Report - Swansea City 1-0 Manchester City
11th March 2012
Swansea City knocked Manchester City off the top of Premier League table thanks to substitute Luke Moore's late headed winner at the Liberty Stadium.
Brendan Rodgers' side held the title favourites throughout - playing some excellent passing football, before delivering a shock late on as the hosts broke down the right. Wayne Routledge picked out Luke Moore with a cross and he headed home from 6 yards to set up an en exciting but nerve-wracking last 11 minutes.
His late strike meant Scott Sinclair wasn't left to rue an earlier missed penalty - which was well saved by visiting goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Brendan Rodgers was forced to make just one change to the team that beat Wigan Athletic 2-0 last weekend. Nathan Dyer picked up an unfortunate red card so he watched from the sidelines while Wayne Routledge took his place on the right wing.
The Swans took control for the first half hour, and showed just why they've received so many compliments this season - particularly for their impressive passing football - which was on show today in front of 20,500 fans at the Liberty Stadium.
The host's good play should have put them in front when Scott Sinclair played a through ball that picked out Wayne Routledge's run across the penalty area. Goalkeeper Joe Hart rushed off his line to claim the ball but the winger was brought down - although from the slightest of touches to earn a spot kick.
Scott Sinclair stepped up, to the sound of Joe Hart's constant barrage of mind-game tricks - and it worked, as he put off his confident opponent. Sinclair executed his usual stop-start run up, but the shot that followed was a poor, weak effort, that gave Hart the straightforward task of palming it away to safety.
Thankfully the miss didn't affect the Swans too much, as further chances followed.
Top scorer Danny Graham had his first chance of the half following some good attacking play down the right flank. A cross came back to Graham after a poor clearance, the striker turned and shot but it fell wide of the target.
Swansea City continued to dominate the play and it said it all when Balotelli fired a shot from almost half-way in frustration. City boss Mancini also made a surprising substitution on 37 minutes when an annoyed Gareth Barry was replaced by Aguero.
The visitors were only able to get shots on goal when the Swans weren't clearing set piece crosses into the box. Toure had a shot blocked from inside the box but there was little else to report on that involved chances in front of Michel Vorm.
The Premier League leaders got more involved in the second half and began to made the home defence work harder.
There was a shot of a penalty for the visitors but it appeared that Balotelli tripped over his own foot, rather than being fouled by Joe Allen.
Micah Richards then forced Michel Vorm into his best save of the day, hanging on to a stinging shot from the big centre half.
Swansea City would have been delighted to claim a well deserved point against such a quality side who are eyeing up the League title, but they scored at an excellent time, with just 7 minutes remaining on the clock.
A poor pass from Savic gave Sigurdsson the chance to break forward. It looked like the midfielder had taken too long on the ball to allow City to get defenders back to cover. While they made their way back, they weren't organised. Rangel sprayed the ball out wide to Routledge on the right who was unmarked, and his cross picked out Luke Moore. He had enough time and space to direct an excellent header past Hart and into the corner of the net. He couldn't keep that one out with mind games!
Balotelli and Toure forced good saves from Vorm as they looked to fire straight back with little time left to net an equaliser.
It looked like they'd got a late goal to level the scores, but thankfully, the assistant referee Sian Massey made an excellent decision to raise her flag for offside. Michel Vorm came out to try and claim a cross and failed. Richards' header bounced into an empty net but he was in front of the last defender.
Late on, Swansea City almost made it 2-0 when goalkeeper Joe Hart went up for a corner. The ball fell to Sinclair but his shot from his own half towards an empty net fell short, as he was unable to repeat Darren Pratley's wonder strike in the play-off semi final against Nottingham Forest.
It was a fantastic day for Swansea City Football Club. An amazing 1-0 victory against a Manchester City made up of big money signings that totalled up to more than £150million.
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