August 1, 2013
Bony bags brace on debut
Wilfried Bony marked his debut with a brace as Swansea enjoyed a victorious return to European competition with a 4-0 win over Malmo at the Liberty Stadium.
This was the Welsh club's first foray into continental action since 1991, and they could hardly have wished for a better outcome as they took a stranglehold on this Europa League third qualifying round tie ahead of next week's second leg in Sweden.
Michu opened the scoring in the 37th minute before record signing Bony grabbed a quickfire second-half double and fellow new recruit Alejandro Pozuelo rounded things off.
The Barclays Premier League side were in control of the contest throughout, with Jonjo Shelvey an eye-catching presence in midfield.
It took them time to break down the Malmo rearguard, but when they did it came as little surprise that it was courtesy of Michu.
The Spaniard, scorer of 22 goals last term, produced a typically composed finish as he took advantage of a defensive slip to slot the ball beyond the advancing Johan Dahlin.
Swansea survived what appeared a strong penalty appeal early in the second half when Jordi Amat made contact with Magnus Eriksson in the box, but they responded by killing the game off.
Bony, signed from Vitesse Arnhem for £12million, claimed his first goal in a Swansea shirt by glancing a 55th-minute header into the far corner from a Wayne Routledge cross.
The Ivory Coast international's second arrived five minutes later after Michu struck the post from Angel Rangel's pass, with Bony bundling in the rebound.
Pozuelo then rounded off a flowing move involving Shelvey, Bony and Jonathan de Guzman with a volleyed finish late on.
Swans boss Michael Laudrup had expressed concern that Malmo's extra match fitness could prove a factor with the Swedish side's Allsvenska campaign well under way.
But it was the Dane's team who looked the sharper from the off in front of a crowd containing Manchester United manager David Moyes.
There was a pleasingly familiar zip to Swansea's passing play, with Shelvey making a particular impression in his first competitive appearance since his £5million switch from Liverpool, spraying perfect crossfield passes to release first Ben Davies, and then Nathan Dyer.
While pleasing on the eye, Swansea were initially unable to break down a deep lying visiting defence, with Rikard Norling's side set up to try and grab an away goal on the break.
Neither goalkeeper was worked during the opening half-hour, but Dyer did finally force a save from Dahlin after Ashley Williams' long ball had caught out the Malmo defence.
It was another hopeful pass which brought Swansea their opener. Routledge's pass to Michu should have been cut out by Filip Helander, but his fall gave the forward a clean run on goal to finish with the aid of the inside of the post.
The lead almost doubled a matter of moments later. Davies and Routledge linked sharply, and Pontus Jansson took the full brunt of the winger's shot in the face to prevent another goal.
The second half started sedately, but Malmo were left aggrieved when Eriksson was waved to his feet by the referee after going down after contact with Amat.
Their frustration only increased when Bony doubled their deficit with his fine header, and added the third just moments later, before Pozuelo completed a handsome win by firing home the fourth.
|Swansea City||Malmo FF|
|1 Michel Vorm||27 Johan Dahlin|
|33 Ben Davies||6 Markus Halsti|
|22 Angel Rangel||20 Ferreira Ricardinho|
|6 Ashley Williams||3 Miiko Albornoz|
|2 Jordi Amat||5 Pontus Jansson|
|7 Leon Britton||15 Filip Helander|
|15 Wayne Routledge||8 Erik Friberg|
|12 Nathan Dyer||10 Jiloan Hamad|
|8 Jonjo Shelvey||11 Simon Thern|
|9 Michu||29 Tokelo Rantie|
|10 Wilfried Bony||7 Magnus Eriksson|
|25 Gerhard Tremmel||Robin Olsen 25|
|3 Neil Taylor||Pa Momodou Konate 32|
|4 Chico||Erik Johansson 21|
|20 Jonathan De Guzman||Simon Kron 14|
|21 Jose Canas||Pawel Cibicki 35|
|24 Pozuelo||Erdal Rakip 31|
|14 Roland Lamah||Emil Forsberg 33|
|Jonathan De Guzman for Michu (66)||Emil Forsberg for Erik Friberg (67)|
|Pozuelo for Nathan Dyer (73)||Erik Johansson for Magnus Eriksson (76)|
|Jose Canas for Leon Britton (80)||Simon Kron for Jiloan Hamad (82)|
|Jordi Amat (47)||Magnus Eriksson (57)|
|Ferreira Ricardinho (57)|
|Erik Friberg (65)|
|· Squads: Swansea City | Malmo FF|