Pep Guardiola warned all of us before kickoff that Swansea City would present a very difficult challenge for Manchester City. For the first 45 minutes, it didn't seem too tough at all. But it ended up being. And a special kid made a disappointing Sunday afternoon a very, very happy one.
From the first second, City were the better team. Swansea were expected to sit back and absorb pressure, but the pressure seemed to much for them. There were shots and chances coming from all over the place, and Leroy Sané was creating hell on the right side of the Swans' defense. David Silva was also great on that same side, and he created a beautiful play that ended with Gabriel Jesus pouncing on a loose ball to give the Citizens a deserved lead.
City didn't stop there, and continued to dominate possession and force Lukasz Fabianski into some difficult and important saves that kept Swansea barely alive. But we went into halftime with City up just one goal, which didn't reflect their dominance in the initial period, and made us nervous for what could happen in the second half.
Our fears were proved true. Swansea came back ready to attack and pressure City's defense, and Gylfi Sigurdsson began to trouble Willy Caballero. For a few minutes, it seemed like the Swans were ready to score the equalizer, and at the 60-minute mark, the Etihad was nervous.
Time went by, though, and City got the ball back and began to dominate the game again. John Stones and Aleksandar Kolarov took care of any danger that came their way, and as we entered the final 10 minutes, it didn't look like City were going to concede a painful goal.
But they did, and it was their star man who did it. Sigurdsson found space after a dead ball situation and struck the ball from outside the box; there were a lot of players in front of Caballero, and he saw the ball late and couldn't get to it. And just like it happened so many times at the Etihad this season, the worst team equalized despite being dominated by City.
A few fans left the stadium screaming "Typical City!!!", but they missed something really special. A nice, calm build-up play from City reached David Silva on the right side, and the Spaniard put a perfect cross into the box that met the head of Gabriel Jesus. His header went straight to Fabianski, but it was too strong for the Polish keeper to hold. Jesus pounced on the rebound and tapped the ball into the open net.
Three major points.
City are back in the race for a Champions League spot. Maybe for the Premier League.
Above all, City have a new hero. Gabriel Jesus is our savior.
Man City: Caballero; Fernandinho, Stones, Kolarov, Clichy; Touré; Sterling (Agüero), De Bruyne (Zabaleta), Silva (Fernando), Sané; G.Jesus
Goals: G. Jesus (11', 92')
Swansea: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson; Carroll (Dyer), Cork, Fer; Routledge (Narsingh), Llorente (Borja), Sigurdsson
Goal: Sigurdsson (80')