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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links