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Laudrup not forgotten as Swans soar above rivals

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Swansea striker Wilfried Bony (r) celebrates with Chico Flores after scoring the third goal

Swansea striker Wilfried Bony (r) celebrates with Chico Flores after scoring the third goal

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Cardiff player Fabio (l) and keeper David Marshall look on as Wayne Routledge scores the opening goal

Cardiff player Fabio (l) and keeper David Marshall look on as Wayne Routledge scores the opening goal

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New head coach Garry Monk

New head coach Garry Monk

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Swansea striker Wilfried Bony (r) celebrates with Chico Flores after scoring the third goal

This was the perfect start for interim manager Garry Monk and an essential Premier League victory that might, ultimately, preserve Swansea's top-flight status for another season at least.

Still, as the dust began to settle on a resounding South Wales derby success for the Swans, captain Ashley Williams flew in the face of his chairman Huw Jenkins by choosing not to forget the part Michael Laudrup has played in helping the club establish their place at the top table.

The Dane's impromptu sacking on Tuesday evening followed a poor run of form during which time the club had slumped to within two points of the relegation zone.

Then, on Saturday, as the home fans settled in for what was billed as their most important home game of the season, they were given an insight into why the axe had fallen.

In his programme notes, Jenkins suggested that Laudrup had been responsible for eroding the principles of the club. It was another shot across the bows at a footballing legend with whom the Swansea folk had forged a meaningful relationship.

METEORIC

Williams, who was appointed team captain when Monk failed to feature in Laudrup's side last season, has been at the heart of Swansea's meteoric rise for the best part of six years. Never one to hide his emotion, Williams paid tribute to Laudrup's contribution after second-half goals from Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and leading scorer Wilfried Bony had left Cardiff to lament another missed opportunity.

"There is a bit of a thank you in this performance to Michael Laudrup," said Williams, whose model performance at the heart of the Swansea back four was nothing short of exemplary. "That is how I feel. Hopefully he was watching."

That said, the game hinged on a proactive decision from Monk.

Having seen his side fire blanks for the first 45 minutes, he interrupted his own half time team-talk by swapping Marvin Emnes for the previously under-performing Pablo Hernandez.

The Spaniard set up Routledge for Swansea's 46th-minute opener, with his first touch, and fizzed around a rain-sodden Liberty Stadium surface like the proverbial child with a new ball. Dyer doubled Swansea's lead, 11 minutes from time and half a dozen minutes later Bony rose to convert a free-kick from Hernandez to send Cardiff a step closer to the Championship.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Cardiff manager, said: "We've got two home games and they are very important ones where we've got to get points on the board. Tuesday is massive now." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent