Valencia 0 Swansea City 3 match report: Swans’ rise at new high with rout of fallen giants

 

The Mestalla

Thirteen years ago Swansea were playing in the old Third Division while Valencia were facing Real Madrid in the Champions League final. Tonight the Welsh team showed just how far they have come with a masterful victory in Spain that will have surprised many, though not those who have followed this team’s impressive rise.

Last season’s League Cup winners cashed in on Adil Rami’s 10th-minute red card to roar to the top of Group A courtesy of goals from Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan de Guzman.

“It’s a great night and one to remember,” said manager Michael Laudrup. “I’m pleased for the fans and the players. Nobody expected us to get three points here, but the players know they can play against big clubs in the biggest stadium without any problems. I know the red card early in the game had an influence, but we dominated the game from the first to the last minute. We scored three goals, but it could have been even more.”

Indeed, Swansea were so dominant that Laudrup’s men notched up a staggering 66 per cent of possession.

But just as this is not the Swansea of 13 years ago, neither is it the same Valencia. They came into this opening group game on the back of three La Liga defeats and certainly did not need the extra pressure of losing centre-back Rami after 10 minutes.

Bony robbed Ever Banega in possession and as the Ivorian striker looked set to gallop through on goal, Rami could not resist attempting a tackle and the Belgian referee Serge Gumienny had no hesitation in red carding him for a professional foul.

“It was a difficult decision,” Laudrup added. “Some referees will give a red card and others wouldn’t. But he got the red card out immediately so that showed he had no doubts.”

Swansea capitalised with the opening goal four minutes later. Bony started the move, feeding Alejandro Pozuelo who released Michu down the left flank. Last season’s top scorer pulled the ball back across goal and Bony reacted quickest with a left-footed strike past Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

It was Bony’s fourth goal in as many games of Swansea’s Europa campaign, which began in the qualifying rounds,  and his fifth of the season.

Valencia looked a far cry from the two-time Champions League final sides at the start of the 21st century, and the half-time break was greeted by the home fans with deafening whistles and even a few white handkerchiefs.

The unrest at the Spanish giants led to a 15-minute protest among their hardcore sat behind the goal at the start of the second half.

During this period of protest, it could have got worse for Valencia, with Bony heading over from Nathan Dyer’s dangerous cross and Michu failing to test Guatia with his hooked shot. Yet the Spaniard made no mistake when he fired Swansea towards victory in the 58th minute.

De Guzman and Alejandro Pozuelo linked up and Michu slammed the ball home from 10 yards for his fourth goal of the season. Then, after Banega fouled Bony, De Guzman sealed a superb win with a stunning 30-yard free-kick past Guaita to round off a marvellous evening for Swansea – their first European away win since beating Sliema Wanders 31 years ago.

Valencia (4-3-3): Guaita; Barragan, Rami, Mathieu, Guardado; Fuego, Ever, Feghouli (Pabon, 59); Fede (Costa, 11), Canales (Bernat, 66), Postiga..

Swansea City (4-3-3): Vorm; Rangel (Davies, 55), Chico, Amat, Tiendalli; Canas, De Guzman, Michu (Shelvey, 77); Dyer (Lamah 65), Bony, Pozuelo.

Referee S Gumienny (Belgium).

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own