Post by Football News on Apr 22, 2018 19:50:15 GMT
Manchester City 5-0 Swansea
Manchester City celebrate title success with demolition of Swansea
Manchester City fans came to see a victorious coronation and were not disappointed. They witnessed a masterclass from their freshly crowned champions on a jubilant afternoon.
It was decorated by a 20-yard peach from Kevin De Bruyne that rocketed past Lukasz Fabianski after 54 minutes on a right-left diagonal that was as pure a connection as possible. This had Pep Guardiola blowing his cheeks in admiration and the Etihad Stadium offering a collective “ooh”.
This 29th victory takes Guardiola’s team to 90 points, six from breaking Chelsea’s record Premier League total of 95. If the maximum remaining are taken, City will finish on 102. They also have 98 goals, six short of breaking the highest tally of 103, again by Chelsea.
At the close City supporters invaded the pitch and at least one flare was fired. Each of these could draw a Football Association charge but Guardiola, understandably, was not concerned.
“No problem,” he said. “Football is an emotional game. I understand you have to be careful – but when they feel they want to share that they are happy – it is better they stay where they should stay – I’m not going to tell them don’t do that.”
Of his team, whose 1,015 attempted passes was the most since 2003-04, breaking records, Guardiola said: “Looking for them helps to keep the players focused.”
For his stated mission of ending the season with five victories Guardiola made two changes. Kyle Walker and Leroy Sané became substitutes – alongside Benjamin Mendy after seven months out with a knee injury – as Danilo and Bernardo Silva took their places in a still formidable XI.
Carlos Carvalhal made one alteration – Luciano Narsingh being replaced by Mike van der Hoorn, as the manager continued Swansea City’s survival bid. His team formed a pre-game guard of honour before a newly unveiled banner that read: “Welcome to the home of the Premier League champions”.
Guardiola’s men began and ended as they nearly always do at home: in control. Fabianski’s first action was to catch a long De Bruyne cross-shot from the right that was heading in.
Next Ilkay Gündogan played an inadvertent one-two with the referee, Craig Pawson, that allowed the German to find David Silva. He relayed the ball to his namesake Bernardo and a devilish delivery was scrambled out for a corner by Martin Olsson.
De Bruyne took this but it was unproductive. The Belgian’s next contribution was the opposite. This time, from along the left, he found Raheem Sterling who turned the ball off his left foot inside to David Silva. It ricocheted off Van der Hoorn and the Spaniard collected a 10th of the campaign.
After the quarter-hour the lead was doubled. Once more David Silva was involved. He returned a pass to Fabian Delph and, when the ball was swept in, Raheem Sterling had a tap-in for his 23rd goal of the season.
This signalled contest over with more than three-quarters still to play. Already the game was akin to a training ground affair with the home side yo-yoing the ball around. De Bruyne – City’s player of the season – warmed Fabianski’s fingers with a left-foot zinger. Gabriel Jesus hit a low shot that again kept the goalkeeper honest. At the close of the half Alfie Mawson wandered forward and took aim at Ederson. The Brazilian collected but this was as good as the visitors were before the break.
The second half began with a lightning foray that included a David Silva step-over and ended with Danilo’s cross flashing before Fabianksi.
After De Bruyne’s glorious finish City continued to dominate. Sterling won a penalty, Jesus’s effort from the spot was steered on to the post via a Fabianski palm, and Bernardo Silva slotted in the rebound.
It might have been more but Alfie Mawson’s back-header rebounded to safety off the left post. There was even time for a 15-minute cameo from Mendy and for City to secure a fifth as Yaya Touré’s lob was headed home by Jesus: it was that kind of day for City.
Carvalhal’s side are four points above the drop zone with four matches left. Asked how the defeat would affect confidence, the manager said: “Zero, absolutely. They are a team from another planet.”