The game will be remembered for the 30 minute miracle contribution of Man City's new toy, Sergio Augero, which ought to preserve some dignity for Swansea in the final analysis; they will be spared any over-critical dissection as pundits will be too busy seeing how far past maximum they can turn the dial on the Aguero hype machine.
It would be an understatement to say the Argentine made an impact, and it almost felt after his introduction as a second half sub that Swansea were being lined up as the punchbag for Man City's new heavyweight to take a few practice swings at. After the game, the media was awash with "a star is born" proclamations; surely "a star is bought" is more accurate. Not even Man City spends £38 million on unproven talent, after all.
For the Swans part, they passed the first test, which was not conceding within the first five minutes, and actually enjoyed an incredible 70% of the possession early on. True to Rodgers' word, the Swans kept playing their game in the face of a team whose star players individually earn more than the Swans starting 11 combined. For large stretches of the game, it would have been impossible for a newcomer to tell which was the newly promoted side, a fact which should give Swansea a great deal of confidence going forward. Having to start the season with such a difficult game might have seemed a daunting task, but the Swans can now rest a little easier knowing it won't get any harder from here on in. Imagine how QPR might be feeling after losing by the same scoreline to an injury-depleted Bolton Wanderers side on their own turf.
The Swans lack of cover at full back was inevitably exploited for Man City's first goal, Alan Tate apparently forgetting he was meant to be covering the flank, drifting too far inside and giving Adam Johnson enough space to line up a shot from the angle and enough time to have tweeted Edin Dzeko to make sure he would be waiting in the six yard box for the rebound, which he was. In fairness to Tate, he later made at least two key defensive headers from inside his own box, proving he is maybe best deployed as centre half cover instead.
Aguero's debut effort found Angel Rangel giving up on his man five yards too soon after Micah Richards had been allowed to cross unhindered from Man City's left flank, but there was little anyone could have done about the frankly freak third goal or Aguero's stunning superfluous coffin nail, save for maybe closing the man down; with the game over at three nil and only injury time left on the clock, giving any player time on the ball from 20+ yards out is like screaming "go on son, have a go" at him. Maybe Championship players routinely spoon their long shots over the bar, but world class players like Aguero do not.
What little there was by way of Swansea attacking moves broke down all too often at the feet of Stephen Dobbie, the usually deft Scot having an uncharacteristically bad night; his biggest transgression failing to set through a wide open Scott Sinclair during a four-on-three Swansea break, instead opting to put a soft and deflected shot on goal.
At the other end of the performance scale was new goalkeeper Michel Vorm; I've waited til the end to mention him because his performance was worth remembering. Vorm was fantastic throughout the game, despite the scoreline. He made at least four remarkable saves, including stopping a deflected freekick dead on the goal line, and actually made more saves in the game than any Premier League goalkeeper made in any single game all of last season. Brendan Rodgers has made some astute signings this summer, but already it looks as though none will have the importance of the Dutch stopper, who turned in a ten out of ten debut performance, four goals or not.
Positives : Michel Vorm. Leon Britton who was at his ball-thieving best. Passing with confidence around the likely second best team in England. Having more possession than Linda Blair.
Negatives : Lack of full back depth exposed. Defensive focus fractured after the first couple of goals. Dobbie's off night meant Swansea's other attacking players became isolated.
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