When Michael Laudrup’s Swansea side visited the Etihad Stadium on 27th October 2012 Manchester City were defending Premier League champions. Despite that illustrious title the truth is that Roberto Mancini’s were stuttering through the season. Although an ever present in the top four the season felt as if it hadn’t really ever got going. The game that followed against Swansea was very much City’s season in a microcosm.
Although the Blues had won their previous three league games the visit of Swansea came immediately after the capitulation away at Ajax on the Wednesady before. As such, there was a lack of conviction about the way City were playing and that seemed to carry over into weekend. As it was, Laudrup’s side created the best of the first half chances as Michu went close on a number of occasions. Meanwhile, City looked sluggish and cagey.
With Mario Balotelli introduced after half time City gradually began to exert more pressure on the visitors. The forward trio of Balotelli, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero worked tirelessly to breakdown the opposition but the Swans’ stoic defence seemed intent on keeping them quiet. The deadlock was eventually broken when Tevez collected the ball 25 yards from goal and fired an unstoppable shot across the goal into the bottom corner left hand corner. It was a wonderful strike that, in terms of City’s overall performance, was something of an anomaly.
The game is mainly remembered for the wrong reasons, though. Two injuries, one to Swansea ‘keeper, Michel Vorm, and a serious knee injury to Micah Richards meant that a total of 12 minutes injury time were played making it the longest game in Premier League history. Richards’ injury was especially bad to watch as he fell to the ground under no pressure from an opposition player. Sadly, his City career never really recovered – a series of niggling injuries under new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, the following season meant he fell out of favour and eventually went to Fiorentina on loan.
With the game lasting longer than anyone would have anticipated or wanted, City had their backs to the wall in the closing stages of the game as Swansea piled forward to find an equaliser. Mancini’s men held out, though, and moved up to second in the table behind leaders Chelsea.
City XI: Hart, Richards (K Toure – 81′ ), Kompany, Kolarov (Balotelli – 46′ ), Clichy, Nastasic, Nasri, Barry, Y Toure, Aguero (Lescott – 90′ ), Tevez
Watch the extended highlights of the game here.
On this day Psy was sitting at number 3 in the UK Singles Chart with Gangnam Style.
Meanwhile, Skyfall was on the cinema screens in the UK.
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Written by Rob Toole