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Manchester City 1-0 Swansea City: Tevez stunner marred by injury sickener for Richards
Michael Laudrup's side gave a good account of themselves at the Etihad Stadium, but the hosts scraped through to claim all three points despite a rather unconvining performance
By Ryan Benson
Manchester City have moved into second in the Premier League after a less-than-convincing 1-0 win over Swansea at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening, leapfrogging Manchester United in the process.
The first half was a rather drab affair until a late flurry from Swansea, with Michu going close on a couple of occasions, but the scores remained level at the break.
A much more potent start to the second half saw City make the breakthrough with 60 minutes on the clock as Carlos Tevez found the net from distance.
Roberto Mancini made three changes from the side which beat West Brom last weekend with Joleon Lescott and Mario Balotelli being replaced by Matija Nastasic and Sergio Aguero, while Aleksandar Kolarov came in for the suspended James Milner. Meanwhile, Michael Laudrup opted to name an unchanged Swansea side from the team who beat Wigan last time out.
The first quarter of the match was somewhat of a non-event, but a deep free kick delivered by Jonathan De Guzman around the 15-minute mark had Joe Hart all at sea but, luckily for the England international the ball went harmlessly out of play.
A Carlos Tevez shot five minutes before the interval sparked some life into the match, and Laudrup’s side immediately sprang a marvellous counter-attack that ended with Vincent Kompany booting the ball clear ahead of the lurking Michu after good work down the right from Pablo Hernandez.
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A matter of seconds later, Leon Britton threaded an inch-perfect through ball between several defenders for Michu and, after getting clear of the City backline, the Spaniard looked destined to score but Hart rushed out and blocked the shot.
City began the second half with purpose as Aguero spun away from De Guzman and curled an effort towards the far top corner, but it whistled just wide as the match started to liven up.
A couple of minutes later, half-time substitute Mario Balotelli almost got on the end of Samir Nasri’s cross, but Ashley Williams put it behind, while the Italian was soon involved again as it appeared he was brought down in the area by Williams only for the referee to wave play on.
However, the reward for City’s good start to the second half came on the hour mark as Gael Clichy burst in towards the centre before laying the ball off to Tevez, who fired into the bottom corner from 30 yards.
Despite being behind, Swansea were not giving up and could have won a penalty with 20 minutes to go as a Michu header appeared to hit Kompany on the arm, while a long-range De Guzman strike narrowly missed the top corner four minutes later.
Twelve minutes of stoppage time were given due to rather nasty looking injuries to Vorm and Micah Richards – the latter being stretchered from the field clutching his knee - but Swansea were unable to conjure up an equaliser.
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