Photo via South China Morning Post
Swansea City of the English Premier League ended its 101-year trophy drought after thumping Bradford City 5-0 in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday at the Wembley Stadium.
As expected, Ki Sung-yueng started for the Welsh team, but, surprisingly, he was starting as a defender and not at his natural position in central midfield.
Although Ki has made rare appearances as a defender in the past, playing the position is still considered an unfamiliar task for the 24-year-old, whose major asset is his deft passing in midfield.
“I wasn’t used to playing in this position, but the most important thing is to sacrifice for the team regardless of where I play,” Ki wrote in Korean on Twitter.
Likewise, Ki played a key role defensively as Swansea held Bradford scoreless. The reigning Korean Player of the Year also provided the outlet pass which led to his team’s third goal in the 48th minute.
After intercepting the ball at the back, Ki initiated Swansea’s counter attack by connecting a forward pass to Nathan Dyer who was running down the right flank. Dyer then dribbled up the field and played a quick one-two with Wayne Routledge before shooting the ball past Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke.
Ki was replaced by Monk in the 62nd minute.
Dyer also scored the opening goal at the 16th-minute mark. Swansea extended the lead 25 minutes later with a goal from Michu before putting the game away in the second half with goals from Dyer and Jonathan De Guzman, both of whom ended the game with two goals apiece.
By winning the Capital One Cup, Swansea capped the team’s 101-year history with its first major title and earned qualification to next season’s Europa League, Europe’s continental competition.
Ki also became the third South Korean in history to win the Capital One Cup after Park Ji-sung and Lee Young-pyo, who won the competition with Manchester United and Tottenham, respectively, when it was named the Carling Cup.
“It was my third time winning a title since coming to Europe, but winning is always an invaluable experience,” said Ki who won the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Cup with Celtic before moving to Swansea last summer.
“I also want to thank all my fans in Korea.”