Viva Victory - Remembering Valencia
Valencia played with verve, va va voom and finesse. One of European football’s giants, with the Mestalla being the theatre of footballing philosophy. But on 19th September, 5 years ago, it was an emerging Swansea side that silenced the ‘Los Che’ in perhaps the most memorable night in Swansea City’s rich history.
Michael Laudrup’s players humbled a 10-man Valencia at the start of their Europa League campaign in 2013 beating their rivals 0-3 on a muggy Thursday evening. Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan de Guzman wrote themselves into terrace folklore, each netting a goal for the Swans to carry them to victory.
There have been more important victories in the 106-year history but this is perhaps the most famous. Another chapter written in the meteoric rise of the former ‘Swansea Town’ from League 2 to the Premier League to League Cup glory to the Europa League.
Valencia, who were two-time champions had only fallen short against English opponents on three occasions. The match begun and before the 10th minute, Adil Rami was sent off when he brought Wilfried Bony down. Now Swansea would see out the next 80 minutes playing against 10 men. It was a dream start for the Swans.
Shortly after the Ivory Coast international rifled home, linking up with Michu and Pozuelo to put his team ahead after 14 minutes. After the half-time talks it was a lovely pass by Pozuelo that set up Michu to go 2-0 up after 58 minutes. Finally, a skillful De Guzman silenced the Mestalla with a wonderful strike to put the Swans out of sight.
Fans and anyone connected to the club have hailed the night the greatest victory to date. This specific victory over Valencia is only the second time a Welsh side have come out with the win against Spanish counterparts. The other came from bitter rivals Cardiff City in 1971 with a 1-0 over Real Madrid. Valencia hold an impressive record in Europe, once holding the 10th spot in the all-time European standings.
5 years later the Swans are now fighting to get back to the Premier League. The Swans find themselves in the Championship after 7 years in England’s top flight. They face Middlesbrough this weekend at the Riverside Stadium as they look to recover from the 1-0 defeat to Stoke on Tuesday. If you think Swansea can recreate their 3-0 win at the Mestalla, then Bet UK’s sports betting feature is offering odds of 55/1 for Swansea to win 3-0 this weekend. For an exact repeat of that famous night, Bet UK’s sportsbook is offering odds of 15/4 for a red card this weekend.
Valencia: Vicente Guaita, Adil Rami, Sofiane Feghouli (Dorlan Pabon, 58), Helder Postiga, Ever Banega (capt), Javier Fuego, Andres Guardado, Antonio Barragan, Jeremy Mathieu, Sergio Canales (Juan Bernat, 66), Fede Cartabia (Ricardo Costa, 14). Subs: Diego Alves, Jonas, Paco Alcacer, Daniel Parejo.
Swans: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel (capt, Ben Davies, 55), Chico Flores, Jordi Amat, Dwight Tiendalli, Jose Canas, Jonathan de Guzman, Michu (Jonjo Shelvey, 77), Nathan Dyer (Roland Lamah, 65), Alejandro Pozuelo, Wilfried Bony. Subs: Gerhard Tremmel, Garry Monk, Wayne Routledge, Alvaro Vazquez.
The Goalscorers: Where Are They Now
Jonathan de Guzman
The Dutch international made quite an impression during his 2-year loan spell at The Liberty Stadium. With 71 appearances and the Swansea ‘Goal of the Season’ award for his strike against Stoke, it’s fair to say his 2 years were well worth it. In 2014 he signed a four-year contract with Napoli where he scored a hat-trick in the Europa League against Young Boys. After 23 appearances, he went on loan to Italian sides Capri and Chievo. He now plays his football in the Bundesliga for Eintracht Frankfurt who beat Bayern Munich 3-1 last season to win the German DFB Cup.
The Spaniard carried on scoring goals for the Swans netting the first goal in the 4-0 win over Malmo FF in the Europa League then the second against FC Petrolul Ploiesti in the play-off game. In 2014, Michu went out on loan to Napoli with the option of a permanent move. Injury forced a quick exit, where he was released from Swansea with his contract running out the following summer. Towards the end of his career he signed for boyhood club Oviedo on a 1-year deal in 2016 and in July 2017 he announced his retirement. In June, Michu took a role as Director of Football at Austrian amateur side Langero, where his brother is head coach.
Wilfried Bony stayed at the club until 2015 when he signed for Manchester City. The £28 million move made Bony the most expensive African footballer at the time. The Ivorian only lasted a year and a half at the City of Manchester Stadium, before a loan move to Stoke. Bony started his career at Stoke without a goal, before eventually scoring twice against his old club, Swansea City. His performance against the Swans obviously impressed as he was signed back in August 2017 for around £12 million. Bony continued his habit of scoring against old clubs as he scored his first goal of the season against Stoke. Injury kept Bony out for long parts of the season, as well as the start of the 18/19 season, but he still remains at the Liberty Stadium.