Swansea City vs. Manchester City  0 - 0

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Williams: We took our eye off the ball

6 May 2013 12:01

Swansea captain Ashley Williams has conceded that his side's recent form has been below par.

Michael Laudrup's men have won just one of their eight Premier League fixtures since a 5-0 victory over Bradford City in the League Cup final in February.

But, after the Liberty Stadium outfit held Manchester City to a 0-0 draw on Saturday, the centre-back believes his team-mates are turning a corner.

"It's not good enough," he said. "If you take away the Arsenal and the Tottenham games, we should have done a lot better in each of the other matches.

"I think, for whatever reason, we took our eye off the ball. But I also thought against Manchester City we performed well and were back on our game.

"It's not been enjoyable not winning a game for so many weeks, but a draw against the ex-champions isn't a bad result.

"It's easy to say we thought the season was over after Wembley, but I didn't think like that and I don't believe any of the other players did.

"It may look that way from the outside, but we've done well in games. There have just been critical periods when the opposition have scored, while we've missed chances and that has cost us.

"We put pressure on ourselves, we said the City game was an important match and we wanted to perform well. I think we did that."

Williams, who has been strongly linked with a close-season move to Liverpool or Arsenal, also praised Swansea's desire during a second-half onslaught from City.

"It's the best we have played in recent weeks," he added.

"The second half was tough, we got tired and I think the front players were working so hard defensively when Manchester City got on the ball it was hard for them to actually keep it from us.

"City were always going to have chances, but the pleasing thing for me at the back was the way we stuck together and helped each other out."

Article

Laudrup targets top-10 finish for Swansea

4 May 2013 20:44

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has set his sights on a top-half Premier League finish after the 0-0 draw with Manchester City.

The 48-year-old watched his team dominate large parts of the first half against the deposed Premier League champions and had they been able to take their chances they may have emerged with all three points.

Even after the break when the visitors rallied, Swansea still created good chances to win the game but they were not able to beat City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Despite the lack of goals, Laudrup was more than happy with the point and a clean sheet as they look to end their second season in the Premier League on a high.

"I’m pleased

with a draw and we stay ninth with a game in hand," he said.

"One more win should

now see us finish in the top half and that would be a fantastic

achievement.

"We played some very good football in the first half, but if you don’t score in your good moments there is a danger that the opposition could punish you."

Having faced one FA Cup finalist on Saturday, Swansea now meet the other on Tuesday as they travel to the DW Stadium to face Wigan, and Laudrup knows it will not be an easy game as Roberto Martinez's side are battling for survival at the bottom of the table.

Laudrup also reassured other sides fighting with Wigan that he will field the strongest side he can for the game, although that will not include Michu after

the Spaniard limped out of the game in the 69th minute with a hamstring injury.

"It will be a hard game for us [against Wigan]," he added.

"I know they have the cup final coming up, but their Premier League life is to play for. They will come with all they have.

"I’ll put out a good team because we all want to win."

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Mancini frustrated as Manchester City fail to take their chances

4 May 2013 19:49

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini rued his side's missed chances as they were held to a goalless draw by Swansea City.

With second place in the Premier League all but secure, the Italian's side struggled to raise their game at the Liberty Stadium and he expressed his frustration at the standard of finishing from his players.

Swansea dominated the first half and Mancini's men found it tough to get to grips with the lively Nathan Dyer. The two chances they did create were wasted by Samir Nasri and they were grateful that Swansea's finishing was equally poor at the other end.

Their second-half performance was much improved after Edin Dzeko replaced Yaya Toure but they found Michel Vorm in fine form, the Dutchman denying Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Dzeko after the break.

"I think we played well and we deserved to win," Mancini said.

"But we missed five

incredible chances, Nasri, Silva and Dzeko all had good opportunities to

score.

"I also think we should have had a penalty for a foul on Dzeko, I don't know why the referee didn't give it."

City welcome West Brom on Tuesday before turning their attention to the FA Cup final against Wigan and victory in that game, combined with other results going their way, could see the runners-up place confirmed, something the Italian is keen to do.

"We were motivated to win this game because we want to secure the second position," he continued.

“We have the final on Saturday and if we won today it would have been better for us."


The substitution of Toure at half time gave City a new impetus and appeared to be an inspired decision by 48-year-old, but he revealed that the change was forced upon him rather than being a tactical move.

"Yaya had a problem in the warm up and for this reason we took him off after 45 minutes," he added.

"But I think he will be OK for the cup final."

Article

Premier League: Swansea 0 Manchester City 0

4 May 2013 17:52

Manchester City strengthened their grip on second place in the Premier League with a hard-fought goalless draw against Swansea City.

The deposed champions were off the pace in a first half dominated by the hosts but chances were spurned at both ends as the two goalkeepers had an easy afternoon. The visitors improved after the break but lacked that creative spark and had to settle for a point.

