Luke Moore’s 83rd minute winner at the Liberty Stadium along with Wayne Rooney’s brace in a 2-0 victory over West Brom has sent Manchester United to the top of the Premier League with 10 games remaining.
Swansea City had the opportunity to take the lead as early as 7 minutes after Joe Hart fouled Wayne Routledge inside the penalty area. However, the England number 1 redeemed himself saving Scott Sinclair’s weak, low penalty.
Brendan Rodgers’ side controlled the first half in terms of possession, with 71% after 25 minutes, finishing the first half with 64%. However, the Swans failed to test Joe Hart from open play, with Ashley Williams having the only shot on target other than Sinclair’s penalty from either side in the first half.
Manchester City stepped up the pace in the second half with Yaya Toure dictating play from the centre of midfield at times. The visitors had a difficult time creating real opportunities against a stern Swansea defence.
Mario Balotelli had a frustrating afternoon. The enigmatic Italian was frustrated for not receiving a penalty in the first half after going down inside the area under the faintest of contact from Joe Allen. Then it was reported he had a half time bust up with Yaya Toure in the tunnel. The number 45 finished the game with 8 attempts on goal, but only forcing Michel Vorm into 2 saves.
The Dutch goalkeeper made 6 saves in total, most in the final few minutes of the game, including a long range effort from centre back Kolo Toure.
Both Swansea City centre backs, Ashley Williams and Steven Caulker had a solid game at the back today, combining for 9 of the home side’s 14 successful clearances. Williams won all 3 of his tackle attempts, and won 78% of his ground duels.
With Danny Graham seemingly tiring in the second half, one ex-Derby County loanee came on for another as he was replaced by Luke Moore in the 79th minute. A couple of minutes later he connected with Wayne Routledge’s deep cross to head home from a couple of yards at the back post.
Micah Richards thought he’d headed home the equaliser for Manchester City in the 89th minute when he nodded in Gael Clichy’s cross. Richards, Roberto Mancni and David Platt were all spotted celebrating before the camera picked up Sian Massey’s flag. A tight, but correct decision.
Arguably the biggest result in Swansea City’s history. This victory has sent the Welsh side up to 12th in the table and only 3 points behind 7th placed Liverpool in their debut season. Manchester City’s decision to stay in Lisbon for longer than required seemingly backfired as they now trail their local rivals by 1 point with 10 games remaining.
For those who have not read, I posted yesterday on why I think Manchester United have the advantage over Manchester City heading into the final stretch of this season.
Stats provided by Opta Sports