Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City win best of season, says Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers

By Andrew Gwilym

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers said his side had topped their stunning win over Arsenal after they put a considerable dent in Manchester City's Barclays Premier League title aspirations at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans beat the Gunners 3-2 in January and claimed another major scalp yesterday as a late header from substitute Luke Moore gave them a 1-0 win over City, who fell to second in the table thanks to Manchester United's 2-0 win over West Brom at Old Trafford.

The Swans' victory over Arsenal saw Rodgers and his players lauded for the attractive passing style that has been their hallmark for several seasons, but this win showcased the substance that goes with that style.

A disciplined pressing game deprived the likes of Yaya Toure and David Silva the space to dictate play in midfield, while the superb back four - marshalled by skipper Ashley Williams - ensured goalkeeper Michel Vorm did not have a save of note to make before the break.

And while Rodgers would not say whether the result was the best in the club's 100-year history, he acknowledged it was the best his side had played this term.

He said: "I think there's obviously been some wonderful results over the many years here at this great club.

"Certainly it was a terrific performance. Whenever you take on a team like Manchester City with the resources and the project that they're in, then to actually dominate the game like that, it fills me with great pride.

"We've got a great result and this is certainly our best performance and result of the season."

Rodgers also praised match-winner Moore. The former Aston Villa and West Brom striker has found his opportunities limited due to the form of Danny Graham, but the manager commended his attitude and professionalism.

"He's been brilliant for me," the Northern Irishman said.

"He got a hat-trick at 19 years of age in the Barclays Premier League then, for whatever reason, he drifted a wee bit. But he's got the talent to be a top, top player.

"He's quick, he's strong - you saw his strength and power when he came on to hold the game up - and he's brilliant in the air."

It proved to be a difficult afternoon all-round for City, who were denied an equaliser when Micah Richards' header was correctly ruled out for offside.

Midfielder Gareth Barry reacted angrily to being substituted before half-time, while Toure and Mario Balotelli were reportedly involved in a heated exchange in the tunnel at the interval.

And their failure to find the net in south Wales and in Thursday's Europa League defeat at Sporting Lisbon raises the question of when Carlos Tevez will return to first-team duty.

City boss Roberto Mancini says Tevez is still a little way off featuring, but hopes the Argentinian can boost his side in the title run-in.

The Italian said: "Carlos needs to train again, maybe another 10 days. I don't think that Carlos can play the first game and be 100% after five months. This is impossible. I think he could help us in the last two months."

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