Out of all the players that might have saved Manchester and Roberto Mancini from another embarrassing result, it was Carlos Tevez to the rescue. A terrible and boring first half paved way for one of the longest second’s in recent memory, courtesy of two injuries, and City, with their claws and some Joe Hart magic at goal, finding their way to another victory.
Despite the picture some try to show, City are only one point behind Chelsea (with a game more). Not impressing, struggling through the first 45 minutes of the match nearly every time they play a Premier League match, but it’s impossible to ignore the kind of quality Mancini has to use, as Edin Dzeko didn’t even need to play a single second of football.
Maybe they’re arrogant and lazy. Or maybe it’s Mancini himself. Never using the same lineup, hardly even using the same formation. He prefers to start with Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero as his strikers, but on a season with Samir Nasri and David Silva (didn’t play) performing so poorly, it doesn’t seem to matter who starts at striker because it looks awfully slow and predictable. Using Aleksandr Kolarov as his left midfielder was either an experiment only Mancini can explain or he was actually wary of Swansea’s passing game.
And through his changes, which included dropping Kolarov at half time for Mario Balotelli in one of his more energetic performances this season (still without goals this season), Mancini did get a few better minutes of more direct and dangerous football. Not much, not as much as you’d expect at least. In all, Swansea were the more dangerous side, but Joe Hart’s form wasn’t anything like his form in Amsterdam during the midweek failure in the Champions League. At least 1 point out of the three City earned against Swansea went to his name.
Talks of Mancini losing the dressing room and some sort of revolt forming at the Eithad among the players were probably rumors, or less, pure inventions. His players looked as bored with their opponents and with the match itself as they have through most of the season so far, only shifting into another gear, which is usually just about enough to beat most teams in the league, when they feel threatened or actually falling behind.
Too much is on a tired looking Yaya Toure, who failed to galvanize the team as his orders seemed to keep his game restrained and rather defensive minded for long stretches. Gareth Barry wasn’t felt, which sometimes is actually a good thing, but he didn’t really add much to the match, letting most of it just go by him undisturbed.
You could sense that despite Mancini’s playing it cool, there was quite a lot of pressure on the Italian manager to put the failings of the UCL (only 1 point in three matches) behind him, as a he let Sergio Aguero leave the pitch in favor of a centre back, Joleon Lescott, in the final minutes of the match. Lescott, funny enough, came on in the 95th minute of play and actually got 7 minutes under his belt.
Nothing impressive, but three more points. Kinda like Manchester United last season, which was enough for the same amount of points Manchester City had, only coming up sort on goal difference. This season, by the looks of things, City will have to win more points, because goals are hard to come by at the moment.