Swansea City 1-3 Manchester City: Swans start strong but Citizens show class

The visitors came through a tough test in South Wales to pick up another three points.

Swansea City 1-3 Manchester City: Swans start strong but Citizens show class
Mike van der Hoorn was cruelly penalised for a foul on Kevin de Bruyne in a moment that changed the game. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)
Swansea City
1 3
Manchester City
Swansea City: (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Rangel, van der Hoorn, Amat, Naughton; Britton (Borja 79'), Cork (Ki 73'); Sigurdsson, Fer, Routledge (Barrow 73'); Llorente.
Manchester City: (4-1-4-1): Bravo; Sagna (Zabaleta 78'), Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernandinho; Sterling, Gündogan (Fernando 68'), Silva, De Bruyne (Navas 81'); Agüero.
SCORE: 0-1, Agüero 9'. 1-1, Llorente 13'. 1-2, Agüero (pen) 65'. 1-3, Sterling 77'.
REFEREE: Neil Swarbrick. Booked: Sagna 31', Fernandinho 37', Amat 58', van der Hoorn 64', Sterling 77', Kolarov 87'.

Fresh off the back of a 2-1 defeat to the Citizens in midweek, Swansea City again fell short against Pep Guardiola's side on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester City were far from their best in South Wales, allowing the Swans to really take the game to them in a first half that ended 1-1.

However, they ground out the win in the end, with Sergio Agüero making the most of a dubious penalty before Raheem Sterling added a third on the counter later in the second half.

Swans step it up

Swansea started the game positively, looking to avenge their recent defeat to the Citizens. Leroy Fer in particular was impressive from the off, breaking up play well in the middle of the park, and it was his reading of play and swift interception that gave Swansea the game's first chance.

However, it was a half chance for Wayne Routledge, who couldn't generate enough pace on his header to worry Claudio Bravo in the away goal.

Gylfi Sigurdsson had the ball in the back of the net moments later too, but his arrowed finish was irrelevant as the referee blew for a foul in the build up.

The hosts actually looked the most likely to break the deadlock, but on his return from injury, no one was going to take the pleasure of doing so away from a certain Sergio Agüero.

Man City hadn't had much joy in the final third yet, but their Argentine forward only needed a sniff at goal to finish. Fed the ball with pace in the area, he took a big first touch out of his feet before drilling a shot through the legs of Lukasz Fabianski with his second.

Swansea's response was impressive though. Fernando Llorente was at the centre of this mini-revival, denied by Bravo from close range after a low, dangerous cross from Kyle Naughton.

Still, he wasn't to be kept at bay for much longer. The Spaniard would bag his first goal in Swansea white after capitalising on Aleksandar Kolarov's lapse in concentration, firing emphatically into the top corner on the half volley to equalise in style.

Exchanging opportunities

Swansea's good spell didn't end there either. Sigurdsson started to get more involved, and with that came a headed chance for Mike van der Hoorn and an opportunity for the Iceland international himself as he forced Bravo to make a save from a free-kick. 

The visitors did have their chances, most notably with Kevin de Bruyne proving he is human by firing wide through on goal, but the Swans had improved tenfold on their performance in midweek.

This carried into the second half, as Routledge saw his cross-cum-shot fizz wide before Sigurdsson volleyed over - though he perhaps had time to bring the ball down in the box and strike instead.

Down the other end, Agüero had the best chance though, only for Jordi Amat to intervene at the last second as the Argentine pulled the trigger from six yards out. Naughton followed suit and put his body on the line moments later too, when Sterling looked certain to score.

Manchester City eventually ground out the three points at the Liberty Stadium. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)
Manchester City eventually ground out the three points at the Liberty Stadium. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Guardiola's side show their class

This flurry from Man City allowed them to get back on top. They hadn't been at their best, but they would go up a gear in the latter stages to ensure three points.

The visitors took the lead rather fortuitously, with van der Hoorn harshly penalised for a foul on de Bruyne in the box as Neil Swarbrick pointed to the spot. Agüero stepped up, and coolly chipped the ball down the centre of the goal to make it 2-1.

Swansea understandably then piled men forward in search of an equaliser, but were to be caught out by the pace and directness of Sterling. The England international drove forward, skipped past Naughton, then neatly finished past Fabianski.

In the ascendency, the away side could have added more, but Fernandinho was thwarted by Fabianski when he looked to have rounded the 'keeper to make it four.

Three was enough for the three points anyway, while Francesco Guidolin will take many positives from the game.