- match commentary
- English League Cup
- 24 February 2013, 4:00pm
- Attendance: 82,597
Swansea City dashed Bradford City's dreams at Wembley Stadium as the Welsh side claimed a crushing 5-0 victory to lift the Capital One Cup.
A professional display from the Premier League side against this season's surprise package from League Two saw Nathan Dyer and Jonathan De Guzman net a brace apiece and Michu grab his 19th goal of a memorable campaign as Michael Laudrup's side got their hands on major silverware for the first time in their history.
After disposing of Wigan and Arsenal en route to the final, Bradford arrived in the capital full of hope and cheered on by a partisan travelling support from West Yorkshire. It did not take long, though, for Swansea's slick passing game to take control of proceedings, with Dyer enjoying early joy down the right flank as the Bantams battled bravely but struggled to gain a foothold in the game. Ben Davies nodded the first opportunity narrowly wide of the post, as he met an Angel Rangel cross, but the Swans did find the back of the net with just 16 minutes on the clock.
Matt Duke could only parry a low drive from Michu and Dyer was in the right place at the right time to slide the loose ball home at the back post. Leon Britton fired a half-volley wide from 25 yards as Swansea continued to dominate, before Ki Sung-Yueng was cautioned for clattering through Nahki Wells - who found himself starved of service. Bradford boss Phil Parkinson would have been looking to get his side into the dressing room with just one goal to chase after the break, but five minutes before the interval Swansea doubled their lead when Michu was allowed to spin inside the box and drill through the legs of Carl McHugh and into the bottom corner.
Things got even worse for the Bantams within two minutes of the re-start, with Dyer able to exchange passes with Wayne Routledge, work the ball onto his left foot and curl past Duke to end the tie as a contest. A thankless task became an impossible one on 56 minutes, with Duke shown a straight red card for tripping De Guzman as the Holland international skipped past him inside the box. Dyer pleaded with his colleague to take the resulting spot kick, as he eyed up a cup final hat-trick, but De Guzman refused to relinquish penalty-taking duty and confidently stroked past Bradford's back-up keeper Jon McLaughlin from 12 yards.
Bradford, to their credit, refused to lie down and succumb to a hammering, while their army of loyal followers raised the noise levels inside the national stadium, but the final half-an-hour saw the fourth tier underdogs in damage limitation mode. Swansea kept passing and probing, posing plenty of questions, and it came as no real surprise when they added a fifth in stoppage-time, with Rangel providing the ammunition for De Guzman to sweep in his second of the game.
FULL-TIME: SWANSEA WIN THE LEAGUE CUP!Now the party starts for Swansea as they celebrate winning their first ever major trophy. They are the first ever team to score five goals in a League Cup final. Bradford huffed and puffed and were well backed by 35,000 fans, but this was one match too many for the League Two side. Swansea were simply outstanding and thoroughly deserve to lift the trophy. Thanks for following our coverage.
90+1 mins: FIVE-STAR SWANSEA!Swansea put the cherry on the cake as De Guzman gets in front of his marker to turn in Rangel's low cross from six yards. Now he's on a hat-trick.
90+1 mins:Swansea almost score a fifth. McLaughlin makes a superb save as he palms out Michu's strike. The ball comes out to Lamah and his curler towards the top corner crashes off a combination of bar and post.
90 mins:Three minutes added on before the Swansea party officially starts.
88 mins:Now the Bradford faithful celebrate their first shot on target - a pearoller from Jones which Tremmel would have saved blindfolded. This is the League Two team's best spell of the game!
86 mins:Even bigger cheers now as the free-kick turns into a corner - Bradford's first of the game. Davies comes flying in but Williams flicks the ball away for a throw on the far side.
85 mins:Huge cheers from the Bradford fans as Hanson wins a free-kick about 45 yards from the Swansea goal. You know where this is going.
84 mins:The final sub of the game is being prepared as Tiendalli comes on for Davies.
