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Football | Barclays Premier League

De Guzman double sinks Stoke



Swansea enjoyed the perfect preparation for their League Cup semifinal showdown with Chelsea as Jonathan de Guzman's brace clinched a 3-1 win over Stoke at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Michael Laudrup's team are within touching distance of a place in the League Cup final after beating Chelsea 2-0 in the first leg earlier this month and they hope to finish the job when they host the Blues in Wednesday's return.

The Welsh club warmed up for a potentially historic evening by brushing aside Stoke thanks to Ben Davies's first senior goal and two strikes from De Guzman.

De Guzman dispatched a curling free-kick into the top corner just before the hour, then coolly finished from Danny Graham's lovely pass before Michael Owen got a late consolation with his first goal for Stoke.

Graham's future is in doubt with Sunderland and Norwich having submitted bids for the striker, but the Swansea fans made clear their desire for him to stay after his appearance as a second half substitute.

Swansea were on top from the start and Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic tipped a Pablo Hernandez effort just wide of the post before Michu fired high and wide from Itay Shechter's pass.

Michu, Swansea's top scorer, then inexplicably headed wide from Angel Rangel's pinpoint cross on the half hour mark.

Swansea finally opened the scoring in the 49th minute when Davies nipped in to beat Jon Walters to a low pass before turning and outpacing Ryan Shawcross to fire past Begovic.

Michu should have doubled the lead two minutes later as Hernandez's pull back fell to him, but Dean Whitehead made a brilliant block to prevent him adding to his 16-goal tally for the season.

But De Guzman did make it 2-0 in the 57th minute. Charlie Adam cynically fouled Michu on the edge of the box and the Dutch midfielder curled a fantastic free-kick into the top corner.

Former Watford striker Graham made an instant impact after coming off the bench as he perfectly cushioned an 80th minute pass from Routledge into the path of De Guzman, who chipped over Begovic for the third goal.

Owen flicked in a header in stoppage-time for Stoke, but the substitute's goal was way too late to revive the visitors.

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