Manchester City are still perfect this season and into the fourth round of the English Football League Cup after a 2-1 victory at Liberty Stadium against Swansea City. This wasn't a great game, but Gael Clichy and Aleix García scored and gave the Sky Blues a ninth consecutive victory to start the season. Gylfi Sigurdsson scored for the Swans.
The first half was not good to watch. City had the ball for most of the time, but couldn't create any danger and the only highlight of the Citizens' offense was a near Swansea own goal when Van Der Hoorn tried to clear a cross and shot the ball to his own net, but keeper Nordfeldt was there. Swansea also did very little in the first half, and their only chance came when Willy Caballero played a horrible pass up the middle right into the foot of Borja Bastón, but the striker's effort went over the bar. At halftime, no excitement, no goals, and no fun.
There were goals and fun after just three minutes in the second half, when a fantastic team play with loads of passes and quick movement led to a beautiful goal by Gael Clichy, and the Sky Blues took the lead. Twenty minutes later, Aleix García scored his first City goal in his full debut, and clinched the win for the visitors.
The Swans did manage to score with Gylfi Sigurdsson, but the game finished with another win for City. Nine games, nine victories. Pep Guardiola is amazing.
Swansea: Nordfeldt | Rangel, v.d.Hoorn, Amat, Taylor | Fulton, Britton, Cork (Fer) | Naughton (Sigurdsson), Borja (Barrow), Routledge
Goal: Sigurdsson (90+3')
Man City: Caballero | Zabaleta, Kompany, Stones, Clichy | Fernando | Navas, García (Adarabioyo), Angeliño (De Bruyne), Sané | Iheanacho (Díaz)
Goals: Clichy (48'), García (68')
1 - Vincent Kompany hasn't missed a beat
The captain was fantastic against Swansea, and didn't look like someone who missed four months of football. He displayed all of qualities: leadership, positioning, passing, awareness, anticipation... just everything we're used to seeing from the skipper. Kompany has to stay healthy, but his performance showed he's still pretty damn good.
2 - Willy Caballero cannot play anymore
Willy is a fine keeper, and he does have some good moments. But as we get used to Pep Guardiola football at Man City, the goalkeeper has to be good with the ball on his feet and understand how distribution works. Caballero is poor with his feet, and he had too many mistakes. In a League Cup game, they're fine and Swansea didn't do any damage after Willy's mistakes, but Caballero's performance shows exactly why Guardiola bought Claudio Bravo.
3 - The mediocre performance is understandable, and maybe even necessary
The first half wasn't great, and the possession was meaningless. It's okay, because there were plenty of changes and the players didn't really know each other. Plus, Guardiola's style is unique and it takes time to learn, and 45 minutes aren't enough to develop chemistry and comfort in such a different tactical approach. The second half was better in terms of chance creation, but it still wasn't ideal. Despite not having a great game, this is good to help quiet down the excitement. City's perfect start and incredible football have people dreaming of all the titles, but it's too early for that. As this Swansea game showed, there's a lot to be done yet.