MANCHESTER, November 22- Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure emerged from his recent slump to score a superb solo goal that gave the Premier League champions a much-needed 2-1 victory over Swansea at Eastlands on Saturday.
The result ends a run of just one victory in their previous six games for City, who now move on to a crucial Champions League group game against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, a match for which Toure is suspended following his dismissal in City’s last European game against CSKA Moscow.
Toure, who has been in poor form for much of the campaign amid speculation the Ivorian was keen to leave, struck in the 62nd minute, collecting a clever back heel from Fernandinho in his stride and powering to the corner of the six-yard area from where his strike gave the goalkeeper no chance.
A winning goal was no more than third placed City deserved after they recovered strongly from a nervous start, and an opener from Swansea’s Wilfried Bony which was equalised by Stevan Jovetic.
City’s unsteady opening culminated in Swansea taking a deserved lead after nine minutes through a well worked Bony goal.
The striker, fresh from signing a new contract with the Welsh club this week, started the move himself with a short pass to Nathan Dyer.
The winger then completed the one-two with a clever, lofted pass which was taken by Bony expertly on his chest before he unleashed a first-time, right-foot volley past the dive of Joe Hart.
With South Korea midfielder Ki Sung-yeung an influential early performer, Swansea had controlled that opening 10 minutes but the goal sparked City into life and the remainder of the first half belonged to the champions.
Indeed, it only took Manuel Pellegrini’s team 10 minutes to draw level, through Jovetic with a simple goal that, for once, found gaps in Swansea’s defending.
Jesus Navas was allowed to curl over a right-wing cross, despite the attention of two defenders in front of him, and Jovetic was unmarked inside the six-yard area to equalise with a comfortable finish.
– Ill-feeling –
Given an uninspiring recent run of results, however, the pressure was clearly on City, not least from their supporters, to do more than simply draw.
The home crowd was incensed when Kyle Bartley tripped Sergio Aguero although the caution he received from referee Neil Swarbrick appeared harsh.
And the ill-feeling between the two players spilled over after the half hour when Aguero went down off the ball after tangling with Bartley, an incident which saw players from both sides involved and the referee speak to the two captains in a bid to restore order.
Away from the petty bickering, there were bright moments for City with left-back Gael Clichy within inches of giving his side a spectacular lead when his 30-yard shot, hit on the run at full speed, struck the bar.
Swansea relied on poor finishing and the sound handling of Lukasz Fabianski to survive until half-time and, after it, might have taken the lead when Jefferson Montero swapped passes with Bony and advanced on goal before being halted by Hart blocking at his feet.
It was a rare moment of concern for the home side who were soon back in the ascendancy through a 20-yard Aguero shot which deflected just wide and a Toure strike which was half saved by Fabianski before Bartley hurried the rebound to safety.
The winning goal soon followed and Navas, with a shot saved by the legs of Fabianski, should have added to the lead before City endured late scares; first when Bony played Bafetimbi Gomis clean through on goal only for the Swansea substitute to roll his shot wide and then when Jonjo Shelvey’s deflected free-kick scraped the post.