Swansea City beat Bradford City 5-0 to win the Capital One Cup
It was going to be a fairy tale for whichever club won the Capital One Cup, but in the popularly dubbed ‘People’s Final’ Premier League Swansea City proved far too powerful for npower League 2 Bradford City.
Two goals apiece for Nathan Dyer and Jonathan de Guzman – his first a penalty – and a Michu strike gave the Swans a first major trophy in the club’s 100-year history and made them the first Welsh club to win the League Cup.
Bradford’s hopes of becoming the first League 2 level team to lift the trophy – and the first European club in history to win a major cup while playing in the fourth tier of their domestic league – were destroyed in a one-sided game which they finished with 10 men after a 57th-minute red card for goalkeeper Matt Duke.
The keeper was dismissed for bringing down Dyer, who pleaded for the chance to take the resultant spot-kick in the hope of completing his hat-trick but had to watch as midfielder De Guzman calmly slotted the ball home.
The Bantams had heroically beaten three Premier League sides en route to the final but could not make it a record-breaking fourth against a team sitting 70 rungs higher than themselves on the league ladder at ninth in the top flight.
They were up against it from the 16th minute, when Dyer nipped in at the far post to squeeze the ball in for the first goal after Duke had dived to push out striker Michu’s low 20 yard shot.
Ironically after doing practically all of the early probing, Swansea’s opener had come through a breakaway led by Wayne Routledge’s powerful run out of defence and the midfielder’s neat pass to Michu.
The second goal, five minutes before the interval, came from a more considered build-up that ended with a Michu's turn-and-shot from 15 yards into the corner of the net after a Pablo Hernandez through ball had set up the Spanish striker.
Dyer’s second goal arrived two minutes after the break, the winger swapping passes with Routledge before cutting in from the right to shoot home.
De Guzman put his penalty past substitute goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin following Duke’s sending off for bringing down Dyer just six yards off his line.
Swansea continued to press but one of the biggest cheers of the day was reserved for Bradford captain Gary Jones’ 87th minute 20-yard drive that forced keeper Gerhard Tremmel into his first and only save of the match.
The mass flag-waving of the Bradford fans never abated, even when De Guzman swept home right-back Angel Rangel’s cross for his second goal and the completion of the biggest final victory in the history of the competition.
So the Capital Cup went emphatically to Swansea, their triumph remarkably coming just 10 years after they saved themselves from dropping out of The Football League on the final day of the season.
At that time Bradford were heading in the opposite direction, from the Premier League to the basement division. But they have lit up the Capital One Cup this term and will aim to use their run to the final as the inspiration for a late challenge to reach the League 2 Play-Offs.
Bradford (4-4-2): Duke; Darby, McArdle, McHugh, Good (Davies HT); Thompson (Hines 74), Doyle, Jones, Atkinson; Wells (McLaughlin 58), Hanson.
Substitutes not used: Ravenhill, Reid, Connell, Turgott.
Swansea (4-2-3-1): Tremmel; Rangel, Sung-Yeung (Monk 63), Williams, Davies (Tiendalli 84); De Guzman, Britton; Dyer (Lamah 78), Routledge, Hernandez; Michu.
Substitutes not used: Vorm, Shechter, Moore, Augustien.
Referee: Mr. K. Friend