Monday, 12 March 2012

Swansea City V Manchester City: Match Report - 11.3.12

By Tom Smart

A defeat for the blues in Swansea saw the City side that has dominated the top of Premier League for the past 5 months, finally lose their lead.

A goal from Luke Moore was enough to see Swansea as they look to extend their stay in the Premier League. The loss makes the task of winning the league much harder with the team from Manchester now trailing rivals Manchester United by a point.

A Swansea side that has been prolific at home all season and seen sides such as Chelsea and Tottenham fail to defeat them at the Liberty Stadium, managed to engineer another prolific display.

City began the game knowing that the ever-consistent central defenders Kompany & Lescott would both miss the game through short-term injuries, and didn’t did the blues miss them.

The game began at an accelerated pace as Wayne Routledge burst in to the City area following a through ball from Scott Sinclair that the City defence couldn’t deal with. Routledge was alleged to have been tripped by Joe Hart although TV replays have shown that no contact was made between the goalkeeper and attacker.

Scott Sinclair stepped up to strike the penalty only for Joe Hart to superbly push the ball into the path Kolo Toure who gratefully cleared the ball out of touch. A poor penalty by Sinclair and a very justified result in the opinions of the City faithful.

Swansea continued to dominate with a squandered effort from striker Danny Graham eventually forcing a change from the Manchester City bench. Sergio Aguero replaced Gareth Barry in what Mancini saw as a much needed substitution and restructuring in tactics.

Shortly afterwards a short corner was worked into the box and after a goal mouth scramble in the Swansea 6 yard box Yaya Toure was only able to aim a shot that deflected for a corner. The resulting corner disappointingly met the head of Micah Richards only for Balotelli to slide in on Vorm and the ball to roll out of play for another corner. Silva’s resulting effort from the corner after a number of attempts failed to test Vorm and City ended the first half extremely disappointingly.

The 2nd half began amidst reports that Balotelli and Yaya Toure had been caught up in a heated argument that illustrated the anger and frustration that the side had felt during the first half.

Swansea, as they had in the first half began the 2nd half faster out of the block than the away side. A well worked move saw a cross in by Graham and an excellent defensive piece of work by Kolo Toure prevented the Swans from taking the lead.

In the 61st minute City had claims for a penalty that fell on deaf ears and deservedly so. Mario Balotelli went down under a weakened challenge far too easily despite contact actually being made.

City pushed forward and were denied from a smart save from Vorm in the Swansea goal. Richards had cleverly turned his man and fired a shot goal-wards before Vorm was able to collect the ball.

A mistake by Savic in the 83rd minute allowed Swansea’s superb attacking poise and movement to take advantage of the City defence that appeared to be back in position only for a ball to be delivered out wide to Routledge. The ex England-Under 21 struck an accurate cross that was expertly headed home by Luke Moore putting the Swans in the lead.

Balotelli was then able to weave his way into the Swansea box and fire a shot at the near post that Vorm was again equal to. Shortly after City tested the already stinging hands of the Swansea goalkeeper, the ball was nudged into the path of Kolo Toure who hammered the ball towards goal that again Vorm was able to palm over the goal.

City finally did have the ball in the net, but it was ruled correctly offside by Sian Massey, the lineswoman for the game. Richards appeared to have strayed offside after a lobbed ball into the penalty area by Nasri. Much to City’s frustration it didn’t count and Swansea were able to pick up the win to see them get to the 36 point mark, the same mark that last season would have seen them save from relegation.


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