Swansea City 2 Manchester City 3 match report: Yaya Toure gives evidence of City’s new resilience

Fernandinho and Aleksandar Kolarov also scored for City


When his team needed him most, Yaya Touré ensured Manchester City issued a statement of intent with their seventh straight win.

In pouring rain, the Mancunians’ unconvincing away form in the Premier League looked to have resurfaced when Wilfried Bony capped Swansea’s first-half dominance by cancelling out Fernandinho’s early strike.

But Touré was the catalyst to a second-half recovery with his 12th of the season before Aleksandar Kolarov ensured the visitors kicked off the new year in impressive form to keep the pressure on their title rivals at the start of a month that could go some way to shaping their pursuit of a domestic treble.

The Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, said: “Yaya was very important because he scored the second goal in the right moment. It was maybe the best moment for Swansea who grew after their goal and we knew it would be difficult for us.

“But the team had the character to change it. That character is very important because we dropped too many points away at the beginning of the season. It’s not good for this team to win just 11 points out of 27 in the first half of the season. So winning the first game away [of the new year], against a very difficult team, is very important for us.”

Touré added: “We continue to fight until the end for the team and the club and we want to win this trophy. If we  continue likes this at the end of the season we can be really happy.”

Swansea deserved more than a sixth league game in a row without victory, not least for two high-quality strikes by Bony which he later dedicated to a  friend who recently died from cancer.

Michael Laudrup, the Swansea manager, said: “He [Bony] scored two goals, but with his movement as well, it was by far the best performance from him as a Swansea player. If he can do it against Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic then he can do it against anyone.”

Bony twice had Joe Hart at full stretch at the start and end of a first half dominated by Swansea, despite the setback of Fernandinho’s early goal and the departure of midfielder Pablo Hernandez to injury.

It was fitting that World Cup year should kick off with a Brazilian scoring the first Premier League goal of 2014. Samir Nasri’s corner was nudged into the path of the on-rushing Fernandinho, who scored through a crowd of white jerseys. Yet Swansea recovered and proved they were more than a match for their opponents’ flowing football.

Jonjo Shelvey, Jonathan De Guzman and Angel Rangel were all at the end of sweeping moves but Swansea failed to capitalise. Such was the home side’s ambition and confidence that even centre-backs Chico Flores and Ashley Williams surged forward with Manchester City reeling.

Swansea got the rub of the green when Bony drifted between Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta to head home de Guzman’s floated cross. The striker was marginally offside but the goal was the least he – and Swansea – deserved.

Half-time brought relief for Pellegrini and his team emerged refreshed, smothering Swansea’s playmakers to regain the initiative.

Touré got the visitors back on the front foot. The giant central midfielder was like Gulliver chasing the Lilliputians in the first half but Swansea struggled to maintain the tempo and Touré was imperious after the break with his strength and touch. He used both to put his side back in front on 57 minutes when he shrugged off Jose Canas to give himself time to unleash a shot that deflected off Williams past Gerhard Tremmel.

That was unfortunate but the German goalkeeper should have done better nine minutes later to prevent Kolarov plundering a third, to settle the contest. Kolarov out-muscled Wayne Routledge before sauntering 40 yards to fire a shot that had too much power for Tremmel.

Opposite number Hart also wobbled when he utterly  misjudged a corner but Williams failed to connect. Hart could do little when Bony struck another thunder-bolt in injury time. The Ivory Coast striker, who revealed an “RIP Anouk” message on his shirt, dedicated his double to a close friend who recently died of cancer. Bony said: “It has been a very emotional time for me.”

Swansea (4-3-3): Tremmel 6; Rangel 6, Flores 6, Williams 6, Davies 7; Canas 6, de Guzman 6, Shelvey 6 (Pozuelo 81 5); Hernandez 4 (Lamah 9 6), Bony 7, Routledge 5.

Subs not used: Zabret, Amat, Taylor, Tiendalli, Vazquez.

Booked: Canas, Shelvey

Man City (4-4-2): Hart 6; Zabaleta 6, Kompany 7, Nastasic 6, Kolarov 7; Navas 6 (Rodwell 89 5), Fernandinho 6, Yaya Toure 8, Nasri 6 (Milner 69 6); Negredo 6 (Garcia 596), Dzeko 7

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Clichy, Boyata

Booked: Nasri, Dzeko, Kompany, Milner

Man of the Match: Yaya Toure (Man City)

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 20,498

Match rating: 8/10

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower