Bojan Krkic held his nerve to convert the early penalty that gave Stoke City a 1-0 win against Swansea City on Monday. Bojan stroked home a fourth-minute spot-kick to settle a dour encounter at the Liberty Stadium after Ashley Williams fouled the former Barcelona forward.
The Spaniard's second goal of the season ensured Mark Hughes' side enjoyed their third successive English Premier League victory, lifting them into 11th place after they had opened the campaign without a win in six games. In stark contrast, Swansea have now gone six matches without a win since their impressive success against Manchester United.
A mistake from Swansea midfielder Jack Cork allowed Bojan to run at the heart of the Swansea defence in the fourth minute. Bojan slipped past Federico Fernandez and tempted Wales defender Williams into a careless challenge which was firmly punished from the spot.
Bafetimbi Gomis met Cork's cross to send a header wide, but Stoke were almost the architects of their downfall when England goalkeeper Jack Butland nearly landed them in trouble. He took a bad touch from Geoff Cameron's back-pass and as Andre Ayew closed in on the ball Butland went in to the challenge studs first.
There was no doubt that Butland took the ball and referee Robert Madley judged it a fair challenge, waving play on much to Swansea's displeasure. Xherdan Shaqiri created a clear opening for Stoke when his reverse pass caught Neil Taylor sleeping and Glen Johnson flashed his shot across goal.
Swansea were struggling to find any rhythm and slick Stoke approach play between Glenn Whelan and Marko Arnautovic deserved a better finish than Charlie Adam's wasteful effort. The hosts were within inches of equalising when Jonjo Shelvey raced onto Ayew's pass and fired under the body of Butland to strike the far post, the closest they got to scoring. Gylfi Sigurdsson also went close for Swansea with a long-range effort, but Stoke's rock-solid defence kept them at bay.