81 mins:Bradford's players are out on their feet. They can't get the ball off Swansea, who force another corner which is cleared.
78 mins:Swansea now make a sub as Dyer is surprisingly withdrawn from the action. Laudrup gives him a hug but Dyer is still complaining about the penalty. Lamah is on in his place.
74 mins:Sub for Bradford as Hines replaces Thompson. Can't see it being a game-changer. Parkinson has now used up all his subs.
72 mins:Dyer is desperate to become the first player to score a hat-trick in a League Cup final but skies a shot from 25 yards.
68 mins:Credit to Bradford's fans, who are still making plenty of noise. Their players look exhausted, though. Williams gets on the end of a corner as the ball bobbles off his knee but McLaughlin smothers the ball.
65 mins:Rangel again gets in an advanced position down the right but his cross is hacked clear. Nick from Yeovil says, "Ref is a complete prat for the sending off. Yellow card would suffice as already 0-3 down."
62 mins:This is a nice gesture from Laudrup as he brings club captain Monk on for Ki. The Swansea defender joined the club nine years ago. Williams offers him the armband but Monk refuses.
61 mins:Swansea almost score a fifth as Michu sends a low shot just past the post from 20 yards. It's going to be a long half-hour for Bradford.
59 mins: DE GUZMAN SCORES FROM THE SPOT!Casual run-up from De Guzman, but he makes no mistake as he sticks his penalty low into the corner past a diving McLaughlin. Dyer joins in the celebrations as he kisses and makes up with his team-mate.
58 mins:While Bradford sub keeper McLaughlin replaces striker Wells, Dyer and De Guzman are arguing about who should take the penalty. Dyer is desperate to complete his hat-trick, but he'll have to wait as De Guzman puts the ball down on the spot. Dyer does not look happy. Cheer up. You've scored two goals and will soon be getting your mitts on the League Cup.
56 mins: BRADFORD KEEPER DUKE SENT OFF!Swansea rip through Bradford with a sweeping move. De Guzman gets on the end of Michu's low cross and touches the ball past Duke inside the six-yard box, but he's clipped by the keeper before he can tap the ball home. No room for sentiment as Duke is shown a straight red card. Penalty to Swansea.
52 mins:Swansea are threatening to run riot as they glide forward again before Bradford clear a cross. They have passed their opponents off the park this afternoon.
48 mins: DYER BAGS HIS SECOND!It's the worst possible start to the half for the Bantams. Dyer brings the ball forward from the halfway line and plays a one-two with De Guzman, via a Michu dummy, before cutting the ball on to his left foot and curling a shot off the inside of the post from 12 yards. Game over, I'm afraid.
46 mins:Bradford make a sub for the start of this second half as Davies replaces Good in defence. Davies will play in the middle, pushing McHugh out to left-back. The League Two outfit get us back underway.
HALF-TIME:Swansea are on the verge of winning their first ever major trophy. The Welsh side dominated the half and deservedly lead through goals from Dyer and Michu. It seems this is a step too far for plucky Bradford, who have given their opponents too much respect and too much time on the ball. Tremmel hasn't had a save to make. I don't want to be too harsh on the Bantams but I can't see how they can turn this around. Join us for the second half soon.
45 mins:One minute added on.
44 mins:Routledge drives in a shot from the right side of the Bradford box but Duke palms it clear. Swansea are ending the half really strongly.
42 mins:It almost gets worse for Bradford as Dyer breaks the offside trap and roundss Duke, but he takes the ball too far wide and Swansea are forced to settle for a corner.
40 mins: MICHU MAKES IT TWO!Swansea are in pole position now. Michu is allowed to turn on the edge of the box after collecting Britton's pass. The Spaniard takes a couple of touches and then fires the ball through McArdle's legs and beyond Duke's desperate dive into the bottom corner. Nice finish but McArdle should have been closer to him.
37 mins:Ki is shown the first yellow card for a late tackle on Wells. It's Bradford's first attacking set-piece of the final, but Jones's delivery from midway in the Swansea half is headed clear.
