Ronald tries to break, but loses the ball.

Manhoef is played in, has lots of space out on the right, and cuts in before fizzing a low drive just wide of Rushworth's right-hand post.

Grimes gives a foul away

Fouls Manhoef, who's looked lively for the visitors, near the corner of the Swans area.

Chance for the visitors to whip one in...

Ball in the net

Ennis stretches to try and meet a ball over the top of the defence.

Rushworth claims and tries to throw out, but his arm clips Ennis and the ball is suddenly loose. A scramble between the pair breaks out, with Ennis poking the ball into the net.

He's penalised for a foul on Rushworth.

Headed wide

Burger climbs highest as the corner comes in, but it's always heading wide.