Swansea City’s opening game in their long anticipated Premier League debut didn’t exactly go to plan, with a 4-0 defeat away to Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City on Monday night at the newly named Etihad Stadium.
A defeat which on paper and to many looked like a ‘hammering’ for the Swans, but in fact the score-line was harsh on Swansea, for whom at times looked like Premier League veterans, who played teams like Manchester City week in week out.
Of course Man City were at times brilliant, with Yaya Toure a constant threat who really was ‘everywhere’. Adam Johnson was brilliant down the flanks, switching from right to left and running at Tate and Rangel and exposing Tate’s lack of pace at times. With David Silva pulling the strings, creating chances for those around him and looking for Edin Dzeko to put away. Though for the majority of the 1st half Swansea didn’t look out of depth, despite the array of talent they were up against. Ashley Williams never really struggled against Dzeko, but began to get overrun when Silva, Toure and Johnson were pushing on.
Though was the defeat a harsh reality for Swansea City, proving they were out of their depth in the Premier League or was it merely a harsh result?
On the whole the stats show that Swansea weren’t completely outplayed.
They kept the most possession, although when in attack they didn’t do much they didn’t panic in possession. They passed it round very nicely, completing 84% of their passes and on the ground were good winning possession and tackles, with 52% of possession duels won and 75% of tackles won.
Though ultimately it is the stat at the bottom which is the most pivotal, 4 goals scored to none. But Man City did have to rely on their record transfer signing of Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero, to really finish of Swansea. It was 1-0 up to the 60 minute mark, with City knocking on the proverbial door but had Swansea’s own debutant putting on a super-show.
Lets face it, unknown to pretty much everyone until his move to Swansea, but despite conceding four took the plaudits on the Swansea City side.
Vorm made numerous saves from Silva, Dzeko, Johnson and Toure until he could only parry an Adam Johnson shot to the feet of Edin Dzeko, who finally broke the deadlock.
Once Man City took the lead Mancini brought their big summer signing, who cost 10 times more than Swansea’s big summer signing Danny Graham, who had a relatively quiet game on the whole, with just the one shot, but did show some good link up play with the midfield. Aguero was on the pitch just 30minutes and managed one assist and 2 goals, his second on the 90minute mark with a brilliant strike from 30yards. A player of his quality, plus David Silva creativity who once again was at the heart of most of Man City’s best chances and Yaya Toure, who came from midfield into the Swansea City area time after time and really should have scored a goal.
I feel that if Mancini believed his team were going to comfortably beat Swansea he would not have had to call on Aguero, a man who has a brilliant record against the best team in Europe, Barcelona and being at the heart of the 2 times Barcelona have conceded 4 goals. The facts are that when Aguero was introduced Man City scored 3 more goals, all thanks to him.
Swansea City will be disappointed but not disheartened. They did boss the first 20 minutes of the game, but ended up losing 4-0 after they seemed to tire and simply get overrun as Yaya Toure and David Silva pushed on and on to the Swans defence. They will be relieved that they won’t be playing opposition as strong as this every week, they showed signs that they’re not afraid to play football and won’t simply ‘shut up shop’ against the bigger boys.
Against many other teams I feel they’ll be strong enough at the back to cope and the midfield played well between them, with Agustien’s creativity and neat touches and the industry around him with Britton, who was the best player on the pitch for the first 20 and Stephen Dobbie’s work-rate, they’ll pick up enough points if Monday night’s showing is anything to go by. Man City scored 4 goals in the Premier League against Aston Villa and Fulham last season and this season they are much stronger.
So in my eyes the Man City result was most certainly a harsh result.