Man City held as Dzeko misses sitter
London: A game of few chances and little enthusiasm from last year`s champions resulted in a goalless draw between Swansea and Manchester City at the Liberty Stadium.
A clearly uninterested City side left much to be desired as the hosts dominated the first half, with Pablo Hernandez and star striker Michu coming close to opening the scoring for the Swans early on.
City, aided by the introduction of Edin Dzeko, started the second half the stronger of the two sides and dominated possession for the vast majority of the final period but were unable to carve out any real chances on goal, and failed to seriously trouble a Swansea defence which had little trouble dealing with their uncharacteristically lacklustre attacking performance.
Michael Laudrup made one change to the side that lost 2-0 to Chelsea last weekend, with Ki Sung-Yueng dropping to the bench to be replaced by Nathan Dyer.
Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini, whose side beat West Ham 2-1 last week, made two alterations, bringing in James Milner for Samir Nasri and Matija Nastasic for Joleon Lescott, whose wife went into labour shortly before kick-off.
With second place all but confirmed, City have seemingly let their foot off the gas somewhat as the season comes to a close, and Swansea, visibly desperate for their first league win in over two months as they look to ensure a top-half finish, took full advantage of that in the early stages.
Hernandez was handed the first real chance after quarter of an hour when he linked up with Nathan Dyer only to be let down by a disappointing finish, before Dyer was involved again five minutes later when his cross beat Nastasic and found Michu in front of goal, but his mishit volley flew wide.
Swansea`s dominance and Manchester City`s disinterest continued for the rest of the first half, with a multitude of chances raining down on the away defence and a consistently beleaguered Joe Hart, whilst the visitors created very little at the other end.
The hosts` pressure culminated in a strong shout for a penalty with seven minutes of the first period left to play when Nastasic seemed to bundle over Michu in the centre of the City penalty area, but, despite the cries of outrage from everyone associated with Swansea, referee Mike Jones shook his head and allowed play to continue.
Clearly unimpressed with his side`s effort in the first 45 minutes, Mancini brought on Dzeko for the second half, and the Bosnian had an immediate impact, improving a front line that had been lacking in ideas throughout the majority of the first half.
Despite dominating possession, City still found it difficult to carve out any clear chances against a resilient Swansea side, and last season`s champions reverted to their old ways with 15 minutes left to play when the hosts went on the front foot looking for a late winner.
However, after good play between Pablo Zabaleta and Carlos Tevez, Dzeko was set up with the perfect opportunity to steal all three points for City in the dying moments of the game, but his close-range shot was skewed wide of the far post and left his side with no option but to share the points against a Swansea side who clearly wanted it more.