So much for the time-honoured theory that a good big 'un will always beat a good little 'un. The smallest team in the Premier League outplayed the largest, and deservedly claimed their second home win in succession.
They billed this locally as Beauty v The Beast, but Gulliver's Travels would have been more appropriate, with Swansea City looking Lilliputian alongside Stoke City's giants, who were the biggest visitors to the Liberty Stadium since Stade Français played the Ospreys.
To the delight of not only the home crowd but aesthetes everywhere, pace, control and sleight of foot – personified by Nathan Dyer, Scott Sinclair and the man of the match, Joe Allen – prevailed against the power game.
After initial doubts, theSwans are beginning to look the part at elite level and were stylishly impressive in seeing off Stoke's characteristically rugged challenge with goals from Sinclair and Danny Graham. They played the better, more cohesive football, and their neat and attractive pass‑and‑move game was too good for opponents who were good enough to frustrate the mighty Manchester United only a week ago.
Swansea have found goals hard to come by (no team had scored fewer in the Premier League before Sunday), but for once they enjoyed the luxury of an early lead. Ryan Shawcross scarcely enhanced his England prospects by bringing down Wayne Routledge for Sinclair to open the scoring from the penalty spot after eight minutes. Graham, who has been firing blanks since joining from Watford for a club record £3.5m, ought to have doubled the advantage soon afterwards but failed to do justice to Sinclair's left-wing cross.
Stoke, who made seven changes for the midweek Europa League win over Besiktas, were back at full strength, with one significant exception. Matthew Etherington, their influential winger, failed a pre-match fitness test and was replaced by Dean Whitehead, a conventional midfielder. The width and service Etherington supplies was clearly missed, but the Swans were also without an important player, Leon Britton having dropped out with back trouble.
Andy Wilkinson was fortunate indeed that the referee was not Martin Atkinson, of Goodison infamy, when he "took out" Dyer on a run and escaped with only a booking.
Glenn Whelan was within inches of equalising in the 60th minute when his curling 25-yard free-kick hit the base of Michel Vorm's left‑hand post, while at the other end Sinclair would have made it 2-0 midway through the second half with a blistering drive from similar range but for a spectacular save from Asmir Begovic.
When the second came it was from Graham, who dispossessed Jonathan Woodgate near halfway before breaking through the middle and scoring his first Premier League goal with a composed finish from the 18‑yard line. He was given a hero's ovation when he was substituted in the 90th minute, having broken his duck at last.
Brendan Rodgers said: "I think we've put a marker down today. Everyone talks about our style of football, but to keep a clean sheet against Stoke with seven players of 5ft 8in and under is a great achievement. They are one of the most difficult teams to play against, and I thought the effort and performance my players put in was incredible."
Tony Pulis criticised Shawcross for needlessly conceding the penalty with what he called "a poor challenge" and thought Stoke should have had one of their own when Jonathan Walters and Ashley Williams wrestled off the ball. He felt his team were "a little bit leggy" after playing three games in nine days. Of Swansea's style, he said: "They have got some good players and they move the ball around nicely. They take the sting out of the game by keeping the ball. They shouldn't change, they need to keep doing it Brendan's way." Amen to that.