Swansea win first major trophy with decisive League Cup victory over Bradford City
Swansea City 5 Bradford City 0
Michael Laudrup last night set his Capital One Cup win with Swansea City apart from even the famous triumphs of his glorious playing days.
This was the first major trophy in Swansea's history and Laudrup said that made it more special than the titles he won with Europe's top clubs.
"I don't think I can compare this title, what we have achieved this season in this competition with something that I've done before," Laudrup said after Swansea's 5-0 defeat of Bradford City at Wembley.
"One thing is to win a cup or a trophy with Barcelona, Real Madrid or Juventus but to win with a smaller team like Swansea is absolutely fantastic, it is their first major trophy ever. Yes it is up there with the best things because it is completely different. It is great for the first time to win a trophy, the first time is always something very special."
Laudrup won three trophies when he was manager of Brondby but said this outranks them for the same reason. "I won three trophies in Denmark - one league and two cups - with a top-two team in the country so it is different," he said. "It is still nice to stand there with a trophy, but it is different to win a trophy with a smaller club, it's different."
The one difficult moment of the afternoon for Swansea was a spat between Jonathan De Guzman and Nathan Dyer over who would take a penalty early in the second half. Dyer was on a hat-trick but De Guzman took it and scored, making it 4-0.
Laudrup, though, insisted that the confusion was his own fault for failing to specify who was Swansea's penalty-taker. "This is the 35 or 36 game of the season and our first penalty," Laudrup explained. "It's my fault because I didn't even say who was going to take a penalty if we got one, it's the penalty that we had. I forgot, sorry."
As much as Laudrup enjoyed winning the trophy, he was also pleased with his team's performance. "To have the trophy to lift is great, but I think the way we did it: 5-0, the possession, they had their first shot on target after 85 minutes, had one or two corners - it says a lot about our performance."
"We knew if would not be easy while it was 0-0 or 1-0, with one mistake they could score. We played well, we played with patience, moved the ball around and when we lost the ball put them under pressure. After the third it was game over. For 40 minutes in the second half we were there, we could enjoy it, and it is not very often you can enjoy a game you know is won for the last 40 minutes."
Bradford manager Phil Parkinson was proud of his players but said he wished it had been a more even contest. "Obviously for our supporters we would have loved to have made more of a game of it," he said, "it was a tough afternoon."
"The highlight of the day for me was the way the supporters stayed behind the team, everybody realised that this was a difficult afternoon. Of course we could have done better but I really don't want to be critical of anybody."
"What Swansea did to us they've done to Premier League teams, they are an outstanding side, enormous credit to the job Michael Laudrup has done."
"The Swansea players clapping us down the steps was a touch of class from everybody connected with Swansea. The players were a bit down in the dressing room because we could have played better. I told the lads to get their heads up because what they achieved was outstanding."
Bradford's run to the final will have positive consequences. "The big picture for us as a club is that the revenue can strengthen us for years to come," Parkinson said. "It's revenue well beyond our wildest dreams we wouldn't have expected to spend in normal circumstances. It's between us and the chariman to make sure we spend it wisely."
Belfast Telegraph Digital