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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Swans pay the penalty for honesty -- Rodgers

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers felt his side paid for their sportsmanship in yesterday's 2-0 defeat away to Stoke.

The Welsh side lost out to first-half headed goals from Matthew Upson (pictured) -- his first for Stoke -- and Peter Crouch as the Potters ended a run of four straight Premier League defeats.

But Rodgers argued the Swans should have been awarded a penalty eight minutes from time when Dean Whitehead appeared to pull Gylfi Sigurdsson's shirt, and believes referee Howard Webb did not award it because the Icelander stayed on his feet.

The Swansea boss said: "I was disappointed we didn't get a penalty, and I've found out one of the players was told we didn't get it because he didn't go down.

"We try to respect the rules of the game but actually we get penalised because he was honest. If he goes down, we probably get the penalty. I'll speak to Howard to get his version but it is disappointing."

Swansea, who beat Stoke by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture in October, were dealt a blow before kick-off when keeper Michel Vorm was ruled out through illness.

The Dutchman has been one of the Swans' star performers this season, and it was certainly not an easy game for Gerhard Tremmel to make his Premier League debut in.

Rodgers said: "I thought Gerhard Tremmel dealt well with most of what he had to do. I thought some of our play was very good but we were disappointed with the two goals we conceded because we know the threat that Stoke have."

Swansea struggled to create opportunities and until stoppage time they had not tested Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic, but the Bosnia international then pulled off one of the saves of the season, pushing Steven Caulker's close-range header onto the bar.

It was Begovic's first Premier League appearance for almost three months and Stoke boss Tony Pulis confirmed Thomas Sorensen had paid the price for a few errors.

"Asmir started the season, we left him out because he made a few mistakes and Thomas will be the first one to hold his hand up and say he should have done better with certain things. I've got great confidence in those two, as I have in all the players, and I thought the save at the end was first class."

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