Gary Lim: Lucky City need to be more consistent
Man City must stop blowing hot and cold if they want to win title
MAN CITY 2
(Wilfried Bony 26, Kelechi Iheanacho 90+2)
(Bafetimbi Gomis 90)
They dazzled in the 4-2 Champions League win over Borussia Moenchengladbach in midweek.
If the Manchester City fans were expecting a repeat of their swashbuckling performance against Swansea last night, they were sorely disappointed as the Citizens struggled against the managerless side.
Manuel Pellegrini's men eventually got the win they needed to return to the top of the English Premiership standings, but only just.
Substitute Bafetimbi Gomis thought he had earned Swansea an unexpected point on the stroke of full-time, when he thumped in a powerful shot to cancel out Wilfried Bony's opener.
But the Citizens had the last laugh, as Kelechi Iheanacho scored a lucky injury-time winner, which was deflected in off Yaya Toure's shot.
There was nothing much, however, for manager Pellegrini to smile about.
Once more, the consistency that he demanded of his team deserted them.
The expected sound beating didn't materialise, and neither did it look like happening at all.
This has been the story of Man City's season so far. They have been blowing hot and cold.
Play them when they are in the mood, and opponents can't do anything but helplessly watch the drama unfold.
Just ask Newcastle and Bournemouth.
But, catch them on their off-day, and any team stand a chance.
Stoke, West Ham and even Aston Villa have nicked points off the Citizens this season.
At the final whistle, on the rain-soaked turf yesterday, Swansea wondered how they let the precious point slip from their grasp.
The Swans had their fair share of chances.
They matched Man City's 13 shots in the match, and registered seven of those on target - two more than the hosts.
The promising start they made didn't reflect their dreadful form - they have now lost six matches in a row.
So low has their confidence dipped, that the club decided to sack manager Garry Monk last Tuesday.
Yet, it was a rejuvenated Swansea who sprinted out of the blocks.
Only one team looked like scoring in the early stages.
Wayne Routledge had just Joe Hart to beat in the fifth minute but couldn't put the ball past the England No. 1.
Ten minutes later, it was Gylfi Sigurdsson's turn to test Hart, but the custodian proved to be in great form.
Then their former man returned to haunt them.
Man City's Bony was doing his best to ensure that he is more than just an afterthought in his manager's plans.
He has struggled since he made the move from Swansea this January.
He took his place in the first 11 yesterday only because first-choice striker Sergio Aguero remains in the treatment room.
His goal against Swansea yesterday was his second in his last three games.
It was a true goal-poacher's strike, delivered with minimum fuss and maximum damage.
Timing his run superbly, he met Jesus Navas' corner-kick at the edge of the six-yard box to head the ball emphatically into the back of the net.
Swansea defender Ashley Williams will dread to look at the replay after losing his man in such amateurish fashion,
Sigurdsson then had the opportunity to draw the Swans level shortly after the break, but Hart again came to Man City's rescue.
As the end of the match neared, Swansea began to pile the pressure on Pellegrini's men.
Caretaker manager Alan Curtis thought he had led his team to an improbable point when Gomis struck late in the match.
Then came Toure's intervention and Iheanacho's lucky deflected goal.
City won't be so lucky all the time.
Norwich 1 Everton 1
Crystal Palace 1 Southampton 0
Sunderland 0 Watford 1
West Ham 0 Stoke 0
Aston Villa v Arsenal
Liverpool v West Brom
Tottenham v Newcastle
BY THE NUMBERS
5: Wilfried Bony has scored five times in the last four English Premier League games between Manchester City and Swansea. He netted three as a Swansea player and two since switching to City in January this year.
7: Romelu Lukaku is the first Everton player to score in seven straight games (in all competitions) in 40 years, since Bob Latchford in December 1975. He is also the club's first player to score in six consecutive English Premier League games.