A really entertaining game to kick-off 2014. Fernandinho gave City the lead on 14 minutes with a low drive after Swansea had failed to clear a corner. The hosts continued to press forward, however, and got a deserved equaliser through Bony just before half-time. Toure and Kolarov scored for a much-improved City side in the second half before the excellent Bony got a second in second-half stoppage time. City go top of the league for a few hours at least while Swansea remain 11th having now failed to win in six games. They can take encouragement from this display however.
That's all from me. Thank for the emails. Apolgies as ever that I couldn't publish them all. Bye!
Full-time: Swansea 2-3 Manchester City.
Game over at the Liberty Stadium.
90 min Swansea going for broke now as the rain lashes down. Long balls being chucked forward. Milner, meanwhile, is booked for time wasting.
...Bony collected the ball outside the City area, towards the left side, moved past Fernandinho and hit an excellent, swerving drive past Hart. He has been Swansea's best player today no doubt.
GOAL! Swansea 2-3 Man City (Bony, 90)
On my, that came from nowhere.
90 min Three minutes of added time to be played.
88 min The game being played in the Swansea half now. Milner caused problems down the left wing with a cross that is scrambled clear. The hosts do eventually get into the City half but Pozuelo is crowded out as he attempts to drive into the area. A final City sub, meanwhile, as Rodewell comes on for Navas.
"I don't know how this comparison even came about. Yaya Toure is so much more productive, creative and valuable player than Drogba that the two arent even comparable," says Marko Teodorcevic. "Skill, reading of the game, ability to influence it with assists and goals when needed is so much better in Yaya's case. Playing in midfield sure does help his cause in this but I don't think Drogba could even come close to playing remotely well in all the positions Yaya can."
86 min Booking for Zabaleta as he charges into Lamah. A really pointless yellow that given Lamah was inside his own half and going nowhere.
85 min City in full 4-4-1-1 mode (Toure behind Dzeko) are seeing this game out comfortably. The men in black moving the ball across the pitch and into channels as Swansea look increasingly tired. Could see the new league leaders getting a fourth here.
"I second Mr Naylor's 'motion' with regard to Yaya Toure," says L.H. Roper. "Great vision and touch and resembles a locomotive when he gets the ball and moves forward. He may not score the goals of Messi and 'CR7', but, even at his relatively advanced age, might Barcelona have a regret about selling him?" Perhaps. Amazing to think a man of that power and stature used to be a holding midfielder.
81 min Swansea make a change, bringing Pozuelo on for Shelvey, who started the game brightly but eventually became a peripheral figure as Toure and Fernandinho fully took control in midfield.
79 min Swansea really appear to have given up the ghost here. The drive has gone from their forward play with a tired shot by Davies that sailed over the bar just now summing up the mood in the home ranks.
Song following Kolarov's klincher, emails Ewen Atkinson:
A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away / A win away"
"Yaya Toure is the best African to play in the Premier League seems contested only by Didier Drogba," says Gary Naylor. "I'd have him slightly ahead of the Chelsea man, but is he the best African footballer ever?" Interesting shout Gary. No doubt he is a superb player and has been superb again in this match.
75 min Milner hits a drive at goal as City come forward again. There is no great urgency in their play, though, and Swansea are soon back on the front foot. They've got a fair few bodies-in-black in front of them now, however with City packing the centre of midfield.
"It does feel as though it's going to be City's season this time around doesn't it?" suggests Jake Lynch. "How they came through the Liverpool and Palace games with six points must remain a mystery shared between Pellegrini, the match officials and several opposing players who missed when it seemed easier to score. Now they've got a lucky goal to settle them in for another victory in an awkward fixture." I see a pot being stirred at Chez Lynch.
72 min A mistake from Hart! Yes, he's at it again. The corner is swung in from Swansea's left, the City keeper comes out with the intention of punching the ball clear but misses it completely and Williams is left with a gaping net in front of him. His header, however, goes wide of the post. A real chance for Swansea, that.
71 min Not surprisingly, the game has become a rather subdued affair now. Swansea, to their credit, continue to push forward and Bony, who has been excellent, forces Hart into a save with a drive from long-range. Swansea get a corner...
Sitting in a bar in Luang Prabang in Laos," shows off Claus Lund, "match shown on what looks like Chinese satellite station, Lao audience overwhelming MC fans, derogatory shouts express desire to send Swan players and manager to the caves in NE Laos." Crickey.
69 min "We're top of the league!" chant the City fans as Swansea search for an equaliser. Meanwhile, James Milner comes on for Nasri, who has played very well today.
