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

THE LIBERTY STADIUM

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
News
peopleJonathan Ross has got a left-field suggestion to replace Clarkson
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Sport
footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss