English Premiership

City surge to win at Swansea

2015-05-17 16:45
Yaya Toure (AFP)

London - Yaya Toure has scored twice while substitute Wilfried Bony reminded Swansea of what they were missing as Manchester City made sure of a place in the Champions League with a 4-2 win at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Victory assured City of a top-three finish in the Premier League and meant they will be among the trio of English clubs guaranteed entry into the Champions League group stage, with the fourth-placed club having to enter a qualifying round instead.

Goals from City captain Toure and James Milner had put the visitors in control only for the home side to draw level through Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bafetimbi Gomis.

But Toure's second goal which, like his first, owed much to an error by Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, restored City's lead in the 74th minute before midfielder Toure's Ivory Coast team-mate Bony -- signed from Swansea in January -- struck in stoppage time.

There was a warm reception for Bony on his return to Swansea, however he had to settle for a place on the bench before eventually making an impact.

Fit-again Gomis, who has excelled in his absence for the Welsh club, was rewarded with a first start in a month following his late winner against Arsenal in Swansea's previous match.

The France international was heavily involved in the game's opening exchanges as Swansea made the more purposeful start.

Yet his predatory instincts deserted him when presented with three separate opportunities early on -- the best of them scuffed wide from Neil Taylor's cutback.

It was a ponderous opening from Manuel Pellegrini's team, one epitomised by a particularly sluggish start from £24.3 million centre-back Eliaquim Mangala.

The former Porto defender wanted too much time to deal with a probing Swansea ball down the left channel and was dispossessed by Nathan Dyer to send the winger clean through.

Dyer inflicted more humiliation on Mangala when he cut back inside to leave the France international on his backside, yet unfortunately for the Swansea man, City goalkeeper Joe Hart had judged his angles to perfection, tipping a curled effort around the post.

That save appeared all the more pivotal four minutes later as Toure, receiving possession from David Silva on the edge of the area, drove a shot which beat Fabianski at his near post.

But what appeared a mistake by the former Arsenal keeper was, in part, explained by Toure's shot deflecting off Swansea defender Ashley Williams.

Nine minutes before the interval City were 2-0 up as Frank Lampard, who had a short spell as a 17-year-old with the Swans, set up a counter-attack with a stunning diagonal pass down the left channel.

Sergio Aguero fed Milner, yet the England international still had much to do, neatly stepping inside Taylor before curling clinically inside the far post.

That neither Milner nor Toure's City's futures are settled must be of concern to everyone connected to the Eastlands club.

But City had more pressing problems to worry about when Sigurdsson whipped a wonderful shot inside the right post just before the interval.

Silva and City substitute Jesus Navas were both thwarted by fine Fabianski saves and a stunning Swans fightback appeared complete in the 64th minute courtesy of Gomis's fifth goal in as many games.

Jazz Richards's measured right-wing cross evaded the hapless Mangala and Gomis took full advantage, lashing a shot inside the far post from an acute angle.

City rallied again but, once again, Fabianski's goalkeeping warranted scrutiny as, for a second time, he was beaten at his near post by a powerful Toure strike.

The visitors, as has so often been the case, had Hart to thank when he pulled off a stupendous one-handed reflex save to tip over a Federico Fernandez header from a Swansea corner.

England international Hart came to his side's rescue again with another excellent save to keep out Gomis's diving header.

Bony came on with five minutes remaining and that was all the time he needed to make an impact, his well-struck shot going in off the post.


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