Super Silva paves the way for City
Swansea City 0-4 Man City
Manchester City passed another test of their Premier League title-winning credentials as they brushed aside Swansea City in a record-breaking victory at the Liberty Stadium.
After seeing off Manchester United on Sunday in their biggest game of the season to date to move 11 points clear at the top, there was barely a hint of a hangover from the Old Trafford victory or the controversial celebrations that followed.
And four unanswered goals saw them set a new Premier League record of 15 consecutive wins.
While a comfortable success in south Wales is unlikely to spark the same level of jubilation that upset Jose Mourinho and sparked angry scenes in the United tunnel, it did display a ruthlessness that will make Pep Guardiola’s men almost impossible to catch.
They rarely hit top gear, yet still they scored four times with David Silva leading the way with two. Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero also found the net.
After a couple of careless early passes gave Swansea some encouragement, City found their feet on six minutes through the recalled Aguero. He tricked his way past two challenges but blasted into the side-netting.
And a minute later Swansea defender Mike van der Hoorn was called upon to make an important tackle to cut out a jinking run by Raheem Sterling.
And it was three chances in as many minutes for the visitors when a corner was cleared as far as Fernandinho, whose effort was saved well by home goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Yet there was a threat from the home side on the break, as demonstrated by Jordan Ayew when he cut in from the left and connected with a shot that drew a smart, low save from Ederson.
De Bruyne was the next man with a sight of goal but his effort was blasted over.
Moments later, Aguero headed over from a David Silva cross. Then, a free-kick by De Bruyne bounced around the penalty area and struck a frustrated Nicolas Otamendi.
Aguero headed onto the roof of the net from a De Bruyne cross before Otamendi blasted high and wide. But the visitors’ increasing dominance was rewarded with the opening goal on 27 minutes courtesy of some poor defending and a fine finish.
Both Van der Hoorn and Kyle Naughton failed to spot the run of David Silva, who darted between the pair to meet a Bernardo Silva cross with a nonchalant first-time finish with the outside of his left foot.
Eleven minutes before half-time it was 2-0 when Naughton conceded a free-kick to the right of the Swansea 18-yard box and De Bruyne’s free-kick somehow found its way past a host of players and under the body of an unsighted Fabianski.
Less than a minute into the second half, David Silva almost made it 3-0 with a lofted shot that drifted just wide. But he made no mistake on 53 minutes, however, as his goal took the game out of Swansea’s reach.
His subtle pass into Sterling started the move and his clever run allowed him to collect the return and beat the advancing Fabianski with a sublime chip.
Eliaquim Mangala should have added a fourth goal moments later but, after meeting David Silva’s cross, he failed to make clean contact.
And City then pieced together an effortless string of unbroken passes which ended with Aguero firing fractionally wide.
There was a momentary worry for the visitors when Swansea midfielder Roque Mesa’s shot from the edge of the box took a big deflection, but Ederson responded well to claw it away.
With five minutes remaining, Aguero wrapped up the scoring as he drifted past two defenders and found the bottom corner.
And when Swansea did threaten in the dying moments, Otamendi was on hand to block an effort from Leroy Fer then hook the rebound away from goal.
SWANSEA: Fabianski, Naughton, Van der Hoorn, Mawson, Olsson, Ki Sung-yueng, Mesa, Carroll (Abraham 45), Ayew, Dyer (Narsign 65), Bony (Fer 74).
Subs not used: Clucas, Rangel, Mulder, Fernandez.
MAN CITY: Ederson, Danilo, Otamendi, Mangala, Delph (Zinchenko 73), De Bruyne (Gundogan 77), Fernandinho (Toure 58), D Silva, B Silva, Aguero, Sterling. Subs not used: Bravo, Walker, Sane, Jesus Man of the match: D Silva
Match rating: 8/10
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Belfast Telegraph Digital