Toure at the double as City head for Champions League
Yaya Toure 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 ($38 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.
No comments yet