Swansea City’s home encounter against Sunderland was arguably the clearest illustration of – the ‘game of two halves’ cliche – we have seen this season. The was first half was summed up by the commentator who stated: “The 4th official’s board for added time could make the first half highlights.”
It resembled a typical end of season Premier League encounter with both sides finding it difficult to motivate themselves after a long and arduous season. Neither Swansea or Stoke City will be relegated this season with both clubs comfortable in mid-table.
However, immediately after the interval, Gylfi Sigurdsson almost opened the scoring with a wonderful curling effort which caressed the bar. Jack Butland was beaten all ends up.
Sigurdsson was guilty of some horrendous misses in the game, but he fashioned a chance from very little in this move.
Stoke City were lucky to have 11 men on the pitch shortly after with Marko Arnautovic appearing to stamp on Nathan Dyer in what was a cowardly challenge. The referee missed the incident despite Dyer screaming in agony but the images are pretty damning.
Swansea finally took the lead 20 minutes before time and the man who remained a constant threat throughout created the goal. Jonjo Shelvey did well to keep the ball in play before beating a man and sending a peach of a cross onto Jefferson Montero’s head.
Stoke City’s misdemeanours finally caught up with them and after Montero broke through on goal, Marc Wilson took the Ecuadorian out. Already on a yellow, the referee had no option but to send Wilson off who was lucky not to receive a straight red.
The home side finished off the game in extra time and it was that man Shelvey once again with a clever pass to set-up the second for Swansea City. Running onto a deep cross, the former Liverpool man cut the ball back for the onrushing Ki Sung-yueng who finished calmly into the bottom corner.
In what was an aggressive encounter, Swansea were able to get the ball down and produce to moments of quality to decide the game.