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The derby files, swans and bluebirds revisited
Monday, 30th Nov 2020 17:39 by Phil Sumbler from the archives in 2008

It’s hard to believe it was 12 years ago that Planet Swans, as we once were, reported on the derby day game. The result was Swans 2 Bluebirds 2 in a fierce game full of incident. Some will recall that Wayne Routledge was a disrupting influence on the game, Leon Britton was sent off !

Phi Sumbler reported
Swansea City can probably feel somewhat disappointed at gaining only a point from a pulsating encounter at the Liberty Stadium. Faced with ten men for over half an hour they laid siege to the Cardiff goal and only some good stops from Enckleman prevented them getting the winner that their play deserved. Rangel, Pintado, Gower and Scotland all came close to becoming an instant Swansea hero but in the end the crowd of just over 18,000 had to be content with a point each.

The bigger blow for the Swans would have been the late red card for Leon Britton which means he – along with Darren Pratley – will now sit out a game through suspension at a time when their midfield is already stretched. As expected though Britton had beaten his back injury to claim his place in the Swans midfield with Dorus maybe surprisingly preferred to Dimi in goal. Owain Tudur Jones retained his midfield place to leave the Swans lining up as follows The Swans started the brighter and an early challenge from McCormack should have bought a yellow card for the Cardiff forward. Bessone should have received one of his own for a rugby tackle but was booked soon after as he struggled against Cardiff’s right flank.

It was Swansea who got the opening blow when an offside (who cares!) Scotland broke free on the right, controlled the ball and looked up before playing the ball back for Pratley to strike into the net past Enckleman and bring three sides of the Liberty Stadium to their feet in a moment of mad celebration. The Swans were a goal to the good and very much on the front foot at that point in time. They were in control in midfield and yellow cards were earned by both McPhail and Pratley for dengerous challenges.

Off you go sunshine. Mcphail gets his marching orders

As it looked as if the game was heading towards a half time Swans lead, Cardiff got an equaliser. A corner on their right found it’s way to Ledley on the edge of the area and he hit a sweet shot that deflected into the back of the net to give the 1600 travelling support something to celebrate. If that was a sucker blow for the Swans they were to suffer even more in the early minutes of the second half. Chopra went down under an innocuous looking challenge from Bessone and the referee pointed to the spot. McCormack doesn’t need asking twice and he struck home the penalty to give Cardiff the lead – a lead they barely deserved. No, in fact, scrub that they didn’t deserve it at all. Their celebrations were cut short by the actions of the incredibly stupid McPhail. When you are on a yellow card you cannot afford to kick the ball away when a decision goes against you but that is exactly what he did and for the second time this season he had to endure the long walk to the dressing room for his red card. As a captain you would have assumed he was capable of a better example – clearly not.

Roberto’s reaction was as instant as that of Dave Jones as Pintado and MacDonald were told they were entering the action whilst Jones withdrew Chopra for Rae. However, Roberto delayed his change slightly but eventually withdrew the disappointing Bessone and Butler for his two new additions. And what an impact they made. It took just three minutes for MacDonald to deliver a corner that Pintado converted to bring the Swans level and with half hour left they were back on the front foot and surely in the driving seat.

MacDonald was like a man possessed as he seemed to be involved in everything that the Swans were good at and along with Rangel was giving Cardiff endless problems on their left hand side. Marshalled from the back by the simply excellent Garry Monk it was wave after wave of Swansea attacks with very little from the opposition. Britton and Routledge were booked for a bout of handbags as the game hit boiling point in terms of passion and the Swans were urged on. Enckleman was in top form to keep out Rangel and Pintado and Gower also forced a save in the dying moments but it was not to be.

Now you go too Leon

A second yellow for Britton meant the obligatory red and both sides ended the game with ten men and Cardiff I would imagine grateful to escape with a point. A great game at the Liberty Stadium and one that passed pretty much without incident and for once we end talking about the football in a very entertaining game.

Swansea: De Vries, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Bessone (Pint-ado 58), Britton, Pratley, Gower, Tudur-Jones, Butler (MacDonald 58), Scotland

Subs Not Used: Konstantopoulos, Tate, Bauza.
Sent Off: Britton (90).

Booked: Bessone, Pratley, Britton.

Goals: Pratley 19, Pintado 61.

Cardiff: Enckelman, McNaughton, Roger Johnson, Gyepes, Kennedy, McPhail, Routledge, McCormack, Ledley (Scimeca 86), Bothroyd (Parry 60), Chopra (Rae 55).
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Comminges

Sent Off: McPhail (51).

Booked: Roger Johnson, McPhail, Routledge.

Goals: Ledley 45, McCormack 48 pen.

Att: 18,053

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

Managers of the time commented

Swansea city, Now Belgian national manager Roberto Martinez
"We created enough chances to win the game. "The first goal we conceded was our own fault and the penalty as soft.We knew what Cardiff were trying to do, get compact and get behind the ball and it's difficult to break that down, but the substitutions helped."We are a team that don't play in straight lines and we were unfortunate not to score the winner. "I'm not pleased with the result, I'm pleased with the performance and the way the players reacted. For me, it's two points dropped."

Cardiff City, ex Hartlepools and Bury consultant boss Dave Jones
"A lack of discipline from Stephen McPhail and it probably cost us three points today.
"I think he felt it was his ball but you can't kick the ball away."We just shut up shop. Our keeper made a couple of good saves. If we are going to bore people with 10 men then that's what we'll do."It took us 20-odd minutes to get going. Their first goal was about a yard offside.We got the equaliser and to come out and get 2-1 up 11 v 11 we looked like we were starting to gain control. I think it was a good point earned going down to 10 men. I think he gave some cards that were unwarranted and I think he missed some and should have got the cards out once or twice for both sets of players."What he tried to do was dish out yellow cards to try and keep the tempo down but I think he inflamed it because he frustrated my players and Roberto's players.It's a great advert for Welsh football. There's something for both sets of fans to be proud of."

Nice comments Dave.
We will run some more archive derby games as the month of December progresses.

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