Champions Man City moved closer to breaking Chelsea’s record for points in a single Premier League season, as they dismantled a poor Swansea City side who remain four points clear of the relegation zone in 17th.
The game was as good as over after only 16 minutes, David Silva and Raheem Sterling providing reward for City’s early domination.
It was a painful afternoon for Swansea, who were made to suffer further after the break as Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva got on the scoresheet, the latter following up Gabriel Jesus’ saved penalty.Embed from Getty Images
Jesus made amends with two minutes remaining, flicking a header home, after City fans rapturously applauded Benjamin Mendy into the action late on as the Frenchman made his return after seven months out.
The victory took the blue half of Manchester to 90 points – just five behind the haul of Chelsea’s 2005 crop, with four games still to play.
Having sealed the Premier League title after West Brom’s shock victory over Manchester United, Pep Guardiola brought in Danilo and Bernardo Silva for Leroy Sane and Kyle Walker.
Fernandinho again missed out through suspension, while Sergio Aguero could miss the rest of the season. Citizens fans were buoyed by the return of Benjamin Mendy, making his first appearance since suffering a serious injury in September.
Following last week’s draw with Everton, Swansea made just one change, with Mike van der Hoorn returning in defence in place of Luciano Narsingh. The Swans lined up with five in defence, and Jordan Ayew alone in attack ahead of his brother Andre.Embed from Getty Images
The Etihad was in full party mood from the off, City dominating possession but struggling to get behind the five-man Swansea defence in the opening exchanges.
The deadlock lasted only 12 minutes however, after David Silva stroked City ahead with their first meaningful attack.
They would not have to wait long to extend their lead, Raheem Sterling tapping home at the far post just four minutes later.
The ball rarely found a black shirt as City passed it around at a canter for the remainder of the first half, De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva among those to be denied by the over-worked Lukasz Fabianski in the Swansea goal.
The City pair were not to be denied however, Belgian maestro De Bruyne scoring the pick of the goals with a drive from distance, before Bernardo Silva tucked home a rebound after Fabianski pushed Gabriel Jesus’ penalty on to the post.Embed from Getty Images
Alfie Mawson almost scored an own goal from a corner as his difficult evening drew to a close, and Gabriel Jesus compounded the Swans misery late on as he bagged City’s fifth.
City need only two more victories to eclipse Chelsea’s record, and they return to action against West Ham next weekend.
Swansea welcome Chelsea to Wales on Saturday, knowing time may be running out to earn the points they need to condemn Southampton and Stoke to relegation.
Written by Sam Hanys.