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Top-class Clucas sinks Swans

Sam Clucas came back to haunt his former club as Stoke eased their relegation worries with a 2-0 win against Swansea.

The former Swans’ player smashed home a beauty on 55 minutes as the Potters moved seven points clear of the drop zone.

And James McClean wrapped up the points in stoppage time after taking advantage of some careless defending.

Stoke had enjoyed the best of the first half following a slow start, with Clucas, Joe Allen and McClean all having chances.

And they picked up where they had left off after the break to complete a deserved victory.

Swansea would have moved up into the play-off places ahead of Preston with a win.

The Welshmen started brightest with Jack Butland having to pull off a superb one-handed save to keep out Conor Gallagher’s ninth minute shot.

Matt Grimes produced an excellent tackle to snuff out a three-on-two counter by Stoke a minute later.

Marc Guehi failed to find the target after he got on the end of Bersant Celina’s corner on 12 minutes.

Freddie Woodman saved one-handed to keep out Allen’s powerful drive on 15 minutes as the Potters grew into the game.

Celina fired wide from 30 yards after Stoke sloppily gave the ball away on 21 minutes, before Tom Ince shot well over after 30 minutes.

Woodman kept out a weak Sam shot with his legs on 33 minutes after McClean played him in on goal.

Clucas then headed over seconds later after Tommy Smith’s dinked cross fell just behind him.

McClean scuffed a 20 yard shot straight at Woodman on the stroke of half-time.

Sam Vokes headed over from six yards out just after the restart, before Celina fired wildly over at the other end.

Gallagher curled a weak shot from outside the box straight at Butland on 51 minutes.

McClean failed to get his head on a brilliant Clucas cross a minute late as the goal beckoned, but the pressure finally paid off when Clucas drilled a low effort from just outside the box passed Woodman on 55 minutes.

Grimes smacked a free-kick against the crossbar on 57 minutes as the Swans looked for a quick response.

Vokes glanced Ince’s inswinging corner wide of goal on 67 minutes, before sub Lee Gregory blazed over from an unmarked position on 77 minutes after an excellent counter attack.

Allen flashed a half-volley narrowly wide with nine minutes to go and McClean made the game safe after he robbed Guehi of the ball before smashing through the keeper’s legs.