Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City are odds-on favourites to rescue their season by winning the FA Cup next weekend – but if they reproduce a performance like this it will be his Wigan counterpart Roberto Martinez celebrating at Wembley.
Glorious chances were wasted by Edin Dzeko, David Silva and Samir Nasri while at the other end of the pitch Matija Nastasic should have conceded a penalty for a blatant foul on Michu.
Before this clash, second-placed City had the best form in the Premier League with 18 points from a possible 21.
But if there is any repeat of this showing then Wigan could pull off the shock of the season by toppling the deposed champions to claim their first major trophy.
Mancini, who was without Scott Sinclair after the ex-Swansea wide man developed a blood clot believed to be in his shoulder on Friday and remains in a Manchester hospital, said: “It’s difficult to play a game one week before the final. It could be a distraction. We need one more point for second and we wanted to win the game. We deserved to win because we missed three incredible chances. When Swansea were on the counter-attack we had some problems, but we dominated in the second half. We are very sorry Edin missed because he played well and deserved to score.”
Mancini claimed referee Mike Jones should have given a penalty for a second-half foul by Chico Flores on substitute Dzeko.
The Italian said: “I don’t know why the referee did not give it. It was not just 100 per cent, it was 200 per cent. It’s impossible we don’t get a penalty like this.”
Yet Swansea had a greater shout for a spot-kick in the 38th minute when Nastasic bundled Michu to the floor. Mancini said: “I didn’t see it. It could be. It was on the other side to me.” Swansea manager, Michael Laudrup, was adamant: “I thought from the bench it was a penalty, and after seeing it again even more. We have had 35 games with no penalties, maybe we will get one next year.
Before that, Laudrup’s Swansea threatened Joe Hart’s goal three times in a lively opening.
Pablo Hernandez fired over after neat build-up from Angel Rangel and Nathan Dyer, Michu volleyed wide from wide from six yards before Wayne Routledge shot straight at Hart.
Nasri volleyed into the arms of Swansea goalkeeper, Michel Vorm, after an inch-perfect Gareth Barry pass, before a superb Ashley Williams tackle denied Silva and the Spaniard’s follow-up was blocked by Vorm.
A low-key second period saw Dzeko, a half-time replacement for the rested Yaya Touré, go down softly under a Chico challenge on the hour. The hosts suffered a blow when Michu limped off with a hamstring injury, probably ending his season.
Then with seven minutes left, Bosnian striker Dzeko spurned the chance of the match with a contender for miss of the season after sidefooting Pablo Zabaleta’s cross horribly wide.
Laudrup was left to search for crumbs of comfort, saying: “I have to be pleased with a point.”
Swansea (4-3-3): Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Britton, de Guzman, Routledge (Agustien, 64); Dyer, Michu (Moore, 70), Hernandez.
Manchester City (4-4-2): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Nasri, Yaya Touré (Dzeko, 46), Barry, Milner; Silva (Rodwell, 85); Aguero (Tevez, 79).
Referee: Mike Jones.
Man of the match: Zabaleta (Manchester City)
Match rating: 6/10