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Sam Clucas scores at former club Swansea as Stoke ease to away win

Swansea City v Stoke City – Sky Bet Championship – Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Sam Clucas starred against his former side as Stoke saw off Swansea 3-1 to maintain their impressive unbeaten start to the new Championship season.

Clucas, who left the Swans in 2018, scored the Potters’ second and rubbed salt in the wound of the home supporters by taunting them with his celebration.

Swansea had a shocking first half, during which Nick Powell gave the visitors a deserved lead, and Clucas made it 2-0 soon after the break.

Leo Ostigard put the game to bed on the hour mark before Swansea substitute Joel Piroe grabbed a 73rd-minute consolation.

The defeat means new Swansea head coach Russell Martin has lost two of his first three Championship games.

Stoke included four former Swans in their XI in Ben Wilmot, Joe Allen, Clucas and Sam Surridge, who worked home goalkeeper Steven Benda with a tame early shot.

Josh Tymon also whipped in two dangerous crosses after escaping down the left, both of which Swansea were lucky to escape from without conceding.

A Stoke goal looked like it was coming and it arrived in the 15th minute as Tommy Smith’s free-kick from the right was headed home by Powell.

Swansea had dominated possession yet created little in their goalless draw with Sheffield United last time out and their first half followed a similar theme, but this time with less of the ball.

There were far too many misplaced home passes and Swansea head coach Martin decided he had seen enough even before the break, replacing Yan Dhanda with striker Piroe in just the 38th minute.

Swansea’s first 45 minutes was summed up by an awful Matt Grimes corner right on the half-time whistle.

Powell limped off five minutes into the second half after taking a heavy knock, but Stoke made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute.

Clucas ran in on goal and when Swansea failed to close him down, he poked the ball into the bottom and corner and celebrated by taking off his shirt. He was booked and then showed the name on the back to the home fans who jeered loudly.

Martin responded with two more substitutes as Manchester United loanee Ethan Laird came on for his Swansea debut alongside Jamie Paterson.

But soon after Stoke made it 3-0 when Ostigard slammed home from close range after the giant Harry Souttar headed Clucas’ corner against a post.

Surridge had two more chances to heap further misery on Swansea but the game had long since ended as a contest.

Piroe did pull one back for Martin’s men with a cool finish from Jake Bidwell’s cross, but Stoke were fully deserving of the three points.