2013-14 Season Review: Part Two
25th May 2014
It had been an indifferent start to the season for the Swans, who had already played a significant number of games with the extra rigours of the Europa League.
In the second part of our three-part Season Review feature, we look at November until February, with the small matter of a South Wales derby to kick things off...
The stage was set in the capital as Cardiff and Swansea met on the global stage, with the game set to beamed all around the world. Wales was on the map, but it didn't go according to plan.
Cardiff secured a 1-0 win thanks to Steven Caulker's second-half header, and Swansea's misery was compounded when Michel Vorm was sent off for a late foul on Fraizer Campbell.
That defeat was followed by late drama in Russia as Swansea were denied by Kuban Krasnodar once more in a 1-1 draw, and yet more late twists followed as Stoke visited the Liberty just three days later.
After going 2-0 down, Swansea roared back to lead 3-2 with six minutes to play before the visitors were awarded a controversial penalty in stoppage time to level matters.
A 2-1 win at Fulham - courtesy of Jonjo Shelvey's superb strike - followed, before a narrow home defeat against Valencia as the Spanish side moved about the Swans and into top spot in Europa League Group A.
The month began with a 3-0 defeat at Manchester City before a welcome home win over Newcastle at the Liberty Stadium.
A dogged point against newly-promoted Hull City came just three days before the Swans' final Europa League group game against St Gallen.
In foggy conditions in Switzerland, the visitors went down to a 1-0 defeat - but it was enough to see them progress to the knockout stages and set up a tough test against Italian giants Napoli.
A 1-1 draw swiftly arrived at Norwich - a result marred by a bad injury to winger Nathan Dyer, while the Swans finished 2013 with defeats against Everton and Chelsea before another draw, this time at Aston Villa.
The New Year began with another home defeat - this time at the hands of Manchester City - but a morale boosting victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup came soon after, courtesy of Wilfried Bony's stoppage-time winner.
Back-to-back league defeats against United and Tottenham led to the Swans sliding to within three points of the relegation zone.
Progress in the FA Cup came against Birmingham before a crucial three points arrived with a 2-0 home win over Fulham at the Liberty.
A busy month started on a disappointing note as Swansea slumped to a 2-0 defeat away at West Ham - a result that led to the sacking of Michael Laudrup and members of his backroom team.
Club captain and long-serving defender Garry Monk was installed as head coach until the end of the season prior to the visit of Cardiff to the Liberty.
Monk couldn't have asked for a better start in a thumping 3-0 win, with goals from Routledge, Dyer and Bony giving Swansea the bragging rights and creating a real buzz around the Liberty once again.
A hard-fought draw arrived at Stoke just four days later before the Swans bowed out of the FA Cup following a 3-1 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park.
But it was back to European matters once again as Napoli arrived at the Liberty. A pulsating 0-0 draw set up the second leg nicely and gave the Swans hope that a shock could well be on the cards.
An extraordinary 4-3 defeat at title-chasing Liverpool again offered real hope for the remainder of the season, before the Swans' European dream came to an end in Naples.
Despite going a goal behind at the Stadio San Paolo, Jonathan de Guzman scored a crucial away goal that looked to be taking Garry Monk's side through - but two goals in the final twelve minutes saw Napoli claim a 3-1 win and progress to the last 16.