A dominant Swansea City cruised to a 5-1 win over Petrolul Ploiesti in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League play-off on Wednesday.
The Premier League outfit all-but sealed their place in the group stages of the competition with an excellent performance at The Liberty Stadium.
Wayne Routledge scored twice in the first 25 minutes for the home side and his strikes were sandwiched by a Michu effort, putting the result beyond doubt in the early stages.
And Wilfried Bony and Alejandro Pozuelo rubbed further salt into Petrolul’s wounds in the second half as the Welsh side completed a one-sided victory in style, before Gheorghe Grozav grabbed a stunning consolation in the closing stages.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup made three changes from the side that lost 4-1 to Manchester United on Saturday, including Bony, Pablo Hernandez and Neil Taylor in his starting XI.
They replaced trio Nathan Dyer, Ben Davies and Jose Canas while Petrolul manager Cosmin Contra - who played under Laudrup at Getafe - made five changes, including the recall of star striker Grozav, who has already netted five goals in the qualifying stages of the tournament.
Petrolul had lost just two of their last 28 competitive matches in all competitions but were immediately on the back foot as Swansea made a bright start, with Jonjo Shelvey and Routledge particularly threatening.
Laudrup’s men ventured forward with increasing regularity in the early stages, and eventually got their reward in the 14th minute when Routledge opened his account.
Petrolul were caught napping after Shelvey took a free-kick, and Michu allowed the ball to run to the back post where Routledge was on hand to curl his shot in, via a deflection from Ovidiu Hoban.
Michu then doubled Swansea's lead eight minutes later when he quickly reacted to the rebound after Hernandez had an effort at the far post saved by Petrolul goalkeeper Pecanha.
And the result was sealed just moments later when a superb team move saw Routledge nod in Swansea's third.
Michu started the move with an excellent tackle in midfield before Leon Britton picked up the scraps and delivered a defence-splitting pass to Hernandez down the right.
The Spaniard simply stood the ball up at the back post for Routledge to head in, and he could have completed a hat-trick before the break only to shoot over when put through on goal by Michu.
Bony turned a late effort wide as a completely dominant Swansea went into the break with a 3-0 lead, and their advantage was quickly extended once play resumed.
Ivory Coast international Bony initially hit the bar two minutes into the second half after showing excellent strength and control, and Hernandez curled an effort just wide moments later.
A rare Petrolul attack saw half-time substitute Abel Camara shoot wide from distance and Michu had an effort deflected over before the fourth goal came thanks to Bony.
The 24-year-old benefited from an excellent Michu cut-back and although his shot was saved, the ball eventually rolled in off Pecanha.
And Pozuelo added a fifth with an exquisite chip with 20 minutes remaining.
Grozav scored a late consolation for the losers, with an outrageous overhead kick, but it mattered little as Swansea took all the momentum into the second leg, to be played in Romania next week.
|15||W. Routledge||14' 25'|
|Coach: M. Laudrup|
for W. Routledge 61'
for J. Shelvey 69'
for A. Williams 71'
|Bruce convinced of qualification|
|Alonso set to swap Madrid for Munich|
|Pochettino to use MK Dons as an example|
|Champions League difficult for Arsenal - Bilic|
|Redknapp takes aim at ´really poor´ QPR|
|MLS Preview: Timbers braced for ´massive´ clash in Vancouver|
|Los Angeles Galaxy 4 DC United 1: Arena´s side show quality|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: River Plate, Libertad among teams to progress|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca in seventh heaven, Leon held|
|LDU Quito 3 Deportivo Quito 0: Hosts earn bragging rights against rivals|
|Johnson calm over future|
|Kiessling hails Leverkusen|
|Benitez: Mistakes cost Napoli Champions League spot|
|K. League Preview: Seoul eyeing winning streak|
|Liga MX Preview: Monterrey looking to build momentum|
|Valverde hails ´historic day´ for Bilbao|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Mixed results for Europe´s big guns, Moti the hero for Ludogorets|
|Atletico announce Velazquez capture|
|Giroud set for lengthy absence - Wenger|
|Holders City handed home clash with Wednesday|
|La Liga Preview: Saul not worried by Simeone absence, Barca face tough Villarreal test|
|Eto´o retires from Cameroon duty|
|Aston Villa 0 Leyton Orient 1: Late Vincelot winner sends underdogs through|
|Birmingham City 0 Sunderland 3: Late strikes stun hosts|
|Arsenal 1 Besiktas 0 (1-0 agg): Alexis strike takes Wenger´s men through|
|Stoke City 3 Portsmouth 0: Walters brace sees hosts into League Cup third round|
|Burton Albion 1 QPR 0: Late strike seals upset for fourth-tier hosts|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Bordeaux look to maintain 100 per cent start|
|Dunga: No one guaranteed a place in Brazil squad|
