The Capital One Cup final between Swansea and Bradford was supposed to be a reaffirmation of all that was good about football. It wasn't yet another rematch between the same old big, evil clubs that usually produce close and/or entertaining matches. Instead it was two smaller clubs that are run "the right way" and filled with players identified solely by how much money they aren't making or which big club passed them over. And the result was a 5-0 thumping -- the biggest win in League Cup history -- that even made Swansea kind of feel bad for their lovable League Two opponents.
With Swansea already up 3-0 and controlling the ball like an only child who doesn't like to share, Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke was sent off for taking down Jonathan De Guzman in the box in the 56th minute. The match was long over and there was still more than half an hour left to play, leaving Bradford players to fear that their magical day at Wembley would be soured by a crazy scoreline. But, Swansea goal machine Michu, who scored in the 40th minute, calmed them with a promise of "respect."
From the Express:
Manager Michael Laudrup described winning the Capital One Cup as one of the greatest achievements of his career, but when Bradford were reduced to 10 men after just 56 minutes, Spanish striker Michu promised the disheartened League Two side they would not embarrass them on their big day.
“One of their players was speaking after their keeper was sent off,” he said.
“He said to his team-mates, ‘They will score eight or nine’.
“I said, ‘Don’t worry, we will keep the ball.’ It’s respect.”
And that's pretty much what Swansea did. De Guzman converted the penalty to make it 4-0 and then Swansea held possession for the next half hour until finishing strong with one last goal from De Guzman in second minute of injury time. Once the final whistle blew, the Swansea players "said sorry about destroying you, but not quite as bad as we could've" by giving Bradford a guardo of honor after they went to collect their runners-up medals.
All of that might come off as a bit patronizing, but you have to remember that Swansea were in League Two themselves as recently as 2004. This was the club's first major trophy and it came in their centenary season. There aren't many Big Time Charlies to be found here.