Shock home defeats for Valencia and PSV
The attractive football preached by Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup was again seen to great effect when the Welsh side stunned former winners Valencia with a 3-0 away victory in the Europa League yesterday.
The English League Cup holders, in their first season in European competition for 22 years, took advantage of defender Adil Rami‘s 10th-minute dismissal to run riot in the Group A clash at the Mestalla with goals from Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan De Guzman.
The opening group stage matches also threw up another shock in Eindhoven where PSV, one of five teams in action who have previously won the UEFA Cup or Europa League, were beaten 2-0 by Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad in Group B.
Swansea‘s record signing Bony continued his prolific start after joining from Vitesse Arnhem in July for £12 million with a powerful first-time finish from Michu’s centre, just minutes after Valencia had been reduced to 10 men.
Bony, with four goals in Europe this season, was set to race clean through before last man Rami impeded his progress and was shown a straight red card.
Spaniard Michu displayed his clinical finishing by doubling Swansea‘s lead on 58 minutes from Alejandro Pozuelo‘s pass.
A woeful night for Valencia, who won the 2004 UEFA Cup and were beaten finalists in successive Champions League finals at the turn of the century, was capped when De Guzman curled in a delightful free kick from 30 metres.
PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet‘s misplaced clearance on the hour handed Ludgorets the opening goal in Eindhoven.
Zoet rushed out to clear a long ball but found only Roman Bezjak who stroked it into the empty net.
Phillip Cocu‘s side conceded a second goal on 74 minutes when Virgil Misidjan put away the rebound after his shot struck a post.
In other matches, Spaniard Jonathan Soriano hit a hat-trick for FC Salzburg as the Austrian league leaders thumped Sweden‘s Elfsborg 4-0 in Group C.
Fiorentina also eased to a 3-0 win at home to Pacos Ferreira in Group E and Rubin Kazan romped to a 5-2 Group D victory over Maribor in Slovenia.
Jermain Defoe struck twice in the first half and Christian Eriksen added another after the break as Tottenham beat Tromso 3-0.
Lazio needed a second-half goal from Anderson Hernanes to have the better of Legia Warsaw 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium.
Group A: Valencia vs Swansea 0-3; St Gallen vs Kuban 2-0.
Group B: Dinamo Zagreb vs Chor-nomorets 1-2; PSV Eindhoven vs Ludogorets 0-2.
Group C: Salzburg vs Elfsborg 4-0; S. Liege vs Esbjerg 1-2.
Group D: Zulte Waregen vs Wigan 0-0; Maribor vs Rubin 2-5.
Group E: Fiorentina vs Pacos Ferreira 3-0; Pandurii vs Dnirpo 0-1.
Group F: E. Frankfurt vs Bordeaux 3-0; M. Tel Aviv vs Apoel 0-0.
Group G: D. Kiev vs Genk 0-1; Thun vs R. Vienna 1-0.
Group H: Freiburg vs Liberec 2-2; Estoril vs Sevilla 1-2.
Group I: Real Betis vs Lyon 0-0; Guimaraes vs Rijeka 4-0.
Group J: Apollon vs Trabzonspor 1-2; Lazio vs Legia Warsaw 1-0.
Group K: Sheriff vs Anzhi 0-0; Tottenham vs Tromso 3-0.
Group L: Paok vs Shakter 2-1; M. Haifa vs AZ Alkmaar 0-1.