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).

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Strange 'quack' noises could be undersea chatter of Minke whales
science
Voices
voices Furore is yet another example of shameful Westminster evasion, says Nigel Farage
News
weird news... and film it, obviously
Arts & Entertainment
tv
Sport
sport
News
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
News
peopleJay Z and Beyoncé to buy £5.5m London townhouse
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Student
student
News
<b>Rebecca Adlington</b>
<br />This, the first British swimmer to win two
Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the eversmiling
face of the athletes who will, we're
confident, make us all proud at London 2012
peopleRebecca Adlington on 'nose surgery'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents