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January 1, 2014
• Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 20498
W. Bony 45'+, 90'+
Y. Touré 58'
A. Kolarov 66'
The pressure is now on Arsenal as they look to recover their top spot when they kick off against Cardiff shortly. Next up for Swansea is a trip to Manchester United in the FA Cup while Manchester City travel to Blackburn Rovers. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
That result means that Swansea are now without a win in six games and Michael Laudrup's side languish in 11th position, just five points above the drop zone. While talk of a relegation scrap may be a little exaggerated, the Swans desperately need to start picking up points and chairman Huw Jenkins may well be forced to dip into his pocket to free up some funds.
FT: Swansea City 2-3 Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini's side make it four league games unbeaten on the road after a thrilling encounter at the Liberty Stadium. Wilfried Bony scored a double for the Swans but it was not enough for Michael Laudrup's side as they were undone by strikes from Fernandinho, Yaya Toure and Aleksandar Kolarov. Manchester City get 2014 off to the perfect winning start and return to the Premier League summit.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card James Milner
90' + 2'
Manchester City are hoping to run down the clock here and James Milner goes into the book when he is adjudged of timewasting. I think that Swansea goal has come just too late for Michael Laudrup's men.
90' + 1'
Goal Wilfried Bony
BONY MAKES IT 3-2! Are we set for a late comeback at the Liberty Stadium? Bony collects Pozuelo's pass outside the box and he cuts inside the challenge of Fernandinho all too easily before sending a swerving right-footed effort beyond Hart's despairing dive and into the bottom corner. That's a superb finish from the Ivorian.
Jesús Navas González
Manuel Pellegrini opts to make his final substitution and it is a rare outing for Jack Rodwell who comes on to replace Jesus Navas.
Swansea look to snatch a late consolation but Pozuelo's attempted one-two with Bony is well anticipated by Nastasic who makes the interception. Despite Manchester City's free-scoring attack, they have only kept one clean sheet on their league travels this season.
James Milner produces some silky skills down the left to get past Rangel but he cannot pick out a black shirt with his cross into the box. Is there any stopping Manchester City at the moment?
Fernandinho has been excellent in the heart of the Manchester City midfield today and he dispossesses Canas on the half-way line before his attempted through ball for Dzeko is well intercepted by Chico.
Yellow Card Pablo Zabaleta
Pablo Zabaleta has impressed on his return to the side but he picks up a late booking when he catches Lamah with a nasty challenge.
Swansea seem to have accepted defeat here and the crowd has certainly quietened down. Roland Lamah attempts to reduce the deficit but his long-range attempt glashes over the top.
Michael Laudrup decides to make a second substitution and Alejandro Pozuelo comes on to replace Jonjo Shelvey. The Spanish winger has featured in more games for Swansea this season than any other player.
Ben Davies hopes to mark his contract extension with a goal but he can only balloon a left-footed effort high over the crossbar.
Edin Dzeko is still hungry for a goal however and he receives Milner's pass on the edge of the box but his left-footed effort is blocked by Chico. Manchester City have now scored 57 goals this season and they still have Sergio Aguero to return!
Cries of 'Blue Moon' ring out from the travelling supporters as Manchester City seek to hold onto possession and their lead. This result will make it four away games unbeaten for Manuel Pellegrini's side.
Manchester City are aiming to exploit Swansea on the counter attack and Toure feeds Milner out on the left wing. The England wideman cuts inside two white shirts onto his right foot but his curling effort is well blocked by Williams.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR SWANSEA! Joe Hart is a lucky boy as he completely flaps at de Guzman's corner but Williams can only shuffle the ball the wrong side of the post from a few yards out.
BRILLIANT PLAY FROM BONY! The Ivory Coast striker has led the line excellently for Swansea and he holds up the ball on the edge of the box before jinking past Nastasic and sending a shot towards the top left-hand corner which is tipped behind by Hart.
Manuel Pellegrini makes a second defensive-minded substitution as James Milner comes on to replace Samir Nasri.
Manchester City look set to return to the top of the Premier League table now. Swansea have proved a good match for Manuel Pellegrini's man but that goal has surely killed off the Welsh threat now. Tremmel will be particularly disappointed there as he should have kept Kolarov's shot out.
Goal Aleksandar Kolarov
KOLAROV MAKES IT 3-1! The Serbian left-back steals the ball away from Routledge inside his own half before dribbling his way towards goal unopposed. He lets fly with his right foot and his shot deflects off the knee of Canas before going straight through the gloves of Tremmel for his for first league goal of the season.
Tremmel continues to deputise in the absence of the injured Vorm and his indecision nearly gifts Manchester City a third goal. However, the experienced German goalkeeper is fortunate to see Fernandinho's shot flash wide from the edge of the box,
Swansea look to respond immediately and moments after Rangel's poked effort is deflected behind, Williams' thunderous goalbound volley strikes the back of his Spanish teammate.
Manuel Pellegrini makes an immediate change as he looks to shore up the midfield with Javi Garcia coming on for the disappointing Alvaro Negredo.
Goal Yaya Touré
TOURE REGAINS THE LEAD FOR MANCHESTER CITY! Zabaleta steals the ball off the toes of Canas on the edge of the box and Toure picks it up, gliding his way past two Swansea defenders before firing a shot into the bottom corner, courtesy of a deflection from Williams. That's the Ivorian's 12th goal of the season.
Manchester City immediately attack down the other end and Canas produces a fine block to deny Negredo's fierce drive.
Bony has caused the Manchester City defence problems all game and he wins a free kick in a dangerous position outside the box when he is tripped by Fernandinho. De Guzman steps up to take the set piece but he can only curl the ball over the crossbar.
Yellow Card Vincent Kompany
Manchester City are pressing Swansea higher up the pitch in this second half but Kompany is too rash in his pursuit of Lamah and he picks up his third booking of the season.
CHANCE FOR NEGREDO! The Spanish striker capitalises upon Chico's hesitancy to latch onto Navas' scooped pass and he flicks the ball over the head of the Swansea defender but cannot generate sufficient contact on his right-footed volley as his scufffed effort is easily saved by Tremmel.
Manchester City have started the brighter of the two sides in this second half but neither goalkeeper has been tested since the break. Pellegrini will be expecting more from the likes of Negredo and Toure after their lethargic performances in the first half.
Kolarov has a dangerous left foot but I don't think you can say the same for his right as he collects Fernandinho's pass on the edge of the box before firing wildly over the crossbar.
The teams re-emerge from the tunnel for the second half and Manchester City get the match back underway. Only 11 of the 41 points that Manuel Pellegrini's side have earned this season have come away from home. Can they begin 2014 with all three?
STAT ATTACK: Wilfried Bony's header was the 239th Premier League goal scored on New Year's Day. All five of his league goals have come at the Liberty Stadium.
HT: Swansea City 1-1 Manchester City. Wilfried Bony's precise header on the stroke of half-time cancels out Fernandinho's opener. It's been a thrilling start to 2014 with both sides desperate to get the ball on the floor and attack. Let's hope for more of the same in the second half.
45' + 3'
Yellow Card Jonjo Shelvey
45' + 3'
On second viewing, it does appear that Bony had strayed marginally offside there. Manuel Pellegrini will not be happy with that decision when he sees it.
45' + 2'
Assist Jonathan De Guzmán
45' + 2'
Goal Wilfried Bony
BONY ENDS HIS GOAL DROUGHT! Swansea are level right at the end of the first half as Bony drifts in behind Kompany to nod de Guzman's teasing cross past Hart and into the bottom corner. That's his first goal in eight matches.
It's end to end stuff at the Liberty Stadium and Manchester City go close to doubling their advantage when Nasri volleys Navas' cross wide of the target. There seems to be more goals in this one.
GREAT EFFORT FROM BONY! The Ivory Coast international exchanges neat passes with Shelvey outside the box before blasting a fierce right-footed effort narrowly wide of the far post. Joe Hart looks relieved as he was not going to stop that one.
GREAT CHANCE FOR DZEKO! Kolarov is the architect as he dances infield from the left before clipping a neat ball towards Dzeko. The Bosnian striker peels away from Williams excellently but his first touch lets him down and Tremmel races off his line to gather. He knows that was a good opportunity.
The home fans are really behind Swansea here and Routledge rallies the troops when he wins a corner off of Kompany. De Guzman whips the resulting set piece into the box but once again Manchester City defend it excellently as Fernandinho nods clear.
Pablo Zabaleta rarely pops on the scoresheet but he nearly does so here as he collects Nasri's pass on the right corner of the box before dragging an effort narrowly wide of the left post.
Yellow Card Edin Dzeko
A booking apiece here as Canas and Dzeko both go into the referee's notebook for dissent.
Yellow Card José Cañas
GOOD BLOCK FROM KOMPANY! Swansea enjoy a good spell of pressure and Williams sends a rasping half volley towards goal which is well blocked by Kompany. The home fans scream for handball but the Belgian's arms were clearly behind his back.
Michu's injury has proved damaging to Swansea this season and they have struggled to find the net as regularly this campaign, scoring 24 goals in 19 matches. Can Bony end his seven-game goal drought and deliver the goods today?
Manchester City are looking dangerous from set pieces and Negredo uses his strength to get on the end of Nasri's delivery before heading narrowly wide.
Dzeko is looking in the mood this afternoon and he collects the ball outside the box before drilling a low shot inches past the post, with Tremmel scrambling. With Aguero absent through injury, he is hoping to make an impression.
De Guzman steps up to execute the free kick but he can only fire straight at Dzeko in the wall before Canas arrows a volley off target.
Yellow Card Samir Nasri
Samir Nasri picks up the first booking of the game when he trips Davies outside the box. Can de Guzman produce one of his trademark free kicks?
DE GUZMAN SHOULD DO BETTER! Swansea have suddenly sprung into life and Lamah sends de Guzman clean through on goal but the Dutch midfielder can only fire straight at Hart, under pressure from Navas. Against Manchester City, you need to take those chances.
GOOD CHANCE FOR SWANSEA! Shelvey exchanges passes with de Guzman excellently outside the box and he jinks past the challenge of Kompany before firing an effort over the crossbar. That was much better from Michael Laudrup's side.
It's all Manchester City at the moment and Swansea are caught napping from a short corner. However, Bony just about manages to recover his concentration to hack Nasri's cross clear.
That Fernandinho strike means that Manchester City have scored 55 goals this season. No Premier League side has ever scored as many goals at this stage of this season.
CHANCES AT BOTH ENDS! Swansea win their first corner of the game but Dzeko rises highest to deny Williams from heading in the equaliser. Manchester City then attack down the other end but Negredo gets the ball stuck between his feet and cannot divert Kolarov's cutback towards goal.
Swansea's troubles continue. Incidentally, Michael Laudrup's side have won only two league games at home this season.
FERNANDINHOOOO! Jonathan de Guzman half clears Samir Nasri's corner from the right but it falls to Fernandinho on the edge of the box who lashes a low shot through a crowd of Swansea shirts and beyond Gerhard Tremmel. That's a fine strike from the Brazilian, his third league goal of the season.
Manchester City enjoy a good spell of pressure and Tremmel needs to stay alert to palm away Navas' stinging cross from the right. Dzeko is looking an early threat for the visitors with his strong hold-up play.
Roland Lamah has finished his warm-up and he comes on to replace Pablo Hernandez. Can he make it two goals in two games?
It's a bright start to the game here with both sides looking to get the ball on the floor to play attacking football. Vincent Kompany will hope to put his injury problems behind him this year and he produces a fine interception to steal the ball away from Bony. The Belgian centre-back has been in good goalscoring form recently, at both ends of the pitch.
Michael Laudrup is going to be forced into an early change here as Pablo Hernandez goes down clutching his hamstring. That's not the best start to the new year for the Spaniard. Roland Lamah will be on shortly to replace him.
GOOD EFFORT FROM BONY! The Ivory Coast striker has not found the net in his previous seven games but he goes close when he collects de Guzman's pass outside the box before sending a rasping low drive marginally wide of the post.
There is a stoppage in play here as Tremmel takes a moment to change his goalkeeping jersey. He is now in a bright orange top as his original black shirt clashed with Manchester City's away strip.
DZEKO GOES CLOSE! The Bosnian striker scored the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace a few days ago and he goes close to opening the scoring here as he connects with Negredo's cross from the right, sending a right-footed shot inches past the post.
Phil Dowd blows his whistle and Swansea, in their traditional white jerseys, get the first Premier League game of 2014 underway!
As for Manchester City, Alvaro Negredo is recalled to the starting lineup after starting on the bench in the 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, with the suspended David Silva dropping out. Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov also return to the side.
Michael Laudrup makes two changes to the side which drew 1-1 against Aston Villa four days ago as Wayne Routledge and Angel Rangel come in for Roland Lamah, who scored his first goal for the club in that match, and Dwight Tiendalli.
MANCHESTER CITY (4-4-2): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov; Navas, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Nasri; Negredo, Dzeko.
SWANSEA (4-2-3-1): Tremmel; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Canas, de Guzman; Shelvey, Hernandez, Routledge; Bony.
Without further ado, here are today's lineups...
As for Swansea, they have suffered a slump since that victorious day at Wembley, winning only seven of their last 29 league matches. However, there is hope for Michael Laudrup's side as Manchester City have not scored at the Liberty Stadium in their last two meetings.
Manuel Pellegrini has breathed new life into Manchester City however and aside from a few early slip-ups on their travels, the Citizens have looked very much title-winning material with their free-scoring attack and imperious home record. Having earned 16 points out of a possible last 18, Manchester City are very much the in-form team in the Premier League.
As for Swansea, 2013 proved to be a wonderful year as they claimed their first major trophy in their 101-year history by lifting the Capital One Cup before qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League, having beaten Spanish giants Valencia in the group stages.
2013 proved to be a fairly disappointing year for Manchester City who saw the Premier League title smuggled back by their fierce rivals, Manchester United, before Wigan dismantled them in the FA Cup final, leaving Roberto Mancini to wave goodbye to the Etihad faithful.
What better way is there to start off the New Year than with a full programme of Premier League fixtures! Kicking off 2014 in style will be the early lunchtime tie between Swansea City and Manchester City. For Manuel Pellegrini's men, there is only one resolution...win the Premier League. A win at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon will take Manchester City back to the top of the table with Arsenal set to face another Welsh side, Cardiff, later today.
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