League Cup Final
24 Feb 2013 - 4:00 PM
Bradford City 0-5 Swansea City
by Chris Hatherall
Swansea City made history as they clinched the League Cup with a hugely convincing 5-0 victory over Bradford City at Wembley - the biggest ever margin of victory in this final.
It was always a day when landmarks were going to be set - after all, League Two Bradford were hoping to become the first club from the fourth tier to win a major trophy, not just in England but anywhere in Europe.
But in the end, having had goalkeeper Matt Duke sent off in the second half, the team who knocked out Aston Villa, Arsenal and Wigan met their match in a one-sided final in which Michael Laudrup's Swansea were simply supreme.
Two goals from Nathan Dyer, one from the imperious Michu and two from Jonathan De Guzman, the first a penalty, saw the Swans cruise to victory and enabled them to mark their centenary season with their first ever major trophy.
It was the first time at team from outside of England had ever lifted the League Cup, although Cardiff came very close last season when they lost to Liverpool on penalties. And Swansea are the first Welsh club to lift a major trophy since 1927, the year Cardiff won The FA Cup.
What a day, then, for Swansea's ecstatic fans who were cheering almost from the first minute to the last.
Their team were ahead after only 16 minutes when Michu's shot was saved by Duke and Dyer came sliding in at the far post to turn the ball home.
Swansea, playing their trademark possession football, were totally dominant and made it 2-0 with a wonderfully-taken strike from Michu, who barely needed any back-lift to dink an angled shot into the far corner of the net after 40 minutes.
There was no respite for Bradford after the break, either. In fact things got worse for Phil Parkinson's men as first Dyer cut inside to unleash a stunning left-foot shot for 3-0 and then goalkeeper Duke was sent off for tripping De Guzman after 57 minutes. The Dutchman took the penalty himself, coolly and calmly, for 4-0.
Even so, Bradford's fans continued to cheer their team and made the most of their incredible experience, greeting their team's first corner in the 86th minute and first shot on target in the 87th with gusto.
But in a year which has seen so many Cup shocks this was one occasion when a giant-killing was never on the cards.
And there was one more goal for the Swans to enjoy when De Guzman superbly finished off another flowing move in added time - meaning Swansea had overtaken the record 4-0 margin of victory set by Manchester United when they beat Wigan in 2006.
Duke, Darby, McHugh, McArdle, Good, Atkinson, Jones, Doyle, Thompson (Hines, 73), Hanson, Wells (McLaughlin, 58).
Substitutes not used: Ravenhill, Reid, Connell, Turgott.
Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Sung-Yeung (Monk, 62), De Guzman, Dyer (Lamah, 78), Britton, Davies (Tiendalli, 84), Routledge, Hernandez, Michu. Substitutes not used: Vorm, Shechter, Moore, Lamah, Agustien.
Referee: Kevin Friend