Manchester City brush aside Swansea in title party
Pep Guardiola’s league winners were absolutely dominant in impressive display
Manchester City Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring his team’s third goal in the Premier League game against Swansea City at the Etihas Stadium. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP
Manchester City 5 Swansea City 0
They came to see a victorious coronation and were not disappointed. Manchester City fans witnessed a masterclass from their freshly crowned champions on what was a festive afternoon.
It was decorated by a Kevin De Bruyne 20-yard peach that rocketed past Lukasz Fabianski after 54 minutes on a right-left diagonal that was as pure a connection as possible.
This had the perfectionist Pep Guardiola blowing his cheeks in admiration and the Etihad Stadium offering a collective ”ooh”.
This 29th victory takes Guardiola’s impressive team to 90 points, six from breaking Chelsea’s record Premier League total of 95. If the maximum remaining are taken City will break the century and finish on 102. They also have 98 goals, six short of breaking the highest-ever tally of 103, again by Chelsea.
For his stated mission of ending the season with five victories Guardiola made two changes. Kyle Walker and Leroy Sané became substitutes – alongside Benjamin Mendy after seven months out with a knee injury – as Danilo and Bernardo Silva took their places in a still formidable XI.
Carlos Carvalhal made one alteration - Luciano Narsingh being replaced by Mike van der Hoorn, as the manager continued Swansea City’s survival bid. His team formed a pre-game guard of honour as a banner was unveiled that read: “Welcome to the home of the Premier League champions”.
Guardiola’s men began and ended as they nearly always do at home: in control. Fabianski’s first action was to catch a long De Bruyne cross-shot from the right that was heading in.
Next Ilkay Gundogan played an inadvertent one-two with the referee, Craig Pawson, that allowed the German to find David Silva. He relayed the ball to namesake Bernardo and a devilish delivery was scrambled out for a corner by Martin Olsson.
De Bruyne took this but it was unproductive. The Belgian’s next contribution was opposite. This time, from along the left, he found Raheem Sterling who turned the ball off his left foot inside to David Silva. It ricocheted off Van der Hoorn and the Spaniard collected a 10th of the campaign.
That was on 12 minutes and four minutes later the lead was doubled. Once more David Silva was involved. He returned a pass to Fabian Delph and when the ball was swept in Sterling had a tap-in for a 23rd of the season.
This signalled contest over with three-quarters still to play. Already the contest was akin to a training ground affair with the home side yo-yoing the ball around.
De Bruyne – City’s player of the season – warmed Fabianski’s fingers with a left-foot zinger. Gabriel Jesus hit a low shot that again kept the goalkeeper honest.
At the close of the half Alfie Mawson wandered forward and took aim at Ederson. The Brazilian collected but this was as good as the visitors were before the break.
The second half began with a lightening foray that included a David Silva step-over and ended with Danilo’s cross flashing before Fabianksi.
After De Bruyne’s sublime finish City continued to dominate. Sterling won a penalty, Jesus’s effort from the spot was palmed on to the post via a Fabianski palm, and Bernardo Silva slotted in the rebound.
It might have been more but Mawson’s back-header rebounded to safety off the left post. There was even time for a 15-minute cameo from Mendy and for City to secure a fifth as Yaya Touré’s lob was headed home by Jesus: it was that kind of day for City. – Guardian service