VIDEO: Swansea v Petrolul Ploiesti: Laudrup hails first-leg display
MICHAEL Laudrup saluted his players after they thrashed Petrolul Ploiesti last night — then hinted that Ki Sung-Yueng could leave Swansea City before the transfer window closes.
Swansea hammered Petrolul 5-1 in a one-sided contest at the Liberty Stadium to all but secure their place in the Europa League group stage.
Wayne Routledge scored twice, while there were also goals from Michu, Wilfried Bony and Alejandro Pozuelo before Gheorghe Grozav scored late on for the visitors with a brilliant overhead kick that gives Petrolul some hope to cling to going into next week's second leg, but Laudrup reckons Swansea's job is almost done.
Michu on the game:
"I said before the game that it is important not to give away an away goal, but I think you would agree that 5-1 is better than 1-0," said the Swansea manager.
"To score five goals in the first leg is excellent. We still have to finish the job, but we are very, very close to making some more history at this club by getting into the group stage of the Europa League.
"We still have to finish the job, though. We have done our bit here by dominating and scoring goals. Now we don't have to do that in the second leg, but we still need to go there and be strong to get a result."
Reports surfaced in Italy yesterday suggesting Ki could be on the radar for Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio.
The £5.5 million South Korean was not involved last night and, amid talk of a loan move to the North East, Laudrup admitted he has spoken to the midfielder about his future.
"I haven't heard from Sunderland today — I have had other things on my mind," Laudrup said.
"There are a lot of things being talked about and we have to wait until something is more certain.
"But we all know there is a lot of competition for places here, especially in midfield.
"I have spoken to Ki, but I will not tell you what was said."
Petrolul coach Cosmin Contra, meantime, reckoned his players had dipped well below their best in SA1 and conceded that the tie was close to over as a result.
"The goal we scored means we have some chances to go through, but I would say it is less than five per cent," he said.