February 24, 2013
The Finals is underway at Wembley Stadium as I post this and the surprise of the day (rumored yesterday but confirmed with Ladrup’s decision): instead of Monk or Bartley, Ki Sung-Yeung was selected to play center back in today’s historic clash with Bradford.
Ki, normally a midfielder, has played center back before for the Swans back in October. At that critical moment in time, Ladrup’s side was depleted of centerbacks due to injuries and a red card suspension by Flores. Now that Chico is out of the lineup injured, Ladrup has given the nod for the Korean international to fill in the gap for this crucial match. Neither side has advanced this far in the League Cup competition. The winner will go on to qualify to play in the Europa League next season.
As we write this, we are closing in on the first 10 minutes of the first half. No score but predictably, the Swans have dominated in possession. Ki has been spot on in defense and in distribution of the ball so far. Ladrup’s management style has been leaning towards a more ‘total football’ approach, where players are expected to take on versatile roles. Ladrup has been concerned with conceding set pieces. Using Ki’s height, he’s hoping to close that leak up. Don’t be surprised to see Ki pushing forward, especially if Ladrup can use some defensive subs later in the game. This is a risky move, we will have to wait and see how this plays out.
For an unorthodox preview of the game, see Friday’s post.
UPDATE: Michu attack -rebound and Dyer knocks it in the the 15th minute! Swansea 1 : Bradford 0
31st minute: so far Swansea is dominating possession, dictating the flow of the game, asking all the questions. Ki is doing ok, had one defensive header. His distribution is spot on.
HALFTIME UPDATE: Swans are enjoying a 2 -0 lead, Michu knocking one in at the 40th minute. Hernandez nearly gets one in a moment later.
Over in Spain, Celta Vigo and Grenada are tied at Halftime. Park Chu-Young on the bench, Iago Aspas with the goal for Celta.
A result in this morning: Kim Bo-Kyung was an 80th minute substitution in their 2-1 win at Wolverhampton. The Bluebirds increase their lead at the top of the English Championship division by 8 points over Hull, who lost 4-1 against Lee Chung-Yong’s Bolton side. Lee registered an assist for the first goal and had a hand in another for the Wanderers.
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY: Almost from the start of the half, Dyer scores another goal, great finish, Swans ahead 3-0! The rout is on…
FINAL UPDATE: They did it > Swansea has won their first major tournament trophy in their 101 year history. We’ll have more about the win, but here is a handmade celebration video after the team lifted up the trophy at Wembley Stadium: