Capital One Cup: Bradford’s heroic journey ends in final against a strong Swansea side

26/02/2013 no comments »
Wembley Stadium - Outside

Photo: Wembley National Stadium Ltd

After a heroic journey to the final that can only be described as a fairy tale, there was no storybook ending for Bradford as they were sent crashing thanks to a commanding performance from a determined Swansea side.

The Bantams had beaten Premier League sides Wigan, Aston Villa and Arsenal on their way to becoming the first fourth division team to reach the final since 1962 but Swansea City proved a step too far as the secured their first major trophy in their 101 year history.

Michael Laudrup’s side dominated possession in the early stages and were ahead after just over quarter of an hour when Duke could only push out Michu’s shot into the path of Nathan Dyer who reacted the quickest to tap the ball into the net. As half-time approached, it was looking that Bradford would go into the interval trailing by a single goal but Swansea had different ideas an Hernandez played in Michu who then passed the ball through the defender’s legs and beyond Duke to double their lead.

Bradford came out in the second half with a bit of fight and spirit but they were put to bed on just the 47th minute when Dyer played a one two and stroked the ball past Duke to double his tally and put three on the board for the Swans. The fourth for Swansea came after De Guzman dribbled the ball around keeper Duke but was then brought down which resulted in a stone wall penalty. Referee Kevin Friend had no alternative but to send Duke off and De Guzman proceeded to prepare for the spot kick. Despite De Guzman being the dedicated penalty taker, Nathan Dyer was desperate to take this one for his hat-trick but it was not to be his day as De Guzman stayed calm and beat substitute keeper Jon McLaughlin. Bradford thought they’d managed to see the rest of the game off without conceding another goal as Swansea took their foot off the gas but De Guzman notched his second as he bundled in from close range late in the game to wrap up the afternoon for Swansea. Bradford offered nothing going forward and it was just three minutes from time when Gary Jones forced a straight forward save for Swans keeper Tremmel. Bradford never got into the position to utilise their strength from set-pieces that played a huge part in defeating Villa in the semi-final.

The victory capped a fine first season for Laudrup after he succeeded Brendan Rodgers in the summer and Swansea can no plan for a campaign in next season’s Europa League.

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