On Thursday night the Liberty Stadium will host the Europa League 3rd Round tie between Swansea City and Swedish club Malmö FF. It will be the 2nd European men’s football match there. The first being Llanelli’s 5-1 defeat to Danish club Odense back in 2006 – How many of you knew that!? (Sadly, I was there).
Another fact for you – Swansea were the first Welsh team to play in European competition, this was back in 1961. They played East German team SC Motor Jena, drawing 2-2 at home but losing 5-1 away. Thursday night’s tie with Malmö will be the club’s 19th European match. But the previous times we have represented Wales, on Thursday we will represent England.
The last time Swansea City played in Europe was back in October 1991, after winning the Welsh Cup the previous season. We entered into the first round of the now defunct European Cup Winner’s Cup. We were drawn against AS Monaco, who were in the top flight of French football and we were plying our trade in Division 3 (League One as it is now).
After looking on Youtube I found ‘highlights’ (and I use that term very very lightly) of that game on there, if you are of a nervous disposition, then please do not click the link below. You may notice a very young looking Arsene Wenger on the Monaco bench.
The result was 8-0 to Monaco (10-1 on aggregate), Swansea also not being helped with the UEFA rule at the time only allowing so many ‘foreigners’ to play at one time. As Swansea were representing Wales in Europe, we were forced to play Welsh players, most of them young and inexperienced. They did only lose 2-1 at the Vetch though – Where the Prince of Monaco watched from the Centre Stand. Bet he hardly noticed the difference to back home……….
The Swans’s record in Europe isn’t the best, out of our 18 previous European matches we have only won 3 of them (all 3 wins were in the same season). One of them was a club record score of 12-0 against Sliema Wanders of Malta, who we beat 17-0 on aggregate. One reason for our poor record is probably due to the fact that the Swans have been languishing in the bottom tiers for a lot of the time we have been in Europe.
Also until this season Swansea had never made it past the 2nd Rd in European Competiton, so playing in the 3rd Rd on Thursday is another bit of history. However small it might seem. The results from our previous European ties are below:
1961-62 – 1st Rd (1st Leg) – Swansea Town 2-2 SC Motor Jena
1961-62 – 1st Rd (2nd Leg) – SC Motor Jena 5-1 Swansea Town
1966-67 – 1st Rd (1st Leg) – Swansea Town 1-1 Slavia Sofia
1966-67 – 1st Rd (2nd Leg) – Slavia Sofia 4-0 Swansea Town
1981-82 – 1st Rd (1st Leg) – Swansea City 0-1 Lokomotiv Leipzig
1981-82 – 1st Rd (2nd Leg) – Lokomotiv Leipzig 2-1 Swansea City
1982-83 – 1st Rd Preliminary (1st Leg) – Swansea City 3-0 Sporting Braga
1982-83 – 1st Rd Preliminary (2nd Leg) – Sporting Braga 1-0 Swansea City
1982-83 – 1st Rd (1st Leg) – Swansea City 12-0 Sliema Wanderers
1982-83 – 1st Rd (2nd Leg) – Sliema Wanderers 0-5 Swansea City
1982-83 – 2nd Rd (1st Leg) – Swansea City 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain
1982-83 – 2nd Rd (2nd Leg) – Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Swansea City
1983-84 – 1st Rd Preliminary (1st Leg) – Swansea City 1-1 FC Magdeburg
1983-84 – 1st Rd Preliminary (2nd Leg) – FC Magdeburg 1-0 Swansea City
1989-90 – 1st Rd (1st Leg) – Panathinaikos 3-2 Swansea City
1989-90 – 1st Rd (2nd Leg) – Swansea City 3-3 Panathinaikos
1991-92 – 1st Rd (1st Leg) – Swansea City 1-2 AS Monaco
1991-92 – 1st Rd (2nd Leg) – AS Monaco 8-0 Swansea City
Ian Walsh – 4
Jeremy Charles – 4
Alan Curtis – 2
Andy Melville – 2
B Reynolds – 2
D Gale – 2
Jimmy Loveridge – 2
Andy Legg * – 1
Ante Rajkovic – 1
Bob Latchford – 1
Colin Irwin – 1
Dzemal Hadziabdic – 1
John Solako – 1
John Toshack – 1
K Todd – 1
Mel Nurse – 1
Nigel Stevenson – 1
Own Goal – 1
Paul Raynor – 1
Robbie James – 1
*Andy Legg was the last player to score a European goal for the Swans.
I am looking forward to seeing the Swans in Europe; it will be a first for me and many others at the Liberty. I would love to make it to the group stages, even though my bank balance will be really low if we do. Laudrup did well with Getafe when he guided them into Europe, so hopefully he can help us do the same.
Hope you enjoyed reading this. As the song goes…….
‘Once again all Europe will hear the Swansea City sound’