Report | Swansea City 2 Cardiff City 0
Swansea City climbed to fourth in the Championship table as goals from Ollie Cooper and Michael Obafemi sealed a third-straight derby win over 10-man Cardiff City at the Swansea.com Stadium.
After the visitors had Callum Robinson sent off with fewer than seven minutes on the clock Russell Martin’s side took a stranglehold on proceedings and led at the break after Cooper found the net with a lovely first-time strike.
And Obafemi made sure of the points when he surged on to a superb pass from captain Matt Grimes to doubled the lead and give Swansea a sixth win from their last seven games.
The result means the Swans become the first side to win three league derby meetings in a row, while head coach Martin is now the first Swansea boss to lead the hosts to a trio of derby-day successes in a row.
Swansea had been unchanged from the side that started the thrilling midweek win over Reading, but this fixture was always set to have a different feel to it.
There was no shortage of frenetic energy in the opening exchanges, and Cardiff skipper Joe Ralls was extremely fortunate not to go into the book for a late and high challenge as Nathan Wood cleared a loose ball in the Swansea area.
There was no card then, but the first card of the game was not long in arriving, and it would be a red one.
Robinson fouled Grimes and when Ben Cabango went to retrieve the ball the forward picked it up and threw it into the Wales international’s face from point-blank range.
The numerical advantage allowed the Swans to take control of possession and to start to look to wear down opponents who were understandably now happy to defend in numbers and break when possible.
Matty Sorinola and Joel Latibeaudiere delivered fine balls across the box in quick succession, before Luke Cundle’s centre was well cut out by Cardiff keeper Ryan Allsop.
The first big chance soon came Swansea’s way through lovely interplay between Grimes, Cooper and Cundle, setting up Obafemi who dragged his shot narrowly wide.
It was Steven Benda who made the first big save of the afternoon with an outstanding fingertip save from Tom Sang’s well-struck volley.
Swansea were spending long spells in the Cardiff half but were yet to really test Allsop as the half-hour mark arrived.
However, they should have had a penalty a few minutes later as referee and assistant somehow missed Cedric Kipre punching Sorinola’s cross away with Obafemi lurking behind him.
The sense of frustration did not linger long though, Cooper finding the net with an unerring effort after Kipre’s poor defensive header had fallen to Cundle.
It was a fine finish from the midfielder, against a club who had chosen not to sign him as a youngster as they considered him too small and not strong enough defensively.
The hosts should have doubled their lead as first-half stoppage time arrived, Obafemi steering wide from Latibeaudiere’s cross as the offside flag stayed down.
Cooper himself then failed to connect with another superb ball from Latibeaudiere as Swansea pressed again ahead of the interval.
The second half started with the hosts on the front foot again, and Obafemi stung Allsop’s palms with a firm drive after a sharp turn around 20 yards out.
Cooper nearly got on the end of a raking cross from the right flank with Cardiff scrambling clear.
The Bluebirds continued to defend stubbornly, and they reminded the hosts they remained a threat as Andy Rinomhota headed over from Callum O’Dowda’s cross.
You sensed Swansea needed another and they got it with 22 minutes to go when Grimes produced a magnificent slide rule pass to send Obafemi in behind Kipre, where he kept his cool to find the bottom corner.
Ben Cabango forced Allsop to tip over a swerving strike from distance as the Swans looked to add to their tally, while a goalmouth scramble saw the visitors just about keep Harry Darling’s header out.
Obafemi rolled an effort agonisingly wide of the far post after springing the offside trap, while substitute Olivier Ntcham was another to go close to giving the scoreline a more emphatic edge.
But it did not matter in the final analysis as Swansea enjoyed more derby-day delight.
Swansea City: Steven Benda; Nathan Wood, Harry Darling, Ben Cabango; Joel Latibeaudiere, Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain), Matty Sorinola (Armstrong Oko-Flex 90+2); Ollie Cooper (Cameron Congreve 90+3), Luke Cundle (Olivier Ntcham 70); Michael Obafemi (Liam Cullen 90+2).
Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Fin Stevens, Kyle Naughton.
Cardiff City: Ryan Allsop, Ryan Wintle, Joe Ralls (captain), Sheyi Ojo (Mark Harris 46), Callum O'Dowda (Kion Etete 83), Tom Sang, Curtis Nelson, Cedric Kipre, Andy Rinomhota (Gavin Whyte 74), Niels Nkounkou, Callum Robinson.
Unused Substitutes: Jak Alnwick, Romaine Sawyers, Vontae Campbell, Jack Simpson.
Referee: Darren Bond