The coveted noon time slot in television coverage of the Barclays Premier League went to the South Wales Derby between Swansea City and Cardiff City. It featured two teams that have been sliding and are fighting relegation out of the Premier League.
Garry Monk took over from Michael Laudrup as the Swans are trying to move back toward the middle of the table. After a lackluster first half, the match turned into a tale of two teams. Swansea fought and controlled the match in the midfield while Cardiff looked to be without answers. In the end, Swansea City would take home a convincing 3-0 victory, showing they understand their current situation.
There were some murmurs of disagreements between Laudrup and the brass at Swansea City, and they seemed to be spilling over to the field. Monk had seen playing time for the squad in some FA Cup matches, but was now at the helm of a team that sat just one point from the bottom three at kickoff on Saturday.
Wayne Routledge led a second-half surge for Swansea on their home field as he tucked home a goal and provided an assist on a Nathan Dyer goal. Pablo Hernandez was a halftime sub and helped control the play for the Swans as they showed why they are not ready to go down yet. In a very crowded lower half of the table, they moved up to 10th place.
For Cardiff, they were disjointed from the start on a soaked pitch. Craig Bellamy was lively in the beginning but faded away as the match went on. The outside backs fell asleep on two of the goals and struggled to find possession all day. Kenwyne Jones was subbed off at halftime and looked very disinterested. Gary Medel may not have made one attacking pass the entire game — or one that went forward for that matter.
Simply put, Cardiff may not see another season in the Premier League with this lack of conviction. Neither team has time to rest as matches resume on Tuesday, with Cardiff taking on Aston Villa while Swansea play Stoke on Wednesday.