City make it seven straight wins with Swansea success
Manuel Pellegrini’s side go ahead of Arsenal at top of table
Manchester City’s Fernandinho scores a against Swansea City during the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Reuters
Swansea City 2 Manchester City 3: Another three goals and another three points made it seven straight wins for Manuel Pellegrini’s team, who survived a late scare to maintain their title challenge.
Wilfried’s Bony’s second goal of the game, in injury time, made it a nervous finale for a Manchester City side that had looked to be coasting to victory.
In the end the visitors saw the game out to record back-to-back Premier League away wins for the first time under Pellegrini. Ahead through Fernandinho’s goal, Manchester City were pegged back when Bony, enjoying one of his best games in a Swansea shirt, equalised on the stroke of half-time.
Yaya Touré’s 10th league goal of the season put City 2-1 ahead before Aleksandar Kolarov, with a fine individual strike, added a third.
Swansea, who have now won only two of their last 16 matches in all competitions, got a late goal back through Bony but by then the damage had been done.
Manchester City had made the best possible start when Fernandinho, capitalising on some desperately poor Swansea defending, put them ahead in the 14th minute. Samir Nasri’s corner bounced off Jonathan de Guzmán and ran through to the edge of the penalty area, where Fernandinho stood completely unmarked. The Brazilian ran on to the ball before thrashing a powerful low shot that gave Gerhard Tremmel, who was trying to see through a crowd of players, no chance.
Swansea, to their credit, never allowed the visitors to take a stranglehold on the match. A counter-attack that started on the edge of the Swansea penalty area and featured some slick first-time passing ended up with De Guzmán breaking clear, only to be denied by Joe Hart.
Bony, who had earlier shot narrowly wide, linked well with Jonjo Shelvey before fizzing another low drive just beyond the far upright. At the opposite end Edin Dzeko, set up by Jesús Navas, hit a left-footed shot that seemed destined for the bottom corner until it deflected off Chico Flores.
Bony, however, got his reward two minutes into first-half injury-time. Wayne Routledge laid the ball back for De Guzmán, who was able to take a touch and look up before floating a ball into the area, where Bony got in between Pablo Zabaleta and Vincent Kompany and directed a header into the corner of the net. Television replays showed the Swansea striker was marginally offside when De Guzmán delivered the cross.
While that goal gave Swansea a lift at half-time, Manchester City quickly restored their lead. Although Tremmel managed to punch Navas’s cross to the edge of the area, the ball was only half cleared and Toure quickly pounced. Turning on to his right side, the Ivorian belted a low shot that struck the sole of Ashley Williams’s right boot before beating Tremmel.
Within eight minutes Pellegrini’s side had a third. Kolarov dispossessed Routledge close to the touchline and ran from inside his own half to the edge of the Swansea penalty area without being challenged. After stepping inside Flores’s half-hearted attempt to stop him, the left back hit a right-footed shot from the edge of the area that brushed off José Cañas en route to the net.
Hart, coming off his line for a corner he had no chance of getting, almost handed Ashley Williams a goal in the 73rd minute. Bony got his and Swansea’s second with a 30-yard raking drive that swerved into the bottom corner in the 91st minute.