The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Manchester City keeps up title-chasing momentum with 3-2 win at Swansea
SWANSEA, Wales - Manchester City kept its title campaign firmly on course Wednesday after second-half goals from Yaya Toure and Aleksandar Kolarov secured a 3-2 victory over Swansea in the first Premier League match of the new year.
Brazil midfielder Fernandinho put City ahead in the 14th minute, before Swansea's Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony nodded an equalizer in first-half stoppage time - albeit from a seemingly offside position.
Toure restored City's lead in the 58th with an angled shot into the far corner and Kolarov rifled home in the 66th to secure the points.
There was an anxious finish for City, though, after Bony flashed a superb low drive past Joe Hart from 25 yards (meters) in injury time.
City claimed a fifth consecutive win and moved to provisional top place in the standings, two points ahead of Arsenal - which was hosting Cardiff later.
Chasing back-to-back Premier League away victories for the first time under manager Manuel Pellegrini, City monopolized the ball in the first half.
Jesus Navas was a constant threat to Swansea's defenders and the visitors looked dangerous with their very first move as Alvaro Negredo pulled the ball back for Edin Dzeko, who could only drag his shot wide in the fourth minute.
Making the most of Vincent Kompany's loose marking, Bony responded immediately with a 25-meter shot that flew just wide.
However, Swansea was soon dealt an early setback when midfielder Pablo Hernandez hobbled off with a suspected hamstring injury, minutes before Fernandinho put City in front. The Brazilian lashed the ball through a crowded area following a corner that Swansea failed to clear.
The home side had a good chance to level when Bony and Roland Lamah exchanged passes to send Jonathan de Guzman through, but his shot straight at Hart was easily stopped by the England keeper.
Swansea came into the match toward the end of the first half, with Ashley Williams unleashing a shot from the edge of the area that was blocked by Kompany's arm after an excellent move, while Bony sent a low drive just wide.
Bony's persistence was finally rewarded in added time when the Ivory Coast forward jumped between Pablo Zabaleta and Kompany to head home an inviting ball in from De Guzman, despite appearing to be narrowly offside.
City returned to the attack immediately after the re-start, with Samir Nasri chipping the ball through for Alvaro Negredo — though the Spaniard's shot was too weak to beat Gerhard Tremmel.
City took the lead for a second time after Navas attacked down the right side of the Swansea defence. Toure retrieved the ball on the edge of the box and fired a deflected shot into the far corner for his 12th goal this season.
Kolarov then picked the ball in his own half and drove forward before unleashing a shot through a defender's legs and past Tremmel to give City more breathing space — before Bony's swerving low drive ensured a nervy finish.
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