English Premier League
Monday 15 August 2011, 20.00 KO
City: Hart, Richards, Lescott, Kompany (c), Clichy, de Jong (Aguero 60), Barry, Silva (Milner 82), Y Toure, A Johnson (Savic 75), Dzeko
Unused: Taylor, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Balotelli
Goals: Dzeko (57), Aguero (68, 90+1), Silva (71)
Referee: Mike Dean
Man of the Match: David Silva
It was a slow start from the home team, who appeared to be struggling to get their possession game going, as Swansea tried to keep City quiet and the home side were miss-placing passes. Despite this, it was the hosts who had the first chance, with a Yaya Toure piledriver being blocked by a Swansea body.
But then the game ground to a halt. Swansea managed to have some possession without troubling Joe Hart, who had nothing to do but pick crosses from the air, while City couldn’t find their final ball. It took until 24 minutes for the next decent chance, as a Silva shot from the edge of the box forced Vorm into a good one-handed save.
The little Spaniard then hit the bar, after he was found from some neat right wing play by Adam Johnson. Silva’s side-footed effort beat the goalkeeper, but it didn’t beat the frame of the goal, and the visitors were off the hook. Yaya Toure then stormed into the Swansea box with a trademark run, finishing with a fierce shot that was tipped wide and Silva shot over from the corner. City began to dominate.
As the game headed for half time, Dzeko hit a shot straight at Vorm before a corner was cleared only as far as Barry on the edge of the box. The former Villa man took a touch and shot for the top corner – again the keeper was beaten, but he was relieved to see the effort come crashing back off the crossbar.
The second half began slowly, but soon City were back into their stride. Ten minutes in, a half-shout for a penalty was rightly turned down by the referee as Silva lost the ball in the Swansea box, before Dobbie forced a good save from Hart, who was also able to prevent the corner from the loose ball.
But then City stepped up a gear. David Silva turned well in his own half to keep the ball. He then found Johnson who broke into the Swansea box and fired a shot across goal. It was well saved by Vorm, but only to the feet of Dzeko, who knocked the ball back into the empty net to give the hosts the lead.
Aguero joined the action immediately for a troubled de Jong, who hobbled straight down the tunnel. The new signing’s first shot came soon after: a snap-shot from the edge of the box on the spin, but it was straight at Vorm. He was looking bright and raring to go.
And it didn’t take long for the Argentina international to get off the mark at his new club. Eight minutes after joining the action, he was on hand at the back post to convert a Richards low ball across the six yard box, much to the fans’ and his delight.
The new boy then had a hand in creating a goal for the man of the match. Dzeko nearly kept the ball on the right flank, before knocking it on to Aguero steaming into the box. He flicked it over the goalkeeper and managed to then extend his leg to keep the ball in play and cross to the back post. Silva was arriving late into the box and he made no mistake in hitting the net.
With just over ten minutes left, Yaya Toure drilled a free kick into the wall after Vorm had picked up a backpass. It spun towards the corner, but the keeper reacted very well to stop the ball on the line and prevent the visitors from falling further behind.
But there was nothing he could do about the final goal of the night – which would be the icing on the cake for the debutant Aguero. He picked up the ball mid-way into the Swansea half and knocked it out of his feet. With nobody closing him down, he decided to have a hit from 25 yards and it whistled into the top corner, completing a fine opening night display from the blues.