Google+ PLANET FOOT 7: UEFA Europa League: Valencia 0 - Swansea 3.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

UEFA Europa League: Valencia 0 - Swansea 3.

Swansea City made a dream begin to their UEFA Europa League campaign as they swept aside Valencia 3-0 at Mestalla on Thursday. 

Wilfried Bony opened the scoring in the Group A encounter with his fourth goal in four European fixtures this season, before Michu and Jonathan de Guzman completed the comfortable victory in the second half. 

Valencia's night started poorly when Adil Rami was sent off for bringing down Bony in the early stages, and the Ivorian opened the scoring with a powerful effort shortly after. 

Michu deservedly grabbed a second with a driven strike inside the crate, before De Guzman's fabulous free-kick from distance ensured the victory. 

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup made five changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Premier League leaders Liverpool on Monday, with the likes of De Guzman and Alejandro Pozuelo winning recalls. 

Valencia slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Real Betis on Sunday  their third La Liga defeat in a row  and as a result manager Miroslav Djukic dropped Joao Pereira and Juan Bernat, with defenders Antonio Barragan and Andres Guardado selected in their place. 

Swansea made a shiny begin to the match and received a boost in the 10th minute when Valencia defender Rami was given his marching orders. 

The lively Bony pounced upon a mistake from Ever Banega and raced definite of Rami, only to be hauled down by the France international. 

Djukic was forced to shuffle his pack as a result, introducing another central defender, Ricardo Costa, in place of Federico Cartabia. 

But the change could not stopping Swansea taking the guide as Bony put the visitors ahead in the 14th minute. 

Neat interplay between Michu and Pozuelo led to the former centring for Bony from the left and he hit a fierce left-foot strike from just inside the place that whistled past Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita. 

Costa then approximately gifted Swansea a second when his attempted clearance was played straight to Nathan Dyer, but the winger, who raced positive, dragged his shot broad. 

Bony came agonisingly close to a second five minutes before half-time when he turned Costa easily before flashing an effort narrowly broad. 

Swansea started the second period in same fashion and twice Bony missed great opportunities to double their advantage. 

But the away side deservedly grabbed a second in the 58th minute. 

Pozuelo collected a De Guzman pass before playing a perfectly weighted pass to Michu upon the right hand side of the crate and the forward rifled house at the near post. 

De Guzman then produced a moment of sheer brilliance just four minutes later. 

Banega conceded a soft free-kick 30 yards from goal upon the left and the Netherlands international bent a superb strike into the summit corner to delight the away fans. 

With the game all but won Swansea slowed the tempo down, allowing Valencia to enjoy a spell of possession, and Helder Postiga almost grabbed a consolation with eight minutes remaining but headed Barragan's cross harmlessly wide. 

Jonjo Shelvey also came near with an ambitious chip at the other end, but three goals were more than enough for an excellent Swansea side.

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