London - Carlos Tevez's first goal since
September 1 earned Manchester City an unconvincing 1-0 win over Swansea
City on Saturday, bringing Roberto Mancini some relief after a trying
Mancini, the City manager, made a half-time tactical switch
that saw Tevez take up a deeper role, from which he scored with a
superbly struck 61st-minute effort.
Gael Clichy cut in from the
left and delivered the ball to Tevez, who dispatched an unstoppable
right-footed shot that led to visiting goalkeeper Michel Vorm collecting
a game-ending injury in the process.
A subsequent injury to City
defender Micah Richards meant that the game finished with a Premier
League record of 12 minutes and 42 seconds of injury time.
tactics, particularly in defence, had been a burning topic in the
build-up to the game, in the wake of the dispiriting 3-1 defeat at Ajax
on Wednesday that almost certainly ended their Champions League interest
for another season.
In response, the Italian sent City out in
what appeared to be a straightforward 4-4-2 formation, perhaps an
attempt to return to basics after Mancini criticised his players'
ability to adapt to shifting tactics.
Defender Aleksandar Kolarov
was pushed into a wide-left position, however, and clearly looked
uncomfortable there, switching with Samir Nasri and moving onto the
right wing before being replaced at half-time by Mario Balotelli.
along with Richards and Joleon Lescott, had declined to wear the 'Kick
It Out' T-shirts sported by their team-mates before the game, as unrest
over attempts to tackle racism in the game continues to simmer.
short-term concerns were about allowing their supporters to forget the
disappointment of mid-week, but it was something they failed to do in
the first half, with boos from a section of home fans greeting the
It had taken City until the 38th minute to
force Vorm into a save of note, the visiting keeper easily gathering a
Tevez shot from just inside the area, although by this stage the Welsh
team were also finding their feet in the attacking third.
was denied a decent heading opportunity by a superb defensive clearance
by Richards and the same Swansea player had the ball in the goal after
37 minutes, only for his effort to be ruled out for an obvious offside.
goalkeeper Joe Hart was called into action five minutes before the
interval, performing admirably as he sprinted from his line to block the
progress of Michu, who had been played clean through by Ki Sung-yueng.
introduction of Balotelli at half-time saw an instant improvement in
City's play as, within seconds of the restart, Sergio Aguero unleashed a
shot that flew just wide of the mark from the edge of the box.
almost met a low Nasri cross in front of goal and the former Arsenal
man then freed Balotelli to round Vorm, who did well to force the
Italian to the byline before making an important save.
pivotal minute arrived just before the hour as, first, Michu met a Pablo
Hernandez cross with a stooping header that Hart pushed away, before
Ki's follow-up shot was blocked by a defender.
followed within two minutes and injury was added to insult when Vorm
hurt himself as he dived, forcing him to depart on a stretcher to the
benefit of substitute goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel.
City survived a
scare when de Guzman shot narrowly wide after a terrible clearance from
Nasri, but the game ended on a negative note for Mancini when Richards
went down holding his knee and had to be stretchered off.