Ten years after they teetered on the edge of oblivion, Swansea City will stride into Europe after a 5-0 League Cup final victory against ten-man Bradford City. After beating three Premier League outfits on their way to Wembley, League Two Bradford found Swansea an altogether different proposition.
Nathan Dyer scored twice, Michu found the net before the break and Jonathan de Guzman's double confirmed the biggest win in final history as Swansea secured the first meaningful silverware in their entire existence.
Swansea did not actually threaten Matt Duke's goal until Ben Davies won a towering far-post header which he sent inches wide. Shortly afterwards, Bradford found themselves in trouble when they committeed too many men into the attack, allowed Swansea to counter. Swansea broke with pace, Dyer to the excellent Wayne Routledge and on to Michu, two passes taking them from the edge of one area to the other.
Michu arrowed his shot for the far corner. Duke, penalty shoot-out hero against Wigan Athletic and Arsenal, dived despairingly to his left, failed to get a firm enough touch and allowed Dyer to slide in from an acute angle.
With only 16 minutes gone, it left Bradford staring at a very uncomfortable afternoon. Leon Britton should have doubled Swansea's lead when Bradford cleared a corner invitingly into his path, but the sliced effort flew wide.
Second half goals add to Swans lead
It was only a matter of time before the West Yorkshire outfit cracked again though. The goal involved two nutmegs, Pablo Hernandez placing the ball through Gary Jones' legs before Michu curled it between Carl McHugh's to find the same bottom corner he had been aiming for earlier. More intricate Swansea passing opened Bradford up, with Routledge providing the pass which Dyer stepped inside off before slotting home his second.
Even worse was to come for the Bantams as Dyer slid a pass through to De Guzman, who nipped around Duke only to be taken down by the keeper. While Bradford sent goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin on to fill the void left by Duke, forcing forward Nahki Wells to come off, De Guzman and Dyer argued who would take the penalty. De Guzman was ultimately the one to take the ball, stepped up to the spot and calmly finished, increasing Swansea's lead even further.
Thankfully, Bradford avoided complete catastrophe, their loyal supporters cheering their first corner on 83 minutes and even a shot not long afterwards. They stayed to cheer their team up the steps too, when most losers head straight off into the night.
By then De Guzman had his second and Swansea had the record - and, most joyously, the cup. And now Swansea can plan for a UEFA Europa League campaign which, ten years ago, was as unlikely as Bradford being present for today's showpiece.