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).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea