Friday 02 August 2013

Europa League: Laudrup hails 'perfect' Swansea

Dane delighted as Wilfried Bony scores twice on debut in 4-0 Europa League rout of Malmo

  • Bony risest highest to head in his second goal against Malmo

  • Michu is looking forward to playing in the hole behind Bony in the Barclays Premier League

  • Pozuelo celebrates after scoring on his debut to round off a 'perfect' night for Swansea

Michael Laudrup described his side's victory over Malmo as a "perfect" performance after Swansea City ran out 4-0 winners in their UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first-leg match against Malmo.

'Perfect isn't often used in football, but that was about as close as you can get tonight'
Michael Laudrup

Wilfried Bony marked his competitive debut with two goals, while strikers Michi and Alejandro Pozuelo were also on target in Swansea's first appearance in European competition for 22 years.

"I'm very pleased," Laudrup told the club's website. "It's very difficult not to be satisfied with that and no goals conceded as well, which was very important.

"Perfect isn't often used in football, but that was about as close as you can get tonight. Two goals from our new striker, Michu is back scoring and no injuries either. If we win 4-0, despite them not knowing each other that well, it can't be a bad night."

Bony, a club-record £12m signing from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, scored twice within five second-half minutes after Michu had given the hosts a first-half lead, while Pozuelo, another of Laudrup's five summer signings, rounded off a memorable return to European action for Swans fans with a fourth goal four minutes from the end.

'Good debut'

"It's a really good debut for Bony," added Michu. "He will get even better. He is so strong and I am happy playing with him. I can play behind him, which is the best position for me. I will be better playing behind him because he is stronger and he will give us more power up front."

With Malmo already 17 matches into their domestic season, the fear was that it would be the visitors who possessed the greater match sharpness, but on a sultry summer evening at the Liberty Stadium it was Swansea who warmed to their task with Nathan Dyer forcing an early save from Johan Dahlin.

"I can play behind Bony, which is the best position for me"
Michu

Swansea's pressure told on 37 minutes when Michu exploited a defensive slip by Filip Helander and curled the opening goal in off the post. Michu hit the post again 10 minutes after the restart after being put through by a  pinpoint first-time pass by Angel Rangel, but as the ball rebounded into play Bony was on hand to follow up.

The Ivory Coast international was on target again soon afterwards after fine approach play by Jonjo Shelvey and an improvised cross by Wayne Routledge enabled Bony to direct a header beyond Dahlin. And the 24-year-old was also involved in the final goal, teeing up substitute Pozuelo for a debut goal of his own.

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Key Points

  • Laudrup delighted as Swans seal UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first-leg win
  • Wilfried Bony produces double on debut in 4-0 victory over Malmo
  • Michu on target while Alejandro Pozuelo also scores on first Swans sortie