MEMORY MATCH: Gerhard Tremmel
10th October 2016
In the second edition of our new 'Memory Match' weekly feature, Swans keeper Gerhard Tremmel reflects on a memorable League Cup victory over Chelsea in 2013.
Prior to the first leg of Swansea City's League Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge on January 9, 2013, it had been some 87 years since the Swans had last won at Chelsea.
That was in a Division Two clash on November 21, 1925. With the weight of history on their shoulders and the prospect of facing a world-class side, the Swans' class of 2013 knew they were in for a tough battle to get a result.
"I can remember ourselves, Chelsea, Aston Villa and Bradford City being in the draw for the semi-final of that season's competition," reflects Gerhard Tremmel, who was in goal for the Swans in both legs against the Blues.
"On paper, Chelsea were obviously the most tricky opponents and we were slightly disappointed to have been drawn against them. Ultimately though, if you're going to win a competition, you have to beat the best teams and we
knew if we made it to the final, we'd have probably played them then anyway."
In front of a crowd of 40,172 in SW6, Chelsea dominated the match by way of shots and possession with 24 efforts on goal to the Swans' five, while the West Londoners had a 64% share of the ball.
However, it was Michael Laudrup's team who would come out on top on an unforgettable night. Just six minutes from the break, Michu put the visitors 1-0 up.
"Michu had a massive impact at Swansea City and that season, he scored a lot of important goals including that one at Chelsea," says Tremmel.
"I can also remember him getting the winner at Arsenal that campaign and the fact he scored over 20 goals in the season."
With seven minutes remaining in the second period, Danny Graham came off the bench to replace Michu.
And in stoppage time at the end of the 90 minutes, he capitalised on a mix-up in the Chelsea defence to double the Swans' lead and give them a distinct advantage ahead of the second leg.
"Danny Graham wasn't starting regularly at the time, but what an important goal he scored that night," smiles Tremmel.
"I was personally very pleased for him, as were his team-mates, as he was a very popular character here and a great striker."
While the Blues once again edged the stats in the second leg meeting at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea held on for a 0-0 draw on January 23, 2013 to progress to the first major cup final in the club's history.
Tremmel was brilliant across the two legs, pulling off a number of great saves, but the German is quick to praise his team-mates for their efforts against Chelsea.
"It's always a team thing when you keep a clean sheet because you need your team-mates in front of you to have a clean sheet to do that," he says.
"We worked so well as a unit in those home and away matches against Chelsea. We've always had a really tight-knit group here with players willing to fight for the cause and put themselves on the line and that's what happened to get to the final.
"Of course keeping clean sheets is always pleasing for a goalkeeper, especially against a quality team like Chelsea, but I have to admit that wasn't top of my thoughts at the end of the game.
"I was just delighted we had secured our place in the final. For me, it was my opportunity to compete for my first major trophy. At that stage in my career, it was probably my one big chance to win something."
A 5-0 victory for the Swans over Bradford City in the League Cup Final of February 24, 2013 meant Tremmel could fulfil his ambition of lifting a major trophy.
"I can remember going out on to the pitch at Wembley and being very nervous," says Tremmel.
"As I said, I felt this was my one big chance to win a trophy so when I went out for the warm-up, I was full of adrenaline.
"I was so focused and concentrated, even though we were playing against an opposition in the fourth tier. I was still very wary of Bradford as an opponent as they'd shown throughout the tournament that season their ability to go in front and hold on to a lead.
"The boys were fantastic on the day, though, and put in a great performance. We scored early goals and the match was already over as a contest long before it had finished."
Memory Match with Gerhard Tremmel also appeared in Jack Magazine in time for our Premier League home fixture against Chelsea. Buy your copy HERE.
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