"I was very pleased with Bony's equaliser," says L.H. Roper, "but with respect to the roarings of 'the Wolman' regarding 'slight offsides', it certainly looked that his unfair position enabled him to get the drop on Kompany."
...Kolarov won possession from Routledge, drove down City's left, cut across the area and hit a shot form the edge of the area which had power but went through Tremmel far too easily. Goalkeeper should have done much better. Game over, you feel.
Swansea 1-3 Man City (Kolarov, 66)
And that should be that.
63 min As was the case when they went 1-0 down, Swansea have not let their heads drop. Once again they are moving the ball quickly and building pressure. City again appear happy to soak up pressure. I should also mention that Javie Garcia has come on for Negreo. Dzeko now playing on his own in attack.
62 min What an open game this is. Swansea have just had a bit of pressure in City's half but in no time the ball reenters the home team's half and there is some panic as Tremmel makes a hash of clearing a ball into the area. Swansea survive, however.
...Swansea somewhat unfortunate in how they conceded that goal. City were piling on the pressure but Tremmel appeared to have cleared the danger from Navas's cross only for Canas to mis-control the ball on the edge of the area. Toure got hold it, drove into the area and hit a drive towards the far corner which saw the ball take a deflection off Williams before jumping over Tremmel's reach before finding the corner of the net.
GOAL! Swansea 1-2 Man City (Toure, 57)
Toure puts City back in front with a drive from inside the area.
"Bones isn't the filler off The Bends, it's a good song," says Philip Podolsky. "Dan obviously means Sulk. Being sandwiched between Black Star and Street Spirit would compromise the confidence and ability to perform of even far superior tunes than poor old track 11."
54 min After a strong start from City, Swansea build pressure in this second half, so much so that Kompany feels compelled to tug Lamah's shirt as the midfielder looks to turn and run at the visitors' defence. He is booked. Shortly after, Bony does run at the City defence and is tripped by Fernandinho. Nothing comes form the free-kick.
"Although I appreciate David Hilmy's answer, I think he's missed my point slightly," rattles back Matt Dony. "In the Suarez/Eto'o malarky, Suarez was screaming for a penalty, and it's been discussed at length since. Late tackles after a shot don't seem to provoke any response, on the field or off. Navas didn't come in particularly strongly on De Guzman earlier, but late enough that it would have certainly been a foul had De Guzman been playing a pass out of defence rather than shooting. Anyway, it's just the way it is. I'll drop it now."
52 min: City really applying the pressure and Negredo just went very close. Navas, having moved across the pitch, lifted the ball over the Swansea defence, Flores let it bounce, and there was Negrego lurking. However, having quickly shifted the ball past Tremmel, the striker could not strike the ball past the goalkeeper.
The Wolfman has roared: "Surely the point of the offside rule is to prevent goal hanging and these slight offsides are neither here or there if there's not actual advantage to the attacker. Wasn't the doubt always meant to benefit the attacker or is that a myth?"
50 min City playing higher up the pitch in this second half and putting more pressure on Swansea when they have the ball. Message from Manuel Pellegrini clear: "Bloody win this, will ya!"
49 min Slow start to the second half. City dominating possession and territory and Kolarov finds space in a central position just outside the Swansea area for a shot. On his unfavoured right foot, he balloons the ball over.
Sky have just pointed out that Shelvey got booked during the build-up to Bony's goal for a wild lunge on Nasri.
46 min To point out, that goal by Fernandinho was City's first in three visits to the Liberty Stadium. They kick-off the second-half and again are moving the ball around patiently.
Teams back out for the second-half
Still raining in south Wales and neither side has made any changes.
Guardian man gives his half-time verdict:
"For neutrals, Swansea’s best friend, today at least, is Jose Mourinho," says Charles Antaki. "Which right-thinking person wouldn’t want to see Man City lose and pull the rug from under Jose’s naughty provocation - momentarily at least. Sadly, though, it probably won’t happen."
"Does Dan Lucas communicate through any other means than analogies to 90s indie music?" asks Elliot. "It is a heroic commitment and one I applaud."
Bony's goal gives me an excuse to play this belter. Enjoy
David Hilmy, all the way from Washington DC, has responded to Matt Dony's query: "Because if Howard Webb doesn't give a penalty when the ball is out of the box but still in play, even though clearly an intentional "trip" or "attempted trip" (Law 12) and despite him pointing to the play as if to caution the fouled player not to retaliate or complain (ie. he saw it, reconised the infraction, but then ignored it), then pretty much everything off the ball is now fair game."
HT: Swansea 1-1 Man City.
Really good half of football at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea started well but it was City who took the lead through Fernandinho's fizzing drive. They controlled the game from there but Swansea always looked a threat and as City began to sit deeper and deeper, the hosts gained control of the contest and equalised through Bony's stoppage time header.
