City’s splendid resurgence on the road continued in rainy South Wales this afternoon with a 2-3 win over Swansea.
This was City’s first win at Swansea since 1984, but more relevantly City’s first win at the Liberty Stadium on third attempt since they returned to the Premier League.
Swansea dominated possession in the early stages and you wondered if Pellegrini’s decision to play two big men up front would backfire. But when the ball fell to Fernandinho at the edge of the box from a corner, he blasted it home to give City an early lead.
City had chances to score more, but there were more wasteful moments in front of goal and City paid for that when Wilfried Bony equalised just before half-time. He was well offside but on the balance of play, Swansea deserved an equaliser.
Early in the second half, one could be forgiven for fearing an all-too-familiar collapse away from home, but Yaya Toure’s deflected shot put City ahead again in the 58th minute. Yaya had been poor in the first half, but as he tends to do came up with the goods by scoring his 10th goal of a productive campaign.
8 minutes later and rather than make us suffer with a nervy 1-2 scoreline, Kolarov decided to run half the pitch after dispossessing a Swansea player, using a decoy run from Yaya to score with his right foot. His right foot! This was a quality goal.
Bony scored a cracking goal early in stoppage time to make it 2-3 so City did make us suffer for a couple of minutes, but Swansea didn’t trouble City any further and one of our numerous away day hoodoos was put to rest. Swansea played well, but City deserved to win in what was a much better display at the Liberty than we saw under Mancini.
There were some fantastic performances today, with Navas and Fernandinho probably the pick of the bunch. Navas just never stopped running, proving to be a menace in attack but always tracking back and contributing defensively. Besides his goal, Fernandinho was a machine in midfield with 4 tackles (City’s highest), 3 interceptions (City’s joint highest with Nastasic) and some lovely forward passes.
A gripe with today’s performance? The defensive side of our game still seems shaky, with Swansea passing through our defensive line freely at times and creating chances. He isn’t highly rated by many, but Garcia’s introduction (in place of the uncharacteristically poor Negredo) meant that although he did little with the ball, he screened the defence quite well, reducing Swansea’s threat and allowing Yaya to get forward.
City’s incredible run of form continues. Since that sickening 0-1 loss at Sunderland, it has been 11 wins and 1 draw, with no defeats. With Blackburn away (FA Cup round 3) and West Ham home (Capital One Cup semi final first leg) to come, you’d fancy that to continue before some tricky fixtures such as Newcastle away and Spurs away.
Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Flores, Williams, Davies, De Guzman, Canas, Hernandez (Lamah 10), Shelvey (Pozuelo 81), Routledge, Bony
Subs not used: Zabret, Tiendalli, Amat, Taylor, Vazquez.
Goals: Bony 45 & 90
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov, Navas (Rodwell 90), Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Nasri (Milner 70), Negredo (Garcia 59), Dzeko
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Clichy, Boyata.
Goals: Fernandinho 14, Yaya 58, Kolarov 66
Attendance: 20,498 (sold out)
TKA Man of the Match: Jesús Navas
Stats courtesy of WhoScored: