FA Premier League
Saturday 27 October 2012, 17.30 KO
City: Hart, Richards (K Toure 85), Kompany (c), Nastasic, Clichy, Y Toure, Barry, Kolarov (Balotelli 45), Nasri, Tevez, Aguero (Lescott 90)
Unused: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Evans, Dzeko
Goals: Tevez (61)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Man of the Match: Carlos Tevez
The game was a particularly slow starter, with neither side able to impose themselves on the early stages. Swansea had a header wide of goal, as Joe Hart was beaten to the cross from a free kick, but the offside was up and it wouldn’t have counted. Michu was then left in a heap as he lost a header to Richards, who powered through to win the ball.
There were 33 minutes on the clock before City really created a chance of note, with some neat one-touch passing on the edge of the box. But the final ball towards Tevez’s run into the area by Barry was just too long and the visitors could see the ball behind. Michu had the ball in the net soon after, but he had been flagged offside and it didn’t count.
Suddenly, with half time approaching, the visitors were on top: Hart was called upon to save brilliantly from a one-on-one with Michu, after Kompany was forced to clear from under his own crossbar after the ball was whipped into the box. Richards was lucky Swansea had a good advantage and played on, too, as his foul on the edge of the box could have seen him red-carded otherwise.
Early in the second half, though, it appeared like a different City had emerged from the tunnel. Tevez had an effort straight at Vorm, before Balotelli was slid through by a great pass from midfield. One-on-one with Vorm, he took it around the goalkeeper, but was forced too wide to get a shot in and his cut-back towards Aguero was cleared. The Italian then wanted a penalty as he went down in the box trying to latch onto a Richards cross, but the referee waved away the claims.
On the hour mark, Hart had to be alert to save expertly from a Michu header, before the follow-up was blocked as Richards scuffed his clearance. Immediately, City headed downfield and, following some good work by Clichy, the ball fell to Tevez 20-yards out. He smashed the ball for the top corner, beat Vorm and found the back of the net spectacularly. The sour note on the goal, though, was a bad injury to the Swansea goalkeeper.
With 15 minutes to play, Nasri’s clearance fell straight to de Guzman and the Swansea man fired an effort at goal from the edge of the box. Hart threw himself at it and didn’t get there, but fortunately for the home side the shot was just wide of the post. It was a let off for City, who were soon facing injury problems of their own, as Richards went down when tracking back. He had to be stretchered from the pitch and appeared to be in a lot of pain.
On 88 minutes, Nastasic almost made a mess of a backpass, knocking it short for the City goalkeeper. Luckily for the blues, Hart was alert and off his line quickly to get to the ball ahead of Graham. City were living dangerously and, thanks to the two long injury stoppages, with 12 minutes of stoppage time to play, couldn’t afford to get sloppy.
Tevez tried to add to City’s tally to secure the win, but after his weaving run into the box, his shot was wide of the post. Balotelli had the last attempt, after he was found by Yaya Toure on the break, but his shot hit the top of the bar and bounced over. City had to work for the points and didn’t put in a good performance, but that didn’t matter as the home side moved to second in the table.