As we continue our build up towards Sunday’s derby then we look back at our second Swansea/Cardiff match of the past as we head back to 2014 and a magical night at the Liberty in the Premier League.
Swansea City 3 Cardiff City 0
08 February 2014
The Planet Swans Match Report
Three second half goals from the Swans told just half a story of domination after a pretty even first half saw Cardiff completely outplayed in the second as Garry Monk’s Swans reign started with the perfect tonic – a win over their local rivals lifting them back into the top half of the Premier League table.
The strike from Wayne Routledge was added to by headers from Nathan Dyer and Wilfried Bony as the home side more than made amends for their 1-0 defeat at Legoland last November and showed all the deficiencies in the Cardiff side whilst starting to showcase again what is good about us.
It was a perfect ending to a long week at Swansea that had started with defeat at West Ham and involved the sacking of a manager for the first time in ten years when Michael Laudrup departed on Tuesday evening. The replacement of Garry Monk seemed to have no difficulty in lifting the Swans and the atmosphere at the Liberty as the Swans outplayed and outsung their rivals who spent large periods of the game like rabbits in the headlight of a Swansea onslaught.
Ironically they probably had the better chances in the first half although the Swans definitely had the lions share of possession and themselves created some good chances without testing Marshall greatly in the Cardiff goal.
It was the introduction of Pablo Hernandez though at half time that made an instant impact as his brilliant through ball just over a minute into the second half played in Routledge who steered the ball past Marshall and into the corner of the Cardiff net to bring the Liberty to it’s feet in a sea of noise.
It was the lift that the Swans needed and from that point forward in my book there was only one winner as the Swans pushed forward at every opportunity whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a mockery of his January transfer dealings by taking off his three main signings for players who I really don’t think are up to the Premier League thus making our jobs easier on the day.
Dyer grabbed the second when he came in almost unmarked to head home Routledge’s cross and just five minutes later Bony headed home a free kick from Pablo Hernandez to finish the rout and start the party at the Liberty as the Cardiff fans sat in stunned silence at how second best their team really was on the day.
The Swans are by no means safe from relegation worries at this point but if this is the kind of performance we can expect from this point forward then it won’t take long for those worries to disappear completely but without a doubt for Cardiff they are in a run of form that they need to halt very quickly or they could find themselves adrift very soon.
A superb start for Garry Monk as he adds another line to his CV for a permanent position in the Liberty hot seat.
Garry Monk: “I never doubted the players – I know them, I’ve been here for 10 years and I knew they would go out there and work. I told them to go out and do it for themselves.
“They were being questioned. No matter who was sitting here in my seat, they were being questioned about their form and this and that.
“I told them to go out there and show everyone what good players they are – and they are good players and everyone knows that. It’s all about confidence and belief. Football-wise not a problem, it was just the mentality that had to change a little bit.
“Before the game I spoke to Brendan [Rodgers], Roberto [Martinez] and Kenny [Jackett]. I’ve had texts off numerous other coaches I’ve worked with and the support and advice I’ve had from people at the top of their game has been absolutely amazing.”
Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “We got into half time with a good performance in the first half. But then we gave away a poor goal. We had chances, we had a massive chance with a free kick just before they scored.
“You always go into these derby games with heart and the passion would always be there. Garry Monk got off to a great start and we have to respond on Tuesday.
“We stand together as a team. We tried but didn’t get that quality we hoped for. The lads in the dressing room are devastated, which they should be because they have maybe lost the most important game of the year, but their character is great and they will bounce back.”