Three Key Takeaways: Citizens Defeat Swansea 2-1 to Advance to EFL Cup 4th Round

SWANSEA, WALES – SEPTEMBER 21: Wayne Routledge in action during the EFL Cup Third Round Premier match between Swansea City and Manchester City at The Liberty Stadium on September 21, 2016 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Manchester City continued their unbeaten run in all competitions, after defeating Swansea City 2-1 on Wednesday in their EFL Cup third round match.

This was the Citizens first match in this competition after hoisting the trophy last May vs Liverpool. Swansea were coming into this match after defeating League One side Peterborough United 3-1 in round two.

Pep Guardiola brought five youth players to Wednesday’s match and started two of them in the starting line-up. Midfielders Aleix Garcia and Angelino started with Fernando, while Vincent Kompany returned to the City starting line-up after a month lay off due to calf problems. With Sergio Aguero serving his final game of a three-match suspension, Kelechi Iheanacho started in attack with Jesus Navas and Leroy Sane on the wings.

Swansea started on the attack first as Borja Baston‘s effort 15 minutes in was palmed away by Willy Caballero. Ten minutes before halftime, Leroy Sane almost forced an own goal from Swansea’s Mike van der Hoorn but the deflection was saved off the line by Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

After the halftime break, Gael Clichy gave Manchester City the lead after his deflected shot nestled in the back of the net in the 49th minute. The Frenchman’s shot on the edge of the box took a deflection off of Swansea wing-back Neil Taylor before finding the goal.

Swansea had a good chance to equalize after some sloppy defending from John Stones, but Glyfi Gigurdsson‘s snap-shot was parried by Caballero.

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In the 66th minute, Aleix Garcia made it 2-0 for the Citizens after steering home Jesus Navas’ low-cross at the back post.

Glyfi Sigurdsson pulled Swansea back a late goal in the 93rd minute to make it 2-1 before Vincent Kompany strode off with an apparent injury late in second-half stoppage time. However, down to 10-men at this point, Manchester City held on for their ninth consecutive victory in all competitions.

Manchester City led in possession 60%-40% while forcing two saves out of Nordfeldt. Caballero made three saves in the win.

According to BBC Sport, Pep Guardiola praised Vincent Kompany’s effort during Wednesday’s win. “It’s not easy after a long, long time without playing. Defensively, he was so strong – he played really good.”

Three Key Takeaways;

Here are my three key takeaways from Wednesday’s EFL Cup victory for Manchester City.

1.) Aleix Garcia and Angelino made an impact for City.
Coming into cup competitions, Pep Guardiola told reporters and media that the youth players would get a chance to play. Guardiola brought five youth players to Wednesday’s Cup match, started two, and used two more as subs. Aleix Garcia scored City’s winner while Angelino also had chances offensively as well. The future is bright for Manchester City and I definitely believe that more youth players will get playing time the further City advance in the tournaments.

2.) Vincent Kompany looked VERY good on Wednesday.
After consistent calf problems kept Kompany out of most of the EPL last season and this summer’s European Tournament, the Belgian looked very good during Wednesday’s match. Vincent looked strong defensively and looked to be City’s leader in all phases of the match. He cleaned up Swansea attacks, worked passes around the pitch, and stayed back to allow John Stones to dribble up at times. Sadly, Kompany left the pitch under his own power in the 95th minute and we are awaiting the news of the injury. However, if Kompany can play at all this season for Pep Guardiola, then the back-line looks a lot more dangerous moving forward.

3.) It may not have been dominating but it is another win!
With a lot of the bigger name players starting on the bench or being saved for Saturday’s EPL match, Manchester City didn’t look as strong as previous matches. With so many matches in little time, Pep Guardiola has to choose his line-ups carefully for risk of fatigue and possible injuries. With players such as Raheem Sterling, Claudio Bravo, Nolito, and Ilkay Gundogan all not featuring on Wednesday just shows how important the EPL and Champions League are to Guardiola. However, the league cup holders advance to the fourth round nevertheless.

It was a good performance by the lads away from home, and they will travel to Manchester United next in Round #4 of the EFL Cup later in October. However, Manchester City will rest up then prepare to face Swansea again on Saturday in their next Barclays Premier League match.