45 min Bony deserved that goal, his first in eight games, but replays show he was just offside when Rangel dropped in the cross. Saying that ... Game on!
GOAL! Swansea 1-1 Man City (Bony, 45)
And that was coming. Bony with a powerfulvheader from close-range following Rangel's deep cross.
45 min City survive another Swansea attack and move up the pitch, again down the right. Davies calmy moves the ball forward to Canas.
45 min We're going to have three minutes of stoppage time here.
43 min Bony close again! Another quick move sees the striker and Shelvey combine on the edge of City's area and the former drill a shot right to left that flashes just wide of Hart's post.
41 min Once again, however, City do get up the pitch and almost create a chance on goal through Dzeko. Thre is a real slick, cutting edge to City when they can be bothered to attack. Can see them scoring a second on the counter here.
40 min Cracking little battle in the centre of the pitch between Lamah and Toure which, incredibly, Lamah won. Swansea pushed on from there and won a corner after Kompany intercepted Routledge's cross. The City captain is furious and tells his players in no uncertain terms to step up the tempo. No doubt City look more than happy to sit back and soak up the pressure but that, in turn, is leading to them getting penned in by the men in white and black.
"Is it me, but Man City are making Swansea look lazy?" ponders Richard (no surname). Er..quite the opposite I'd say mate. Their willingness to sit back is allowing the hosts to move the ball about and get forward on regular occasions. Could/should have scored.
36 min Really encouraging passage of play for Swansea, which included a penalty appeal after Williams' shot hit Kompany's arm. The referee, Phil Dowd, didn't give it, however, which looked the right decision given the ball was smashed at the City captain and he had his arm tucked by his side. Meanwhile, Canas and Dzeko were both both booked.
34 min Swansea totally waste the corner. Cue a shot of Michael Laudrup looking ever-so-frustrated on the Swansea bench. Nice jacket, mind.
33 min City apply some pressure but cannot secure a second goal through it. Play moves back into the visitors' half where Angel's cross causes a little panic in the City area. Fernandinho heads away for a throw-in, which eventually leads to a corner on the far side following a lovely one-two between Routledge and Rangel.
"Just to play devil's advocate here," says God-like Matt Dony, "If a player is caught after he's played a pass, it's a late tackle and a free kick. So how come more players don't claim a penalty when they're clattered just after taking a shot? Navas rattled in to De Guzman just after he shot. Hart saved and held the ball, so it was still in play. So why isn't that even considered as a penalty? It's not that I want more penalties given, I just think it's a strange inconsistency." Hmmm...
30 min And as I speak City have a chance! Came from a lovely dummy and driving run from Navas that eventually led to Dzeko earning a corner (again from the right) with a low drive from the edge of the area. Swansea clear their lines but play remains in the home side's half.
29 min It's been all Swansea for the last few minutes and the Sky stats show they have had five chances compared to City's two. The visitors look quite happy to soak up pressure and pass their way out of trouble but they need to be careful.
"Dzeko is to City what Bones is to The Bends," muses Guardian's own Dan Lucas. I'll leave that for hanging...
27 min Nasri booked for a foul on Rangel and Swansea get a free-kick just outside the City area. De Guzman drills the set-piece at the wall, however, while Canas' follow-up shot drifts wide. More pressure from Swansea through who are far from out of this match.
24 min Oh that was a good chance for Swansea. It came from another quick-temp move, this time involving Bony and Lamah, and De Guzman collecting the ball before hitting a low close-range shot that Hart was able to save quite easily. But encouraging stuff from the hosts.
23 min Swansea have an extra man in midfield given they are playing 4-3-3 to City's 4-4-2 and that man is Shelvey. He's regularly finding space in the centre of midfield and just how was part of a move that ended with the former Liverpool man finding time and space outside the area for a shot. Sadly for the hosts, it went well over.
20 min Another corner for City, this time on the left. It came after patient build up from the visitors led to Nasri carrying possession into the Swansea half and playing Dzeko in, who should then have picked out Negredo but saw his pass blocked. City playing with real patience and control when they are in possession. Great movement from their attacking players. Swansea, for their part, are still pressing when they can.
18 min Really open match this and City get another corner on the right following more pressure from Zabaleta. Nasri swung it in but this time Swansea were able to clear their lines.
"Happy New Year Sachin!|" booms Ryan Dunne. "No hangover for moi, just the ill effects of excessive caffeine and Monster Munch. And sending this does mean my New Year Resolution to give up haunting MBMs in favour of Talking to Girls and Getting a Life is looking rather shaky (O well, did nearly last till lunchtime)." Better luck next year Ryan.
