Liberty bounces to Welsh derby

Swansea City vs Cardiff City,
(I know this isn't really the place for football reports, but i thought this such an evocative bit of writing and such a pleasing result, I couldn't resist! - Ed)

So after nine years of waiting, the south Wales derby finally returned.

You could sense the atmosphere building as soon as you reached the ground - a mixture of excitement and apprehension.

Swansea supporters eagerly awaited the arrival of their arch-rivals and they gave them the expected Swansea welcome - a chant of "swim away".

Cardiff fans duly responded by banging on the windows of their buses as they were escorted in by the heavy police presence.

They made up for it vocally as they were ushered into the Liberty Stadium's away end.

In the pre-match build-up the two sets of supporters booed their opposition players as they came up to warm up.

And it did not take long before the attentions turned to each other as the stadium started to fill up - songs of old came flooding back.

Both sets of fans made sure they could get as close to each other - as close as lines of police would allow them, that is.

As kick off approached, derby fever was in full swing with a sell-out crowd in place.

The Liberty Stadium was literally bouncing, like it never has done before.

Every ball and kick was cheered and an even louder one came when Cardiff-born Joe Ledley was booked for a foul on Leon Britton.

But the first half failed to see any goals and honours were even at the break, with both sets of supporters content that they were not behind.

That all changed 11 minutes into the second half when Swansea's Spanish midfielder Jordi Gomez stepped up to drive a free-kick low into the bottom left-hand corner.

Cue the eruption of cheers from the majority of the 17,411 crowd.

Then chants of "there's only one team in Wales" and "let's all have a disco" rang around from the home crowd.

They were to celebrate further with 15 minutes to go when Stephen McPhail was sent off for Cardiff after picking up his second booking.

The response from the Bluebirds fans was "1-0 to the referee."

And as the match drew to an end, deafening whistles echoed around the stadium as Swansea fans awaited full time.

It came, and cue more celebrations.

The only sour note was minor skirmishes as rival fans tried to get at each other as Swansea fans taunted their rivals.

That aside, it was a great advert for Welsh football. Roll on 30 November.

By David Dulin
BBC Sport Wales at the Liberty Stadium