Football: In the end, Bradford City, the side from League Two, had no answer for the dynamism and craft of their top-flight opponents. Their hopes of creating history lay in ruins as they were ruthlessly undone by Swansea’s forward line in a one-sided League Cup final.
By half-time, Phil Parkinson’s men had conceded two goals to Swansea, from Nathan Dyer and Michu, and created no noteworthy goal-scoring opportunities. By the end of the match, the Bradford supporters witnessed their side concede three more, lose their goalkeeper and be thoroughly outclassed by the far superior side.
From the outset, it became apparent that Bradford, conquerors of Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa in earlier rounds, would struggle to cope with the free-flowing football served up by Michael Laudrup’s men. At times, the gulf in class was staggering.
Meanwhile, the Dane, in his first season in English football, has reached hero status after guiding the club to their first major trophy in their 101-year history.
The opener came from a Swansea breakaway move on 15 minutes. Wayne Routledge ran from his own half before he played in Michu.
The Spaniard fired a firm left-footed shot goalwards. Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke made the save, but Dyer raced in ahead of his marker and slammed in the loose ball.
Swansea were comfortably ahead when they scored their second, on 39 minutes, through Michu, whose shot flew through the legs of defender Rory McArdle and past Duke.
Bradford were looking to become the first team from English football’s fourth-tier to win a major cup competition, but the dream was fast slipping away.
Parkinson rang the changes at half-time, but they had little chance to take effect as his side fell further behind less than two minutes into the second half.
Dyer, perhaps Swansea’s best performer on the day, collected the ball in midfield before running at Bradford’s back-line.
He exchanged passes with Routledge, before cutting inside his marker and curling the ball into the net beyond Duke. Credit must go to Michu’s contributions to the move.
On 55 minutes, it was all over when the Bradford goalkeeper was sent off for tripping Jonathan de Guzman. The Dutchman confidently stepped up and put the spot-kick past substitute goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, and de Guzman scored again at the death.