The Swans began life without Michael Laudrup with an emphatic derby-day victory over their fierce rivals, as Garry Monk celebrated during his first game in caretaker charge
Second-half strikes from Waye Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Wilfried Bony secured all three points for the home side, as the Swans avenged their 1-0 defeat to Cardiff earlier this season in stunning fashion.
Garry Monk was installed as caretaker coach in the wake of Laudrup's dismissal and this win did the former Swansea captain's chances of becoming the Dane's long-term successor no harm at all.
Cardiff were 1-0 victors on their own patch in November in the Premier League but boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left to rue a pair of first-half misses from Kenwyne Jones, while Craig Bellamy rattled the crossbar at 1-0.
|By Ben Cullimore
It was always going to be interesting to see how Swansea started life after Michael Laudrup, particularly with their first game without the Dane coming against their fiercest rivals, but Garry Monk's side confidently dominated from start to finish on Saturday evening. Once Routledge had put them ahead early in the second half, they never looked like they were going to start this new chapter with anything less than three points.
Routledge, easily the man of the match, and Nathan Dyer bossed both wings and the Cardiff back four never looked comfortable dealing with any of Swansea's forwards. Fabio and Declan John both looked far too inexperienced and costly errors would prove to inflict painful damage on Cardiff.
In the end, Swansea wanted it more. Bellamy aside, Cardiff looked uninterested and failed to push as far forward as their fans would have liked. Jones, who was unsurprisingly substituted just 10 minutes into the second half, was constantly isolated up front, and Campbell, his replacement, fared little better. Solskjaer will be well-aware that there is still a lot of work to do if the Bluebirds are to avoid falling back into the Championship at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Cardiff's headline-making January acquisition Wilfried Zaha earned a full debut on the back of an impressive cameo in last weekend's win over Norwich City.
Emnes, operating behind central striker Bony, dinked the ball over Ben Turner and drove at the Cardiff defence in the opening minute, playing in Routledge, whose shot was saved by David Marshall.
The Cardiff goalkeeper then judged a challenge on Bony to perfection as the fired-up home faithful howled in vain for a penalty.
Bellamy scored the only goal the last time these sides met at the Liberty Stadium and the veteran forward predictably started to make his presence felt.
And Jones soon stole half a yard on Chico Flores to head his strike partner's right-wing cross wide before, in the 24th minute, the same player stabbed off-target after Bellamy slickly exchanged passes with Peter Whittingham.
But, having been on the back foot, Swansea ended the half strongly – Dyer flashing a ball across the goalmouth and Jonathan de Guzman glancing wide – though they were undermined by a lack of cutting edge.
Monk sent on Pablo Hernandez at the break as a thigh problem curtailed Emnes' evening. As first managerial substitutions go, it proved particularly inspired.
In the second minute after the restart, Hernandez measured a throughball to catch Fabio da Silva napping and Routledge produced a clipped finish to open his Premier League account for the season.
But Cardiff almost had a 51st-minute response through Bellamy's blurring energy - the former Wales international cutting inside past Flores to thump a 20-yard strike against the crossbar.
Dyer shot wide from a similar distance as the Cardiff defence backed off dangerously five minutes later, while Turner stood firm to divert a Bony's volley on the turn wide as the game entered its final quarter.
Then, Kim Bo-Kyung hooked over when Swansea failed to clear a set-piece but Dyer made sure of the points when he stooped to convert Routledge's 79th-minute centre from the left.
Bony applied gloss to the scoreline four minutes later, Hernandez again the provider as the Dutchman out-jumped Turner.
The result means Cardiff remain second bottom and three points from safety, while Swansea leap up to 10th in the table.