Swansea 1-1 Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini signs off with point
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 16/05/16 9:22am
Manchester City all-but secured Champions League football for next season with a 1-1 draw at Swansea City on Sunday.
The result leaves Man City three points ahead of Manchester United in fourth, whose final game of the Premier League season with Bournemouth was abandoned because of a security threat. Man City have an 18 better goal difference.
In Manuel Pellegrini's last game as manager before Pep Guardiola takes over in the summer, Man City took an early lead through Kelechi Iheanacho but a deflected Andre Ayew free-kick levelled the scores right on half-time.
Pellegrini named an unchanged team for his last game and Man City gave their manager a perfect start.
Sergio Aguero, who was chasing Harry Kane for the Golden Boot, found space in the area on six minutes and although his shot was blocked, Iheanacho hammered home the rebound from close range.
Swansea City manager Francesco Guidolin was handed the job on a permanent basis in midweek and his side responded well. Jefferson Montero almost equalised on 10 minutes but his bundled effort at the back post was ruled out correctly for a push on defender Bacary Sagna.
Aguero fired into the side netting on 12 minutes before Kevin De Bruyne tested debutant Swansea goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt from the edge of the area.
The chances were raining down on Nordfeldt's goal but Iheanacho's final finish was lacking as he fired over from the edge of the box on 30 minutes and Aguero was denied by Nordfeldt's boot from close range minutes later.
Manchester City were in full control of the game but allowed Swansea back in the game just before the break.
Nicolas Otamendi committed a needless foul on Leon Britton, which allowed Ayew to step up and take an effort at goal from 25 yards. He connected well with the free-kick but Joe Hart would have had it covered had it not cannoned off Fernando's head and into the top corner.
De Bruyne found Eliaquim Mangala on 48 minutes with a sensational delivery from the right but the centre-half headed over from close range.
Swansea rarely looked capable of upping the tempo to do Manchester United a favour but Federico Fernandez wasted a good opportunity on 57 minutes by heading a Wayne Routledge corner over the bar.
Both teams dropped the tempo in the last half-hour as chances were at a premium. Aguero was replaced in injury time by the soon to be out of contract Yaya Toure.
The farewell theme continued at full-time as Pellegrini went over to the away end to throw his suit jacket to the fans, who gave him a warm reception.
It will be Guardiola leading them next season and he looks likely to have Champions League football to work with, although he'll have to negotiate his way through a two-legged qualifier to make the group stages.
Soccer Saturday reaction: Phil Thompson
"Man City had a fantastic start, it was great work by Kevin De Bruyne down the left before pulling it back for [Sergio] Aguero, and you'd expect him to score from six or seven yards out. [Kristoffer] Nordfeldt saves it but pushes it straight into Kelechi Iheanacho, who sorts his feet out and it's 1-0.
"Then it could have been anything, they had so many chances and you do start wondering, is there something in this crazy season that we've had? But they had done enough and Swansea were quite happy with what they had.
"I don't know how Swansea's goal is going to go down. Andre Ayew takes the free-kick and I think it would have been an easy save for Joe Hart, but it comes off Fernando and goes right over the other side.
"It drifted this game and it was poor. But you look at it, Pep Guardiola coming in he'll be happy he's got Champions League, and it keeps Manchester United out of it.
"Francesco Guidolin has done a terrific job for Swansea, finishing 12th when they were flirting with relegation."
Swansea: Nordfeldt (6), Rangel (6), Fernandez (7), Amat (6), Kingsley (6), Britton (6), Cork (7), Fer (6), Routledge (6), Montero (7), Ayew (7)
Subs: Gomis (6), Barrow (6)
Man City: Hart (7), Sagna (6), Otamendi (6), Mangala (6), Clichy (6), Fernando (6), Fernandinho (6), Navas (5), De Bruyne (7), Iheanacho (7), Aguero (7)
Subs: Nasri (6), Toure (6)
Man of the match: Kelechi Iheanacho