Three Key Takeaways: Citizens Stay Perfect in 3-1 Victory at Swansea

SWANSEA, WALES – SEPTEMBER 24: Gylfi Sigurdsson of Swansea City (R) crosses the ball past Nicolas Otamendi (L) and Bacary Sagna of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester City at The Liberty Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola earns his 10th consecutive victory as manager of Manchester City as his side stayed perfect in league-play after a 3-1 road victory at Swansea City. 

After advancing in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, the Citizens stayed unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League in Wales on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero returned to the Manchester City squad after serving his three-match suspension. Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, and Raheem Sterling all featured in attacking roles while Fernandinho started just ahead of the back-line.

Claudio Bravo got the nod in-goal, while the back-line featured Aleksandar Kolarov, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, and Bacary Sagna.

Swansea’s main threats offensively saw Glyfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente, Wayne Routledge, and Leroy Fer all feature from the get-go. Lukasz Fabianski got the start in-goal as expected.

Aguero gave the visitors an early 1-0 advantage nine minute in after smashing home from inside the Swansea box. A great first touch from a Sagna assist saw the Argentine hammer the pass through the five-hole of Fabianski.

However, Swansea equalized four minutes later, after a sublime half-volley from Fernando Llorente found the right corner of the goal to make it 1-1. Bacary Sagna looked to have slipped on the play which allowed the Spaniard to score.

After the teams took a 1-1 scoreline into halftime, Aguero gave Manchester City a 2-1 lead after 65 minutes from the penalty spot. Kevin De Bruyne was elbowed by Swansea defender Mike van der Hoorn to earn his side the PK. Aguero chipped the penalty kick down the middle of the goal. De Bruyne would later limp off in the match with an apparent hamstring injury.

Raheem Sterling added a classy third goal for City in the 77th minute from a quick counter-attack. The England international slotted home into the bottom left corner which stamped the score at 3-1.

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At the final whistle, Manchester City continued their unbeaten run to the start of the 2016-17 Premier League campaign with a strong victory.

Manchester City held the edge in possession 59%-41%, while forcing one save from Fabianski. Claudio Bravo made four saves for the winners.

According to BBC Sport, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola felt his side played strong but also missed a bunch of chances to go even more ahead. ” We played very good, but we missed a lot of final passes and that happened a lot of times in the first half. You have to win the ball, use the ball and use the counter-attack. It is the first time we have been at 1-1 at half-time and we spoke of how we had to be like a team and in the second half we played really well.”

Here are my three key takeaways from Manchester City’s sixth victory of the EPL season.

1.) Welcome Back Sergio Aguero! 
A lot of media and fans alike wondered how City would fare without Sergio Aguero. Lets just say, they enjoy having him back! Aguero netted two more goals on Saturday to bring his tally up to 11 goals in all competitions. His first goal set the tone for the team and featured brilliant skill to keep the ball at his feet. Most strikers would have soared that shot over the goal but Aguero made it count and gave City the early advantage.

2.) Going forward, Manchester City need to punish teams earlier.
Out of the three goals that Manchester City scored, they had four shots on target. They had 18 shots in total and I feel they had plenty of chances to win this match by four or five goals. Kevin De Bruyne missed chances, Alex Kolarov missed chances, Fernandinho missed chances as well. I feel that against the better competition, Manchester City need to take advantage of these opportunities. Some matches, teams may only get a handful of chances to score and with the amount of talent that Guardiola has at his disposal, I see no reason why City cannot dominate in more matches.

3.) A healthy David Silva REALLY makes a difference.
After being out the last couple matches due to injury, David Silva started for City today. He did a good job of linking up with the rest of the attackers and pulled the strings against Swansea. Silva is a top talent in midfield and I feel he is very important to the team’s success in England and Europe. With Kevin De Bruyne leaving today’s match with an apparent hamstring injury, David Silva’s role with the team could become slightly bigger with a Champions League match at Celtic on Wednesday.

This was a good win for City even though they may not have been at their best. Unbeaten in their first ten matches in all competitions really shows how well Guardiola has done with the lads so far. Up next is their second group-stage match in the UEFA Champions League at Scottish-Champions Celtic on Wednesday, followed up by a Premier League showdown with Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday.

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