Swansea secure huge cup-final win over Bradford
Ten years after they teetered on the edge of oblivion, Swansea City will stride into Europe after a 5-0 Capital One Cup final stroll against 10-man Bradford.
After beating three Barclays Premier League outfits on their way to Wembley, League Two Bradford found Swansea an altogether different proposition.
Nathan Dyer scored twice, Michu found the net before the break and Jonathan de Guzman's doubled confirmed the biggest win in final history with Bradford's evening also made sour by the dismissal of goalkeeper Matt Duke for conceding the penalty that brought Swansea's fourth goal.
The scene was set inside the first minute, which Bradford spent chasing the ball as Swansea zipped it around with relish. Swansea did not actually threaten Duke's goal until Ben Davies won a towering far-post header which he sent inches wide.
Swansea broke with pace, Dyer to the excellent Wayne Routledge and on to Michu, two passes taking them from the edge of one area to the other. Michu arrowed his shot for the far corner. Duke dived despairingly to his left, failed to get a firm enough touch and allowed Dyer to slide in from an acute angle.
Leon Britton should have doubled Swansea's lead when Bradford cleared a corner invitingly into his path, but the sliced effort flew wide. It was only a matter of time before the West Yorkshire outfit cracked again though. Pablo Hernandez placed the ball through Gary Jones' legs before Michu curled it between Carl McHugh's in the bottom corner.
Phil Parkinson desperately needed to stabilise the situation. Unfortunately, within 15 minutes of the restart it had careered completely out of control as more intricate Swansea passing opened Bradford up, with Routledge providing the pass which Dyer stepped inside off before slotting home his second.
Dyer then slid a pass through to De Guzman, who nipped round Duke only to be taken down by the keeper. Referee Kevin Friend brandished a red card but the drama came with Dyer's furious reaction to De Guzman's refusal to stand down as penalty taker, even though his team-mate stood on the brink of becoming the first man in history to score a hat-trick in a final.
It was an argument that continued for the entire length of time it took Jon McLaughlin to replace Nahki Wells and thankfully for De Guzman, he kept his cool to score, with Dyer then offering his congratulations.
Thankfully, Bradford avoided complete catastrophe, their loyal supporters cheering their first corner on 83 minutes and even a shot not long afterwards. They stayed to cheer their team up the steps too, when most losers head straight off into the night. By then De Guzman had his second and Swansea had the record - and, most joyously, the cup.
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