FULL-TIME: Swans 4 QPR 1
9th February 2013
The Swans returned to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League as a Michu brace helped pave the way to a resounding 4-1 win over bottom club QPR at the Liberty.
Michu moved onto 18 goals in just 32 games - 15 in the top flight - since arriving from Rayo Vallecano in the summer thanks to some fine finishing.
The Spaniard got the Swans off the mark in the eighth minute as he reacted quickest to tap home after Julio Cesar parried Nathan Dyer's effort.
Angel Rangel doubled the lead ten minutes later, firing past Cesar after the keeper again parried his initial shot.
The Swans looked comfortable at the break, but sub Bobby Zamora pulled one back for Rangers three minutes after coming on at half-time.
Pablo Hernandez was quick to restore the Swans' two-goal deficit though as he waltzed into the Rangers box before beating Cesar from an acute angle just two minutes later.
The Michu put the icing on the cake for the home crowd, guiding his effort past the keeper after an exquisite through ball from Hernandez.
Victory moved the Swans onto 37 points from 26 games - and up to seventh ahead of Sunday's round of matches - with just one game against Liverpool to come before the Capital One Cup Final against Bradford City at Wembley.
The one sour note of the afternoon, though, came when Chico Flores was stretchered off with an ankle injury after 34 minutes, with supporters hoping news of his setback won't affect his chances of making the final.
Michael Laudrup made two changes. Michel Vorm had fully recovered from a knee problem to take his place between the sticks as Gerhard Tremmel moved to the bench.
The other change was enforced as Leon Britton missed out with an ankle injury, with Nathan Dyer returning to the starting XI.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp was without striker Loic Remy, who missed out through injury, but club record signing Chris Samba started in defence.
Swans: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Chico Flores (Kyle Bartley, 34), Ashley Williams (capt), Ben Davies, Ki Sung-Yueng, Jonathan de Guzman, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge (Kemy Agustien, 62), Pablo Hernandez, Michu (Luke Moore, 81).
Subs: Gerhard Tremmel, Dwight Tiendalli, Roland Lamah, Itay Shechter.
QPR: Julio Cesar, Armand Traore, Shaun Derry (Esteban Granero, ht), Chris Samba, Clint Hill (capt), Adel Taarabt, Jamie Mackie (Bobby Zamora, ht), Nedum Onuoha, Jermaine Jenas (Shaun Wright-Phillips, 68), Andros Townsend, Stephane Mbia.
Subs: Robert Green, Ji-Sung Park, Tal Ben-Haim, Jay Bothroyd.
The Swans made a bright start, and Michael Laudrup would have been pleased with the early tempo.
And he was even more pleased with his side taking the lead after eight minutes. Nathan Dyer took play on and his low drive from a central position was parried by Julio Cesar, but Michu was quick to follow up and looped the loose ball into the net after eight minutes.
Michu was in on goal a few minutes later, but when Chris Samba blocked him off, the defender was booked for his efforts.
The Spaniard probed again, racing onto a through ball but when his outstretched boot made contact, Cesar did enough to palm the shot wide.
The pressure was relentless, and the Swans got the second goal they deserved after 18 minutes. Wayne Routledge cut open the defence with a superb through ball for Angel Rangel down the right flank, the full-back raced in towards goal and found the net with his left foot after Cesar had parried his initial effort straight in his path.
It was going as well as the Swans could have asked, but then Chico Flores went down with an ankle injury in the 34 minute with the Spaniard stretchered off and Kyle Bartley taking his place.
The Swans, though, failed to let that affect them as Michu saw his powerful volley on the turn deflected for a corner following Ben Davies' cross.
It was all one-way traffic, and Dyer was the next to go close as Ki Sung-Yueng's header eventually found its way to the winger, but his chipped effort brushed the sidenetting.
Dyer was asking more questions of the visitors defence shortly after, racing onto Michu's through ball after the Spaniard was first to the ball in a challenge with Clint Hill before the linesman's flag was raised.
Half-time: Swans 2 QPR 0
Harry Redknapp made two changes at the break, Esteban Granero and Bobby Zamora coming on for Shaun Derry and Jamie Mackie.
And it instantly paid off for the visitors as Taarabt intercepted Davies' pass and raced on before firing at goal. Michel Vorm parried the Moroccan's low drive, and Zamora tapped home just three minutes after having come on.
But the celebrations from the away section had barely died down by the time the Swans had replied. Michu spread the ball left to Pablo Hernandez, who outwitted Nedum Onouha inside the box before firing low into the bottom far corner from the acutest of angles.
Things almost got even better as Ki robbed possession off Taarabt, and the South Korean took play on before poking through a ball for Routledge, but Cesar rushed out to block his effort.
The attacking flow of the half continued, and Rangers went within inches of pulling one back as Stephane Mbia's thunderous volley flew past Vorm but Bartley came to the rescue by clearing off the line.
Taarabt then hit the sidenetting as the visitors pushed again before Laudrup made his second change as Kemy Agustien replaced Routledge after the hour.
And it was Agustien who started off the passage of play for the next goal after 67 minutes.
He fed Hernandez, whose inch-perfect through ball was latched onto by Michu, who steered his shot past Cesar from 12 yards.
Rangers needed a response, and Taarabt went close with a curling effort that landed wide of Vorm's far post.
Laudrup then made his final change, Luke Moore replacing Michu with nine minutes to go as the Swans comfortably saw out the remaining moments.