35 mins: Swansea break into the Bantams box but Dyer slips after being picked out by Hernandez. "I had a Ł10 bet on Bradford when they were 500/1 outsiders," replies Ricki from Sunderland [see 9 mins]. Unfortunately, I don't think you'll be Ł5,000 richer at 6pm.
31 mins:Swansea earn their third corner, which comes out to Britton on the edge of the box, but his first-time volley flies a few feet wide of the target.
28 mins:Swansea are looking really comfortable as they knock the ball about fluently. Bradford just can't keep possession. They've only had 25% of it so far.
25 mins:Another attack down Swansea's right flank results in a corner which Bradford clear. The Bantams could do with one of those at the other end. James from Surrey adds, "It was vital Bradford didn't concede early. I can't see them recovering from this."
22 mins:Bradford are struggling to cope with the speed and slickness of Swansea's attacks. The Premier League side are having quite a lot of joy down their right side with full-back Rangel playing like a winger. Aaron from Colchester says, "I fear for Bradford now. Think Swansea will hit them for four or five."
19 mins:Big ask now for Bradford. Their fans turn up the volume as Wells runs with the ball inside the Swansea half, but he has no support and is quickly surrounded by a flurry of white shirts.
16 mins: SWANSEA LEAD AT WEMBLEY!Bradford are caught on the break as DYER puts the Welsh side in front. After clearing a cross inside their own box, the Swans counter and quickly work the ball to Michu. The Spaniard's low left-footed shot from 20 yards towards the bottom corner is well saved by an outstretched Duke, but Dyer pounces on the rebound and slides the ball into the empty net from a few yards out.
14 mins:First effort on goal from the Swans. Rangel chips in a cross towards Davies. The left-back climbs above two defenders but plants his header wide. Duke was forced to dive but he had it covered.
11 mins:Swansea have dominated early possession, but Bradford are keeping their shape and staying very disciplined.
9 mins:De Guzman hooks a cross into the six-yard box, but Duke handles well under pressure from Michu. Ricki from Sunderland says, "Come on Bradford I have bet on you from the start it's your turn to shine let's show the PL what we are and who we are." Did you really have a bet on them, or are you telling porkies?
6 mins:After a nervy start, Bradford enjoy their first spell of possession, although most of it is in their own half.
4 mins:The Swans pour forward again. Routledge combines with Rangel down the right, but overhits his cross towards Michu.
2 mins:Swansea are immediately on the attack. Dyer forces the first corner after his cross from the right deflects behind but the Bantams survive.
0 mins:Here we go then. Who will write their name on the trophy for the first time? Swansea get us underway.
1556:Fabrice Muamba is the sponsor's guest of honour for the day and introduces himself to the squads. No national anthem, obviously because of Swansea's involvement.
1553:Bradford boss Phil Parkinson is suited and booted as he leads out his troops at a packed Wembley Stadium. Swans counterpart Brian Laudrup, though, has left his tie at home. I thought wearing a tie was in the rulebook. I made the effort when I took Torquay to the FA Cup final, although that was in Football Manager world. Unfortunately, I don't get out too much.
1540:League Two Bradford have already seen off three Premier League teams on their way to the final - more sides than QPR have managed to beat in the top flight this season. But will there be a fairytale finish to the Bantams' remarkable story? "I reckon Bradford can do it," texts Pete from Droitwich. Griff from Battersea says, "Good luck Bradford, but I think it's one Prem team too far, 3-1 to the Swans."
1533:Both sides make a feast of changes from their last outings. Strikers Nahki Wells and James Hanson are among five players recalled for the Bantams from their 2-1 defeat at AFC Wimbledon, while Michu returns for the Swans in one of seven changes after their hammering at Liverpool.
1530:Afternoon all, and welcome to Orange's live coverage of the League Cup final at Wembley. Swansea are bidding to win their first major trophy, while Bradford can become the first team from the fourth tier to win a major trophy in European football history. Team news in a tick...
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