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Match Reports

Bradford City 0 Swansea City 5

24 February 2013

Bradford City 0 Swansea City 5

The Bantams fell at the final hurdle of a hugely eventful Capital One Cup competition as they were resoundingly defeated at the hands of a Swansea City side possessing tonnes of quality. 

Goals from Nathan Dyer, Michu and Jonathan De Guzman took City to the sword but the occasion was still momentous and the 32,000 strong sea of Claret & Amber in the stands were tremendously loud and supportive from start to finish, despite witnessing their side taking a beating.

It was clear from the early stages of the game that Swansea would dominate much of play and create a hatful of chances and their first threatening opportunity came from the head of young full back Ben Davies.

Nathan Dyer found the run of Angel Rangel on the overlap and the Spaniard's teasing cross was attacked and met by the head of Davies, but the ball edge narrowly wide of the far post with Matt Duke seemingly struggling to do little to prevent The Swans going in front, had the ball nestled in.

A couple of minutes later though, the Welsh side took the lead. Michu's shot from the edge of the area could only be pushed to one side by Duke and Dyer was alert enough to pounce on the loose ball and tap the ball into a barely guarded goal at the far post to spark a black & white eruption on the far side of the ground.

Just after the half hour, Swansea nearly doubled their advantage in emphatic fashion. Jonathan De Guzman's corner was half cleared as far as Leon Britton, the only player in the starting line-up to have played the last time the two sides met in January 2007, and he hammered a first time shot towards goal from 25 yards that fizzed narrowly wide of the target.

Bradford danger-man Nahki Wells was being given a very physical introduction to the game by Swansea centre halves Ashley Williams and Sung-Yueng Ki and it was the latter of the two who was booked by referee Kevin Friend for a rash challenge from behind on the Bermudan.

With the game gradually heading for half time with the difference standing at just a single goal, Swans top goalscorer Michu made life much more difficult with a strike just before the interval. Beating the offside trap and finding far too much space inside the area, he made no mistake in firing a neat shot through a tight gap and beyond Duke into the bottom corner to put his side very much in the driving seat.

Pablo Hernandez almost made matters worse for Phil Parkinson's men a few minutes later; De Guzman's corner was half cleared and the former Valencia man proceeded to curl a low shot towards goal that was held alertly by Matt Duke.

The teams went into the half time break with contrasting feelings, one team was cruising towards victory and the other had to do all they could to score the next goal and get in the faces of their opponents.

Despite a bright opening few minutes in the second half from The Bantams, it was The Swans who struck the killer blow on the 48th minute. Nathan Dyer's pass was dummied intelligently by Michu and played back into the path of Dyer by Wayne Routledge and he finished superbly, curling a shot into the top corner of the goal, ending a flowing world class move in style.

James Hanson was winning his fair share of headers and knock downs and on this occasion one was capitalised on; Nathan Doyle's floated freekick was knocked down by the former shelf stacker and Will Atkinson's shot was blocked away to safety.

Another flowing passing move from the Premier League side saw Jonathan De Guzman bearing down on goal inside the area, as he looked to round Matt Duke he was brought down by a stray limb and a penalty was awarded. Duke was then, perhaps unnecessarily, given a straight red card by the man in charge, Kevin Friend.

Nahki Wells, unluckily, was the man to be replaced to allow Jon McLaughlin to take his place between the sticks and his first job was to pick the ball from the back of the net after he was beaten by De Guzman's precise spot kick.

Michu came close to grabbing his second goal of the afternoon on the hour mark when his placed, low shot crept narrowly wide following a neat one two with Nathan Dyer.

Despite their side being 4 goals down and heading towards defeat, the fans in Claret & Amber were absolutely superb and produced 20 minutes of deafening, spirited noise to get behind their side. A sea of flags were being waved constantly and without knowing the scoreline, you would have found it hard to believe that it was Bradford taking a beating and not Swansea due to the volume being created by The Bantams' fans compared with that of The Swans.

A spark of energy from City near the end came as they tried desperately to score a consolation goal. From a corner kick, the ball was cleared out as far as influential skipper Gary Jones and he hit a tame volley down the throat of Gerhard Tremmel who dealt with it comfortably. The shot from Jones was the first to force Tremmel into any form of save and thus sparked loud, joyous cheers from Bradford fans behind the goal.

With the three minutes of additional time under way, Swansea added a 5th goal to their tally when Jonathan De Guzman joined Nathan Dyer in scoring a brace. Angel Rangel's low cross was inviting and De Guzman stretched ahead of his marker to tap the ball in from close range beyond Jon McLaughlin.

The final whistle sounded and Swansea were deserved winners of The 2013 Capital One Cup after dominating the Wembley final and beating top class opponents on their way but Bradford City ought to be proud of themselves for reaching a major cup final whilst competing in The Football League's basement division. To also beat Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa on their way is an outstanding achievement and one they should never forget.

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