Bore draw at The Liberty Stadium
FA Premier League
Saturday 4 May 2013, 15.00 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Nastasic, Clichy, Y Toure (Dzeko 45), Barry, Nasri, Silva (Rodwell 85), Milner, Aguero (Tevez 78)
Unused: Pantilimon, K Toure, Kolarov, Garcia
Referee: Mike Jones
Man of the Match: David Silva
It was a slow start from two teams whose league seasons are seemingly meandering to a close – City looking comfortable in second place and Swansea safe from the threat of relegation – and it was Barry would provided the earliest spark. He stole the ball in the home side’s half and drove at goal, finding Milner and his low cross was almost deflected into his own net by Flores. A shot from Barry then almost set Swansea on the counter, were in not for Nastasic’s intervention.
With 16 minutes played, Swansea had a great chance to take the lead. A ball in behind Clichy allowed Dyer to cross low towards Hernandez unmarked inside the area. Faced with a chance to shoot, he scooped his effort over the bar. A one-two then got the hosts in behind the City back line, but Nasri was there to nick the ball away and behind. Seconds later, Michu side-footed wide when he was unmarked inside the six-yard box.
Around ten minutes later, Dyer pulled a brilliant ball down and drove towards the box. He centred for Routledge to shoot, but his effort from ten yards out was straight at Hart and the England goalkeeper was able to hold it comfortably. Swansea had grown into the game, while City were struggling to get started.
Just after the half hour, Hernandez was clean through on goal and drew Hart off his line. He turned to try and find the shot, but with defenders recovering, he skewed the effort wide of the post. City then gave the ball away from the resulting dead ball, but the decision to shoot from Dyer was the wrong one and the visitors were let off again.
A deep ball in from Barry found Nasri with the chance to turn and shoot inside the six-yard box. It dropped over Williams – perhaps unexpectedly for the Frenchman – and he tried to volley it past Vorm. He couldn’t make a clean contact, though, and it sat up nicely for the Swansea goalkeeper to collect. Some intricate play in the Swansea box should have resulted in the visitors taking the lead, but Nasri’s effort was weak and blocked, with Milner square.
With seven minutes of the half to play, City should have conceded a penalty. Michu tried to flick the ball past Nastasic and the centre-back brought him down as the Swansea forward tried to dodge around him. It was a clumsy challenge and he won none of the ball. At the other end, some patient play almost got the visitors the lead – Aguero was through and Silva nicked it off him to shoot, but Williams was there to block. The rebound broke for Aguero, but Vorm was out quickly to save.
From a Swansea corner in the opening stages of the second half, City could have been in front again. Silva broke away and was all alone until Dzeko caught up with him. The Spaniard slipped it through and Dzeko was one-on-one with the covering defender. He slid it back to Silva, who found Aguero on the blindside, but he miscontrolled at the vital time and it bounced behind.
Just after the hour mark, it was City’s turn to be denied a penalty: Dzeko knocked the ball past Flores, who had gone down early to block the move. The defender didn’t play the ball and Dzeko went down over the challenge, but the referee waved away the appeals.
With seven minutes to play, it should have been City who stole the points. A cute ball from Tevez as he regained possession slid Zabaleta in behind on the right flank. He managed to keep the ball in and chip to the back post, where Dzeko was waiting. He was faced with a virtual open goal, with Vorm struggling to get across, and somehow the Bosnian fired wide.
A minute later, it was Silva’s turn to miss a golden opportunity: Dzeko, trying to make up for his miss moments earlier, cut inside from the left flank and shot. It was blocked to the centre of the box, where Silva was arriving late, and he side-footed his finish well wide of the post, with all of the goal to aim at.
With 90 seconds of stoppage time to play, City had a late chance to steal the points, as Nasri curled a cross to Dzeko. His header was held by Vorm, as Rodwell sniffed around for any potential rebounds.
A bore draw.