Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony ended a 10-month goal drought with a brace against former club Swansea City, as Stoke City's revival continued with a 3-1 win in a Premier League clash on Monday night.
The 27-year-old loanee from Manchester City had both goals set up by another former Swansea favourite, Joe Allen, with Alfie Mawson putting one through his own net, as Stoke claimed a third win on the bounce. "It is crazy that my first goals come against my ex-team, it is disappointing for them but that is how football happens," Bony told Sky Sports. "I have missed some chances, but I knew the goals would come. Every game I push myself."
Swansea, who had levelled in the first half through Wayne Routledge, have made their worst start to a Premier League season with just five points from 10 matches. It is also the first time they have gone nine games without a win.
"There is no easy solution to getting confidence back," Swansea manager Bob Bradley said. "When you are going through a bad stretch, you have to have belief. It was 1-1 at half-time but we didn't start the second half in a way that suggested we could win the game," added the former United States coach, who has picked up just one point from three games in charge after replacing Francesco Guidolin.
Stoke are unbeaten in five matches and climb to 12th, five points clear of the relegation zone, while Swansea are second from bottom and five points adrift of safety.
It took less than three minutes for Bony to make his mark, pouncing to prod home from inside the six-yard box after Allen's mishit half-volley, for his first goal in 23 matches for club and country. However, the Swans levelled within five minutes as Routledge did brilliantly to head home Gylfi Sigurdsson's superb cross.
The hosts were impressive going forward and Scotland international Charlie Adam — making his first Premier League start of the season — hit the post with a fantastic curling effort.
Stoke suffered a blow in the 26th minute as Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri had to go off injured and was replaced by Egyptian youngster Ramadan Sobhi. Adam then conjured up another splendid effort, but was this time denied by the other post.
The woodwork was proving to be a very effective 12th man for the visitors as it once gain came to the rescue after Allen's astute pass found Marko Arnautovic, who rounded goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski only to see his effort cannon back off an upright.
Bony blazed over after being teed up by Arnautovic at the start of the second half but 19-year-old Sobhi was the creator as the hosts restored their advantage in the 55th minute.
Sobhi then produced a delightful piece of skill inside the box after a superb pass from Irish veteran Glenn Whelan and his shot was diverted into his own net by Mawson. It was another brilliant Stoke move which produced the killer third goal 17 minutes from time.
Arnautovic delivered a sublime back-heel to find Allen, whose shot was saved by Fabianski. However, the Welsh international reacted brilliantly to help the ball across to Bony, who applied the finish.
First Published On : Nov 1, 2016 12:56 IST