Premier League

Tevez leads City to win over Swansea

Recap of Manchester City's home win over Swansea at Etihad Stadium.
Recap of Manchester City's home win over Swansea at Etihad Stadium.
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Carlos Tevez lifted reigning champions Manchester City back to within a point of the Barclays Premier League summit with the only goal of a dour clash against Swansea, with the Citizens winning 1-0.

City escaped with a 1-0 victory despite another performance that will raise more questions over the side's lack of dynamism this season after it lost at Ajax in the Champions League during the week.

City's second clean sheet of the season came after goalkeeper Joe Hart saved twice from Michu before Tevez broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute with a stunning strike from 25 yards.

''It wasn't a great performance but the manager said at halftime to stay calm and we'd get a goal,'' City midfielder Gareth Barry said. ''Carlos came up with the goods.''

The game ran to 12 minutes of injury time after lengthy stoppages for injuries to Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm and Swansea defender Micah Richards.

City is a point behind Chelsea, which hosts Manchester United on Sunday, while Swansea is 10th.

Following criticism of his defensive formations after the midweek loss to Ajax, City manager Roberto Mancini dropped Joleon Lescott and played Matija Nastasic in a flat back four.

The two teams effectively cancelled each other out in a first half that saw little goalmouth action.

One of Swansea's early attacks saw Angel Rangel go down under a challenge from Barry but referee Martin Atkinson booked him for diving.

As the game settled in to a slow tempo, Tevez tried to make something happen for City but his low cross was gathered by Vorm.

Swansea exploited some uncertainty between Vincent Kompany and Nastasic in the City defense as Rangel crossed from the byline but Richards came across to cut off Michu.

City could have benefited from an error when Vorm gifted possession to Sergio Aguero but Tevez was unable to take up the attack.

Michu did put the ball into the net with a fine finish but was well offside as he received the ball.

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Hart showed he was as alert as ever when Michu raced clear in the closing stages of the first half with a well-timed run, blocking the Spaniard.

The halftime whistle led to boos from some City fans after their side's uninspired display but the team looked a different proposition immediately after the break.

Mancini sent on Mario Balotelli for the ineffective Aleksandar Kolarov and within two minutes the Italy striker had a shot blocked. Aguero also tried to find his range but fired wide.

Balotelli had a great opportunity as he latched onto a fine pass from Samir Nasri and took the ball round Vorm, but the goalkeeper did just enough to force him wide and the chance passed.

Swansea pieced together a fine move which led to Jonathan de Guzman crossing for Michu, who powered a header straight at Hart. Richards sliced a clearance to give Ki Sung-yeung a follow-up chance but Kompany blocked.

City made the most of that reprieve and took the lead just after the hour as Tevez took a pass from Clichy in his stride and hit a swerving 25-yard effort past Vorm.

Swansea's woes were compounded by an injury to Vorm, who appeared to hurt himself stretching for Tevez's shot. He was unable to continue and left the field on a stretcher.

Despite taking the lead, City was still sluggish and De Guzman attempted to catch them out with a long-range effort but missed the target.

Yaya Toure tried to create something for the hosts after combining with Tevez but his cross avoided everyone.

City's injury blow came when Richards, who missed the first two months of the season through injury, went down in agony holding his knee before being carried off.

That led to a lengthy, nervy and very long period of injury time but City managed to hold out.

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