MAN CITY 2, SWANSEA CITY 1
Manchester City limped over the line following a nervous performance against Swansea City in the Barclays Premier League at the Etihad Stadium.
It was clear to see that City, with only one win in their previous six competitive matches, that were low in confidence.
And City had to show grit and resilience after Wilfried Bony gave the Swans an early lead. But they showed spirit as goals from Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure gave them a slender margin of victory.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini praised the character of his players saying: “We started going 1-0 behind, but had the trust to keep playing.
“We played very well, had a lot of chances and won against a very good team.”
Pellegrini admitted his side lived dangerously late on but says that would not have been the case had they scored a third goal pointing out that Swans’ keeper Lukasz Fabianski made some important saves.
City’s manager added winning the game before a Champions League fixture – they are at home to Bayern Munich on Tuesday – is always important.
Pellegrini also had words of praise for Toure who scored the match-winning goal in what has been a difficult season saying you cannot only judge him by the goals he scores.
Toure scored 24 goals last season, but this was only his fourth of the current campaign.
Pellegrini said: “It is impossible to score as many goals as last year. While it is important to score, it is always important to play well and Yaya is improving with every game.
“He played with his national squad on Wednesday and maybe he was tired, but he had the personality and character to play to the end.”
Swans’ manager Garry Monk was disappointed to leave empty handed saying: “It shows how far we have come that we are disappointed to come away with nothing when you look at the chances we had at the end.
“City also had their chances, but we competed well and were always in the game. At the end we should have taken the chances and got a point.
“It shows the journey we are on. Many had us relegation favourites at the start of the season and we should not forget that, and is nice to prove them wrong.”
City made three changes from the side which drew at QPR in their last Premier League match.
There were recalls for fit-again captain Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Jovetic as they replaced Eliaquim Mangala, Bacary Sagna and Fernando Reges.
City, still without the injured David Silva and Edin Dzeko, got off to a terrible start when Bony fired Swansea ahead in the ninth minute.
Nathan Dyer provided the assist as Ivory Coast striker Bony confidently chested the ball down and slotted in low past keeper Joe Hart for his fifth goal of the season.
City equalised in the 19th minute when Jovetic got on the end of a Jesus Navas cross to glance a shot wide of keeper Fabianski from inside the six-yard box for his fourth goal of the campaign.
Fabianski pulled off a fantastic save to turn a 25-yard drive against the upright as City almost took the lead five minutes before the break and then in stoppage time did well again to deny Jovetic.
City were the likelier to score a second after the restart as Sergio Aguero had a shot deflected narrowly wide while Toure brought a good save from Fabianski.
They eventually went ahead for the first time just after the hour when Fernandinho’s back heel released Toure who burst into the box to poke a shot past Fabianski.
Navas had a chance to seal victory with seven minutes left but Fabianski did well to keep out his low shot with his legs.
Swansea had a great chance to equalised with four minute sleft when Bony released substitute Bafetimbi Gomes who shot wide under pressure from the advancing Joe Hart.
And the Welshmen had another great chance in stoppage time when a free kick from substitute Jonjo Shelvey took a massive deflection off the defensive wall and flew just wide of the upright with Hart rooted to the spot.
It was the kind of lucky break City have not enjoyed in recent weeks and it could signal a much-needed change in their fortunes with an important month ahead with seven games in December.