Swansea further ease relegation fears with Sigurdsson, Montero efforts

A second half tactical change from Francesco Guidolin was enough to see Swansea fight back from a two goal deficit to draw 2-2 at Stoke on Saturday.

The change -- from the diamond to 4-2-3-1 -- allowed Jefferson Montero to make his first appearance for the Swans new boss, and while the Ecuadorian didn't end the game with any goals or assists, his introduction seemed to catalyse the Swans' comeback.

With Swansea having looked both good and bad with both formations at different times this season, and with players like Montero on board who seem better suited to one formation rather than the other, it might be that there is another formation yet to be tried which could provide the best of both worlds.

While Guidolin figures out what that might be, Swansea will be happy to have taken another small step towards the 40 point mark, although surely survival is already guaranteed at this point.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Lukasz Fabianski, 6 -- Looked a little stationary on Ibrahim Afellay's opening goal, and might even have done more to stop Bojan Krkic's strike, but did make three other saves.

DF Angel Rangel, 6 -- Given the kind of season Marko Arnautovic has been having, Rangel did well to limit him to a single assist, though that's really no excuse.

DF Federico Fernandez, 6 -- Did well enough overall, but seemed unable to live with Bojan at times, especially during Stoke's second goal. Might have benefited from marking Joselu instead and allowing partner Williams to sweep up on a day when the Swans centre-backs struggled to shut the door.

DF Ash Williams, 7 -- Chalked up a rare assist on Alberto Paloschi's equaliser, but wasn't as dominant as usual defensively, allowing Joselu a bit more freedom than might be expected from the captain. Still managed eight clearances and three interceptions however.

DF Kyle Naughton, 6 -- Was in no-man's land when Arnautovic's cross fell for Afellay to head home. Had been asked to play on his weaker side owing to a lack of squad depth, but that shouldn't make any difference to his defensive positioning.

MF Leon Britton, 7 -- Made all the difference against Aston Villa from the bench, was restored to the starting lineup as a result and racked up 94 percent pass success. Swansea didn't really get going until Britton made way for Montero in the second half, but that wasn't Leon's fault.

MF Jack Cork, 7 -- Led all Swansea players with four tackles, while also clocking four clearances, two blocks and a team-high 71 touches. Still one of the most underrated bargain signings in recent Swansea history.

MF Leroy Fer, 6 -- A fairly low-key performance from the Swans loan signing. No major errors, no major triumphs. Has shown the ability to play a variety of midfield roles, allowing for another mid-game tactical change on Saturday.

MF Gylfi Sigurdsson, 8 -- Continues to pick up almost all the scoring slack for Swansea, who would be considerably worse off without their Icelandic talisman. Showed fantastic control to corral a slightly askew cross from Routledge for the goal which gave Swansea hope.

FW Wayne Routledge , 7 -- Provided the cross for Sigurdsson's goal, and was otherwise positive all game long. Led the team with three key passes.

FW Bafetimbi Gomis, 6 -- Struggled to play the hold-up game, which saw a number of potential Swansea attacks peter out before they'd started. If he won't support play, he needs to finish, but neither of his two shots were on target.


MF Jefferson Montero, 8 -- Made a huge difference when he replaced Britton on the hour. His crossing could use some variety, but he still put plenty of quality balls into dangerous areas and forced Stoke to stretch their defence, allowing space for Swansea to score.

FW Alberto Paloschi, NR -- Replaced Gomis in the 70th minute and showed sufficient hunger to dig a goal out of practically nothing, winning a point for Swansea. Should be playing all the time.

DF Neil Taylor, NR -- Replaced injured Naughton in the 81st minute and didn't have time to affect the game.