Valencia - Swansea City have produced a remarkable performance on their Europa League
debut to thump Spanish giants Valencia 3-0 at the Mestalla on Thursday.
Group A clash was, on paper, the standout of all those played in the
Europa League on Thursday, but few could have imagined it would be so
A Swansea side coached by former Real Madrid and
Barcelona star Michael Laudrup and featuring six Spaniards, including
captain Angel Rangel, punished opponents who played 80 minutes with 10
men to run out thoroughly deserving winners.
Valencia were already
wobbling before French centre-back Adil Rami was sent off with 10
minutes on the clock for hauling back Wilfried Bony as the Ivorian
striker headed towards goal.
Soon after, the lively Bony converted
a Michu cutback to give Swansea the lead, and Valencia, who have lost
their last three matches in La Liga, never looked like recovering.
section of the Valencia support staged a walkout in protest at their
teams' recent form at the start of the second half, before Spanish duo
Alejandro Pozuelo and Michu combined for the latter to double Swansea's
lead after 58 minutes.
When Jonathan De Guzman beat Vicente Guaita
with a stunning free-kick five minutes later, the home supporters could
only applaud, and Swansea might even have won by a greater margin.
It was a stunning victory for a club that lost 8-0 to Monaco in their last European tie in the Cup Winners Cup in 1991.
was a fantastic game," Laudrup said afterwards. "Of course the red card
was an influence -- but we dominated from the first minute to the last.
could have been more than three and I'm very pleased to beat a club
like Valencia. It was our fifth game in Europe -- and we were facing a
The win was only the second by a Welsh side against
Spanish opponents in European competition, after Cardiff City beat Real
Madrid 1-0 in the Cup Winners Cup quarter-final, first leg, in March
Cardiff lost 2-0 in the return.
Having taken apart the
2004 UEFA Cup winners and two-time Champions League finalists, Swansea
will next play host to St Gallen of Switzerland, who beat Kuban
Krasnodar of Russia 2-0.
Elsewhere, English FA Cup holders Wigan
Athletic took time out from their bid to win promotion back to the
Premier League to draw 0-0 away to Zulte Waregem in Belgium in Group D.
other games, Fiorentina of Italy were too strong for Pacos Ferreira of
Portugal, running out 3-0 winners in Florence in Group E with Giuseppe
Rossi among the scorers.
Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany thumped
French Cup holders Bordeaux 3-0 in Group F, but the 1988 European Cup
winners PSV Eindhoven suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Ludogorets
Razgrad of Bulgaria in Group B.
Jonatan Soriano produced one of
the individual performances of the evening, scoring a hat-trick in
Europe for the second time this season as Salzburg beat Elfsborg 4-0 in
Europa League results from the opening round of group matches on Thursday:
Valencia (ESP) 0 Swansea City (ENG) 3 (Bony 14, Michu 58, De Guzman 62)
St Gallen (SUI) 2 (Karanovic 56, Mathys 76) Kuban Krasnodar (RUS) 0
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 1 (Fernandes 43) Chornomorets Odessa (UKR) 2 (Antonov 62, Dja Djedje 65)
PSV Eindhoven (NED) 0 Ludogorets (BUL) 2 (Bezjak 60, Misidjan 74)
Salzburg (AUT) 4 (Alan 36, Jonatan Soriano 44-pen, 69, 79) Elfsborg (SWE) 0
Standard Liege (BEL) 1 (Mujangi Bia 74) Esbjerg (DEN) 2 (Van Buren 63, Bakenga 90+5)
Zulte Waregem (BEL) 0 Wigan Athletic (ENG) 0
Maribor (SLO) 2 (Milec 35, Fajic 73) Rubin Kazan (RUS) 5 (Gokdeniz Karadeniz 23, Marcano 27, R Eremenko 69, Rondon 90, Ryazantsev 90+3)
Fiorentina (ITA) 3 (Gonzalo Rodriguez 30, Ryder Matos 67, Rossi 76) Pacos Ferreira (POR) 0
Pandurii (ROM) 0 Dnipro (UKR) 1 (Rotan 38)
Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) 3 (Kadlec 4, Russ 16, Djakpa 52) Bordeaux (FRA) 0
Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR) 0 APOEL (CYP) 0