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Samir Nasri's second-half brace meant that Manchester City maintained their perfect home record in the Barclays Premier League with a 3-0 win over Swansea City.
The Etihad Stadium faithful might have had designs on a repeat of the recent 7-0 and 6-0 romps over Norwich City and Tottenham after Alvaro Negredo netted an eighth-minute free-kick, but Swansea more than matched Manuel Pellegrini's men in the first period and Jonathan de Guzman could have equalised on the stroke of the interval. However, Nasri followed his midweek UEFA Champions League strike against Viktoria Plzen with two more, the second from a first-time finish that capped a sumptuous team move featuring James Milner and Pablo Zabaleta.
The result moves Pellgrini’s men into third, six points shy of leaders Arsenal, while Swansea lie 13th.
Joleon Lescott featured at centre-back in the absence of injury victim Matija Nastasic (calf), the only change to the Manchester City XI that thrashed Tottenham seven days ago. Gerhard Tremmel was preferred to Michel Vorm in goal for a Swansea team without Angel Rangel and Wilfried Bony due to respective calf and hamstring problems suffered during the 1-0 UEFA Europa League defeat by Valencia on Thursday.
Tremmel made early stops from Sergio Aguero and Negredo but was rooted to the spot when the latter opened the scoring.Jose Canas brought down Negredo 22 yards from goal and the forward steered the resulting free-kick, from the right-hand edge of the penalty area, into the far corner, assisted by Lescott and Martin Demichelis peeling off the edge of the Swansea wall.
Swansea responded well and Jonjo Shelvey twice tested City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, who was again selected ahead of Joe Hart, from long range before Alvaro Vazquez dragged wide after 21 minutes, having been played in by the ex-Liverpool midfielder. For City Demichelis thudded a header from Nasri’s 30th-minute corner against the bar.
Demichelis was then nutmegged and left on his backside by De Guzman, who blazed the subsequent chance over in the first half’s final minute.
Aguero had a chance to double City’s lead but the angle closed on him and he hit the side netting in the 53rd minute after collecting a raking ball with an exquisite touch and rounding Tremmel.
Yaya Toure was the provider on that occasion and the Ivory Coast midfielder tore at Swansea with a trademark driving run in the 58th minute before finding Nasri, who cut inside Ashley Williams and produced an assured finish.
Swansea started to feel the pace as the game entered its final quarter and City right-back Zabaleta burst forward to chip narrowly over, while Aguero flashed a shot across the goalm from Milner's through-ball having failed to convert the substitute's cross.
Nasri's final flourish arrived in the 77th minute and City will aim to address their troublesome away form in trips to West Brom and Southampton over the next six days.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "I'm very pleased because we won against a very difficult team, especially when they had possession.
"We didn't play very well in the first half but in the second we scored two goals and had more chances. In the second half we defended well and scored two more goals so we are happy.
"The two we scored in the second half were impressive and we hope to improve in our next two games away from home. Costel Pantilimon did very well; he didn't have too much work but when he needed to be there he really did well."
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup: "It's a little strange to stand here after a game we lost 3-0 and feel we did many things right. We played really well in the first half.
"When you play against players like this you have to keep the ball as much as possible. Even at the start of the second half [our performance] was the same but their second goal shows what you are up against when you play top, top players.
"You have to take the few chances you get but, the playing part, we did well until the third goal. We saw how we need to play away against big teams but you have to score when you get your chances."
|03 May 2014||v Everton (A)|
|05 Apr 2014||v Southampton (H)|
|22 Feb 2014||v Stoke (H)|
|03 Feb 2014||v Chelsea (H)|
|29 Mar 2014||v Arsenal (A)|
|14 Dec 2013||v Arsenal (H)|