City v Swansea match report - Manchester City FC

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Alvaro Negredo
Season2013/14
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  • Manchester City

    City 3

    Negredo 8mins, Nasri 58mins, 77mins

  • Swansea City

    Swansea City 0

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  • 01 December 2013 18:00
  • Posted by @baileymcfc

City moved into the Premier League’s top three for the first time in more than two months thanks to this seventh successive home win.

It was the 57th Etihad EPL encounter in a row that the Sky Blues had found the net – nine short of the record – but it took them a long time to subdue their latest victims.

Swans are well known for projecting serenity and grace even at times of stress and strain but this City side is capable of cracking any veneer of composure – ask Norwich, Spurs, Moscow and Newcastle.

All of that quartet arrived at the Etihad Stadium with hope in their kit bags and left with shredded confidence after shipping at least four goals.

The same scenario seemed likely eight minutes into this contest when Alvaro Negredo’s strength won a free kick on the edge of the box that he dispatched powerfully beyond the wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Alvaro Negredo

Twenty-six strikes in six previous home Premier League matches this term at an average of more than four suggested that the men from the Valleys (via a few more exotic places) would be in for a hard time in the remaining 82 minutes – but despite being a striker light, they proved more resilient than most.

The second goal, and some breathing space, arrived in the 57th minute and it was a thing of real beauty.

Yaya Toure, until then fairly quiet, showed his pace, poise and power in a surging run through the inside left channel and then slipped the perfect ball to Samir Nasri who cut inside and then slipped the ball beyond Gerhard Tremmel in the Swans' goal.

Nasri, who is in the form of his life, then added some gloss when he finished off a man of the match performance in the 76th minute with a sweet left foot strike from close to the penalty spot set up by Pablo Zabaleta.

samir

There are those who protest that on any given weekend the Premier League is populated by smoke and mirrors. Artifice if you like.

But this was no flimsy, one-dimensional slaughter of Welsh lambs but rather a contest filled with substance and sub-plots and that had at its core and crux all that is good (and some things that are frustrating) about the English top flight.

Periods of mesmeric one-touch passing, dizzying movement and gossamer touches from both sides were interspersed with misplaced passes, miscued shots, and malevolent tackles. As a prelude to a demanding December it was a hors d'oeuvres to remember.  

Such are City’s elevated standards these days that there was plenty of moaning after a 4-2 midweek week Champions League win. Crucially boss Manuel Pellegrini was one of the loudest detractors following that workmanlike win over Plzen and he again rang the changes.

Save for Joleon Lescott, in place of the injured Matija Nastasic, City fielded the same side that destroyed Spurs 6-0 but this was a different story to the dismantling of a diffident Tottenham.

Having taken the customary early lead, Pellegrini’s men took their foot of the gas. De Guzman and Shelvey were afforded too much time and too much space and consequently gave City plenty of worrying moments.

Manuel Pellegrini

Shelvey twice brought the best from Costel Pantilimon, once high to his right the other low, while De Guzman’s composure betrayed him just before the interval when he fired too high when clean through. 

City, of course, had chances of their own and Tremmel distinguished himself with fine stops from Sergio Aguero and Negredo in the opening few moments then another instinctive block from Aguero just before the half hour. The home side also went close via defender Martin Demichelis who hit the bar with a twisting header.

Undeterred, Swansea continued to play the way their manager Michael Laudrup implores and so what close to 47,000 fans witnessed was a lot of passing none of which unduly troubled air traffic control.

But the visitors, having run so hard in the opening 45 minutes, could seldom summon up the same openings after the break that they had before it and never looked like ending their 63-year win drought away to City.

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Match details

Sunday 01 December 2013, 4:10PM

Etihad Stadium Att:46,559
Barclays Premier League

Referee:
Mark Clattenburg

Teams

Manchester City:

Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Navas (Kolarov 76), Nasri, Negredo (Milner 63), Aguero (Dzeko 79)

Unused subs:
Hart, Richards, Garcia, Rodwell

Bookings:
Aguero

Swansea City:

Tremmel, Tiendalli, Chico Flores, Williams, Davies, Canas, de Guzman, Shelvey, Pozuelo (Dyer 67), Hernandez (Routledge 62), Vazquez

Unused subs:
Vorm, Taylor, Amat, Lamah, Donnelly

All times are taken from a live feed and are approximate at time of publishing.

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