LONDON: Manchester City are considered favourites to win the Premier League by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho because of the depth of talent in their squad.
However their away form has hardly justified that status: even with the 3-2 win at Swansea they have won only four times in nine games on the road.
City’s good fortune was that the Liberty Stadium has hardly been a fortress this season for Swansea: Michael Laudrup’s men have claimed maximum points on just two occasions, against Sunderland and Newcastle.
Swansea did hope to emulate the early-season success of Welsh neighbours Cardiff because City had taken a battering over the holiday programme: playmaker David Silva was absent through suspension for five bookings while injuries sidelined top scorer Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and defenders Martin Demichelis and Micah Richards.
No such luck.
In World Cup year it was appropriate that a Brazilian should score the opening goal of both the game and the Premier League in 2014. Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho shot low past Gerhard Tremmel after Swansea failed to clear a 14th-minute corner from the right.
Tremmel was continuing in goal because of injury to Holland keeper Michel Vorm.
City wasted further chances to extend their lead but also lived dangerously. They survived a handball/penalty appeal against Vincent Kompany only to concede an equaliser in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. Goalkeeper Joe Hart, playing despite a gash below his left eye, was well beaten by a header from Wilfried Bony.
The goal stood though TV replays showed that Bony owed his fifth league goal not only to an acute cross from Angel Rangel but the linesman’s failure to spot that he had been standing in an offside position.
City, remarkably considering Mourinho’s words, have kept only one clean sheet away from home in the league all season.
They regained the lead with Yaya Toure’s 10th league goal in the 57th minute. Tremmel was unlucky. The keeper, under pressure from Edin Dzeko, could only punch a cross weakly to the edge of the penalty area but Toure’s shot beat him only with the aid of a deflection off centre-back Ashley Williams.
Tremmel was at fault, however, when Aleksandr Kolarov was allowed to run from halfway and drove in a shot which ricocheted off the keeper’s hand and header into the net.
Bony struck a second for Swansea from 30m but, in the first minute of second-half stoppage time, it was too little too late.