Laudrup rues 'offside' as Swans sink

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Andrew Gwilym

MICHAEL LAUDRUP was left ruing another controversial piece of officiating as his Swansea side missed the chance to secure a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League with a 1-0 defeat against Valencia at the Liberty Stadium.

A draw would have been enough to take Swansea through from Group A with a game to spare, but they fell behind to Daniel Parejo's 20th-minute strike and then lost striker Wilfried Bony to a worrying hamstring injury.

They thought Alvaro Vazquez had levelled just before the break when Diego Alves could not hold Jonjo Shelvey's shot and the Spaniard tapped in, but the flag went up despite replays suggesting the two Swansea players were onside.

If the goal had stood, it would have been enough to seal a spot in the last 32, but instead Swansea must wait for their final game against St Gallen to decide their fate.

The decision from the Italian officials comes just a few weeks after Swansea conceded a debatable stoppage-time penalty in their 3-3 draw with Stoke, which had left Laudrup (below) seething. Despite the setback, Laudrup's side are three points clear of third-placed Kuban Krasnodar, with Swansea three goals better off.

But the Dane was not impressed to see his side on the wrong end of a poor call.

"I have watched it a few times," he said. "When Shelvey is going he (the assistant referee) keeps his flag down, it is when Alvaro scores he puts it up, but he is at least a yard onside.

"It is a blow but that's how it is. You have to accept it."