|Serie A Preview: Juve´s Allegri era starts at Chievo|
|Mazzarri calls for professional Inter|
|Utrecht swoop for Peterson|
|Deeney extends Watford stay|
|Alonso calls time on international career|
|Bundesliga Preview: Schalke captain Howedes issues rallying cry, Leverkusen face Hertha|
|Fazio joins Spurs from Sevilla|
|Warnock will control transfers - Parish|
|Pochettino wants Soldado and Townsend to stay at Spurs|
|Augsburg v Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller returns for wobbling visitors|
|Celtic complete Wakaso deal|
|Seoul 0 Pohang Steelers 0 (aet, 3-0 on penalties): Yu heroics send Seoul through|
|Guangzhou Evergrande 2 Western Sydney Wanderers 1: Wanderers squeeze through on away goals|
|I´m the future, Benatia´s the past - Manolas|
|Osotspa 3 Chiangrai United 3: Visitors secure point with late rally|
|Israel versus Belgium fixture postponed|
|Fernandes reveals Redknapp contract talks|
|Warnock makes Palace return|
|Eto´o grateful to Mourinho|
|Maiga loaned to Metz|
|Pearson rues ´poor´ Leicester display|
|Bruce: Rhodes deal dead and buried|
|Balotelli set to face Tottenham|
|Di Maria wanted Real stay|
|Dyche wary of inflated transfer market|
|Celtic didn´t deserve Champions League, concedes Deila|
|Game of two halves for Koeman|
|Allardyce hails ´inspired´ Howard|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Red Bulls up and running, Rodriguez stars for Saprissa|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Gimenez double helps Emelec through|
|Eredivisie Preview: Guardado set for PSV bow, Ajax eye recovery|
|Van Gaal ´not shocked´ by Dons defeat|
|Deila: Celtic deserved Champions League exit|
|Barca agree deal for Pereira|
|Lopetegui lauds Porto progression|
|League Cup Review: United hammered by MK Dons, West Ham lose on penalties|
|West Brom 1 Oxford United 1 (aet, 7-6 on penalties): Hosts avoid cup shock|
|Manchester United win ´something dreams are made of´ - Robinson|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Celtic out again, Porto safely through|
|United rebuild will take time - Van Gaal|
|Erbil 2 Ha Noi T&T 0 (agg 3-0): Iraqi side comfortably into the AFC Cup semis|
|West Ham 1 Sheffield United 1 (aet, 4-5 on penalties): Valencia miss proves crucial in shootout defe|
|Millwall 0 Southampton 2: Koeman claims first win|
|MK Dons 4 Manchester United 0: Humiliation for Van Gaal|
|Swansea City 1 Rotherham United 0: Gomis off the mark in League Cup clash|
|Leicester City 0 Shrewsbury Town 1: Mangan seals shock win for Shrewsbury|
|Burnley 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Visitors dump Dyche´s men out of League Cup|
|Walsall 0 Crystal Palace 3: Gayle treble lifts Palace gloom|
|Gillingham 0 Newcastle United 1: Egan own goal secures Newcastle triumph|
|Coupe de la Ligue Review: Auxerre, Ajaccio secure big wins|
|Al Ittihad 1 Al Ain 3: Gyan helps visitors secure semi-final spot|
|Hull City v Lokeren: Elmohamady calls for vocal support|
|Al Sadd 0 Al Hilal 0 (agg 0-1): Visitors hang on to progress|
|Tottenham v AEL: Pochettino eyes continuation of good form|
|Benitez: The pressure is on Athletic|
|Eto´o completes Goodison Park move|
|Reus nets in Dortmund friendly win|
|Roma secure Manolas signing|
|Aduriz: We can´t play for a draw|
|Al Hadd 2 Al Qadsia 2 (agg 3-3): Last-gasp leveller seals away-goal victory for visitors|
|United break transfer record for Di Maria|
|Hull announce Dawson signing|
|Moses set for Stoke debut|
|Hodgson pays tribute to Lampard|
|UEFA Europa League Play-Off Preview: Lyon look to reverse upset, Inter defend three-goal lead|
|Lukimya pens new Bremen deal|
|Bayern complete Benatia swoop|
|Bayern complete Benatia swoop|
|M´Bia replaces Eto´o as Cameroon captain|
|Palermo complete double defensive deal|
|Bakambu claims Swansea and Freiburg interest|
|Inter v Stjarnan: Mazzarri may tinker for Europa League test|
|Kitchee 0 Ninh Binh 1 (agg 4-3): Hosts hold off strong challenge to reach last four|
|Guardado pens PSV loan deal|
|Lampard announces international retirement|
|Wenger unsure on severity of Giroud injury|
|Mascherano signs new Barca contract|
|Basanta seized Europe chance with Fiorentina|
|Marchisio: Allegri´s philosophy will boost Juve´s Europe hopes|
|Persipura 6 Al Kuwait 1 (agg 8-4): Hosts romp holders to make history|
|Cahill thrilled with Chelsea start|
|Gardner completes Brighton loan|
|Pienaar out of Chelsea clash, Lukaku faces assessment|
|Seoul v Pohang Steelers: Korean rivals battle for AFC Champions League semi spot|
|Lamela keen to add goals|
|Jovetic refuses to take plaudits|
|Henderson tips Balotelli for success|
|Moya takes positives from defensive showing|
|Pepe unperturbed by scrappy showing|
|New youngsters will adapt, says Rodgers|
|Girard confident of Lille progression|
|Riise fears for Fulham under Magath|
|Balotelli: ´It was a mistake´ to leave England|
|Simeone: My suspension made no difference|
|Guangzhou Evergrande v Western Sydney Wanderers: Aussies braced for hostile reception|
|Bayern need time - Alaba|
|Ancelotti: Fatigue behind lacklustre display|
|Pellegrini delighted with Premier League start|
|Moreirense 0 Sporting Braga 0: Conceicao´s men held in Moreira|
|Liverpool will bounce back - Rodgers|