Both Roberto Mancini and Michael Laudrup made changes to their starting line-ups, with Mateja Nastasic and James Milner starting in place of Joleon Lescott and Carlos Tevez for the visitors and the lively Nathan Dyer preferred to South Korean Ki Sung-Yong for Swansea.

With neither side having much to play for, there was a relaxed mood inside the Liberty Stadium and this showed in the opening exchanges as both sides attacked with freedom while remaining solid at the back. City had the best early chance after a Milner cross was deflected behind by Chico Flores.

The resulting corner was headed clear by the Swansea defence but only as far as Samir Nasri on edge of the penalty area. However, the Frenchman leant back as he struck his shot and the ball sailed over the crossbar.

After riding their luck with Nasri’s miss, Swansea burst into life with the impressive Dyer at the heart of everything positive from the home side. He created chances for Pablo Hernandez, Michu and Wayne Routledge inside 20 minutes but all three were wasteful with their finishing as Joe Hart was not called into action.

City then had a stroke of luck as Nastasic was fortunate not to concede a penalty for a rash challenge on Michu. Again, Dyer was involved for the hosts as he floated a pass onto the chest of the striker, but as he waited for the ball to come down, he was felled by a wild challenge from the Serbia international that went unpunished by referee Mike Jones.

As the half came to a close some excellent defending from Swansea prevented Sergio Aguero from opening the scoring. The Argentinian saw his first chance blocked well by Williams and, from the rebound, Michel Vorm made a point-blank save.

After a poor first half, Yaya Toure was replaced by Edin Dzeko at the break. The Bosnian helped the visitors gain more of a stranglehold on the game as they immediately threatened through David Silva and Aguero, but Vorm was not tested in the Swansea goal.

Plenty of attractive football followed but neither goalkeeper was forced into a save as a midfield battle ensued. Dyer was again the main Swansea threat but the resolute Manchester City defence kept him at bay and Jonathan De Guzman wasted the best opening as he fired a late free kick over the crossbar.

Silva missed a fantastic chance in the closing minutes to win the game for the visitors but he blasted Dzeko’s pull back wide of goal from the edge of the penalty area.

Article

Premier League Preview: Swansea City v Manchester City

2 May 2013 13:30

Swansea City will hope to strengthen their bid for a top-10 Premier League finish when they take on Manchester City on Saturday.

Michael Laudrup's side secured the first major trophy of their 101-year history by winning the League Cup in February and could make the campaign a historic one should they improve on last season's 11th-placed finish.

But the Welsh club are suffering something of a hangover from their Wembley win over Bradford City, having claimed just one league success since - a 1-0 victory against Newcastle immediately after.

Admittedly, their opponents at the Liberty Stadium have little to play for, with the Premier League title out of their reach and UEFA Champions League qualification already assured.

However, City lead third-placed Chelsea by just six points, and will be keen to see off the London club's challenge for second spot.

The October meeting between these sides at the Etihad Stadium ended in a 1-0 victory for the hosts, but Swansea ran out winners by the same scoreline when they last faced each other at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea's chances will surely be boosted by the fact that striker Michu has outscored all of his expensively recruited Manchester City counterparts in the league this season.

The former Rayo Vallecano star has notched 17 league goals while Edin Dzeko, City's top scorer, has scored just 12.

Scott Sinclair will make his first return to the Liberty Stadium since making the switch to City back in August, and his former team-mate Neil Taylor insisted the winger has been unfortunate to make just two league starts this term.

"Manchester City came in and wanted to buy him, so that told him that they wanted him," he said.

"There was the promise of Champions League football and he was bought for a big sum of money, so it seemed they had big plans for him if they were spending that money.

"It hasn't worked out for him, but that's why he's got the length of contract that he has, to try to break into the side."

Due to the recent measles outbreak in South Wales, Swansea took steps this week to inoculate all players and club staff this week.

And they will hope that it is Manchester City who feel under the weather at full-time on Saturday.

Article

Ki hoping to halt Swans winless run

1 May 2013 16:28

Ki Sung-Yeung is looking to help Swansea finish the season in fine fashion after seeing their progress curtailed in recent weeks.

Michael Laudrup's men secured the first major trophy in their history with a 5-0 victory over Bradford City in the League Cup final back in February, but have gone six games without a win since their success over Newcastle United at the Liberty Stadium in March.

That run of results has put the Welsh club in danger of dropping out of the top half and Ki is hopeful they can turn their form around in upcoming games with Manchester City, Wigan, Manchester United and Fulham.

"When we play against the best players and teams in the league, we have to grow up. We have done that at times this year," he told Sky Sports.

"Even if we have lost games, we have dominated parts of matches and we have learned a lot from the experiences.

"We have Man City and Man United coming up so they are tough games.

"We've been disappointed we haven't won some games, but as players we still have the desire to do so.

"Just because we have won the League Cup and reached 40 points in the league, it does not mean that the pressure is off us. As players we still want to win matches."

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25