16 min A shame that for Swansea who had started well. The goal hasn't deflated them, however, and they have just had their first corner of the match after Kolarov was forced to intervene as Rangel made headway down Swansea's right. Nothing came from it, though.
... The goal came from the corner. Kolarov ran towards the near post, flicked the cross on and as the ball drifted out to the edge of the area, Fernandinho was waiting to drill a shot through a crowd of bodies and past Tremmel's reach.
GOAL! Swansea 0-1 Man City (Fernandinho, 14)
And City are ahead through a lovely strike by their Brazilian midfielder ....
13 min First corner of the match and it's gone to City. Not surprisingly it came after good build-up play down their right, which ended with Davies blocking Zabaleta's cross.
11 min City have started slowly but when they do get going they look a real threat and just now Navas drilled in a cross from the right that Tremmel had to punch away to the far side. Most of City's play is coming down their right.
9 min Lamah only coming on now as he wasn't fully ready when Hernandez did his hamstring. Swansea, meanwhile, continue to impress and look set just now to put more pressure on City's area until Canas overhit a pass to Shelvey that went out for a thrown-in on the far side.
7 min A blow for Swansea as Pablo Hernandez goes down with what looks like a pulled hamstring. There was no one near him - happened as he passed the ball. The Spaniard is to be replaced by Roland Lamah, who scored Swansea's equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa last week.
5 min Bony close! That was an excellent move by Swansea, who moved the ball crisply from defence to attack, which ended with Bony collecting possession just outside the City and hitting a quick, low drive that zipped past the post as Hart dived to his right. Good start to this match.
3 min A chance for City as Dzeko sweeps the ball wide of the far post following some neat build up play on City's right that saw Negredo drift out wide and play a pass to his strike-partner who was waiting just inside the area.
2 min City now into the match with Zabaleta getting a few touches at right back. The visitors knocking the ball about as Swansea continue to press them high upp the pitch.
1 min Some early pressure from Swansea sees them trap City in their own half but they give away possession after Shelvey fouls Kolarov by the touchline. Hart sweeps the free-kick into the hosts' area.
And we're off. Swansea kick-off and are plying right to left as I see it.
Players in the tunnel
Absolutely lashing down in south Wales. Here comes the teams, Swansea in their traditional white and black kit, Man City appear to be in their dark away strip.
Michael Laudrup: "We have a chance [of winning] but we need a top performance from our squad. We need to believe it is possible."
Sky Sports confirm Leon Britton is out for Swansea due to illness. A blow for the hosts against what is a very attacking looking Man City side. Looks grim at the Liberty Stadium, by the way.
Hope for Swansea
Always wanted to see Chico Flores play darts? Well here you are
Teams are in
Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Ben Davies,
de Guzman, Canas, Routledge, Shelvey, Hernandez, Bony. Subs:
Amat, Taylor, Lamah, Tiendalli, Pozuelo, Vazquez, Zabret.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov,
Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri, Negredo, Dzeko. Subs:
Lescott, Milner, Javi Garcia, Rodwell, Clichy, Pantilimon,
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
How's your head Britain? Banging? Sore? In such pain that you want to charge over to the nearest hard-as-nails bloke and provoke him into knocking you out cold just so you don't have to feel this pain, this agonising pain, any longer? Hangovers can do that to you, especially ones built on a mountain of mixed drinks and new year resolutions, but never mind eh, because football is back! I say back, it never really went away, it never does, and just a few days since the last round of Premier League games we're back in the swing of things with Swansea v Manchester City, Wales v
Abu Dhabi England, in the first top-flight match of 2014.
Theses sides met as recently as 1 December when Man City won 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium thanks to two goals from Samir Nasri and one from Alvaro Negredo. A repeat this lunchtime is more than possible given the form each are in – Swansea have won none of their last five league games and are one of six Premier League teams who have recorded just two home victories this season while City have taken 22 points from the past 24 available and have scored 10 goals in their past three away games in all competitions. A draw at the Liberty Stadium would also see Manuel Pellegrini's side go top of the league for a few hours at least, so motivation within the visitors' ranks should not be in short supply.
Swansea remain without the injured Michu, Michel Vorm and Nathan Dyer, while City are missing Sergio Agüero for the same reason. David Silva is also out for the visitors due to suspension.
While we wait for confirmed teams here is footage of John Motson swaggering around the Etihad like a sheepskinned pimp and a rare sighting of the Laudrup brothers stood side-by-side, chatting.
Happy New Year everyone!
Kick-off is at 12.45pm, but Sachin will be here with all the team news and build-up from 12pm.