My favourite game: Angel Rangel

17th April 2019
First team

Swansea City will play their 4,000th game in league football* when they face Rotherham on Good Friday, and we are marking the occasion by speaking to a number of Swans favourites to relive their pick of our matches from years gone by.

Today, Angel Rangel reflects on the South Wales derby victory over Cardiff in February 2014.

The Swans’ preparations for the second South Wales derby of the 2013-14 season had been far from ideal.

Following a 2-0 defeat at West Ham – their sixth defeat in eight Premier League games – the club parted company with Michael Laudrup and replaced him with Garry Monk on an interim basis for the remainder of the campaign.

It had been a turbulent week leading up to the eagerly anticipated showdown with Cardiff at the Liberty Stadium.

The Bluebirds were 1-0 winners when the sides met in November’s reverse fixture thanks to Steven Caulker’s header, and were looking to become the first of the teams to record a league double over the other in the derby's history.

However, as Rangel remembers, a Swans side featuring the likes of Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Leon Britton were determined to put things right in the best way possible.

“We were on a bad run of form, but a South Wales derby at home was the perfect game to try and turn things around,” says the Spaniard.

“We all felt the pressure because of the importance of the game, especially having lost at their place.

“In the history of the South Wales derby, there had never been a double, so we could not lose that game. There was extra motivation to not only avoid defeat, but also to try to win well.

“Garry prepared us well and we had a team of great footballers at the time that all defined 'the Swansea Way' at its finest.”

Following a goalless first half, the Swans edged their noses in front seconds after the restart.

Half-time substitute Pablo Hernandez produced the most precise of through balls for Routledge, who showed great composure to calmly curl past David Marshall.

Routledge turned provider in the 79th minute as his cross was headed home by Dyer, while another header from Wilfried Bony rounded off a convincing victory five minutes from time.

“The first goal in a derby is always important and it was a typical Swansea one,” Rangel smiles.

“Pablo was probably the only player in the Premier League that would see that pass. He played it with the perfect pace for Wayne to run onto and the finish was as cool as you would like.

“That just steadied us and helped us kick on to get the second and third goals. You could see how much we wanted to win.

“When the final whistle went, there was just a huge feeling of relief and happiness around the stadium – both for the players and the fans.

“Winning 3-0 at home was the icing on the cake and the perfect reward for all of our efforts.”

*The total does not include games played in the Southern League or play-off fixtures.