Burnley

Burnley slideshow

We're into the final month of the season across England's top four tiers, and there is still plenty to play for. The Premier League title is wrapped up, and the bottom three clubs are looking increasingly to be relegated, but lower down the footballing pyramid there is plenty still at stake. Here, we round-up who can still finish where in the Premier League and Football League. Premier League Every team has between three and five games remaining, but it wouldn't be all that surprising if everyone finished in exactly the position they currently find themselves - or at least in the positions that truly matter. Manchester City are champions, while Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are looking good to finish in the top four, barring a significant late collapse coupled with a Chelsea recovery. Arsenal are likely to beat Burnley to sixth place, with the losers of that race to go into the Europa League at the second qualifying stage - which starts on July 26. Everyone from Bournemouth in 11th and below can still be relegated, but it would take something dramatic for any of the teams above Huddersfield to be pulled back in to the dogfight. Southampton, Stoke and West Brom, all at least four points adrift of safety, are in real trouble. Premier League | Who can still get what? Championship Wolves are Championship champions, 12 points clear of Cardiff, who have two games left to play. Cardiff are battling it out with Fulham and Aston Villa for the second remaining automatic play-off spot, though the Welsh side are in the best position to secure promotion. Two of those sides will go into the play-offs, joined by two more of Middlesbrough, Millwall, Derby, Brentford, Preston, Bristol City and Sheffield United, though the final four of those sides face an uphill task to sneak in. At the other end of the table, Sunderland's relegation to League One has been confirmed. Burton and Barnsley currently make up the bottom three, though Barnsley have a game in hand on Bolton, who are two points above them, just outside the relegation zone. Every side up to Reading can still technically go down. Championship | What can still happen? League One Wigan and Blackburn have sealed the two automatic promotion spots, meaning Shrewsbury will have to settle for a place in the play-offs. They will be joined by Rotherham and two more teams from the six below them. At the bottom, Bury are down, while MK Dns are as good as relegated, six points from safety and with terrible goal difference. Every team up to Doncaster in 14th could still get sucked into the relegation battle. League One | What can still happen? League Two Accrington Stanley and Luton have sealed promotion to League One. Wycombe are in pole position to secure the third and final automatic promotion slot, but the three teams beneath them are still in contention. The play-off berths will be filled by four of the six teams currently between third and eighth. Relegation from the Football League is looking perilously likely for both Chesterfield and Barnet, though Morecambe and Grimsby are still not quite safe. League Two | What can still happen?
Premier League and Football League relegation, promotion and play-offs: who can still finish where?
We're into the final month of the season across England's top four tiers, and there is still plenty to play for. The Premier League title is wrapped up, and the bottom three clubs are looking increasingly to be relegated, but lower down the footballing pyramid there is plenty still at stake. Here, we round-up who can still finish where in the Premier League and Football League. Premier League Every team has between three and five games remaining, but it wouldn't be all that surprising if everyone finished in exactly the position they currently find themselves - or at least in the positions that truly matter. Manchester City are champions, while Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are looking good to finish in the top four, barring a significant late collapse coupled with a Chelsea recovery. Arsenal are likely to beat Burnley to sixth place, with the losers of that race to go into the Europa League at the second qualifying stage - which starts on July 26. Everyone from Bournemouth in 11th and below can still be relegated, but it would take something dramatic for any of the teams above Huddersfield to be pulled back in to the dogfight. Southampton, Stoke and West Brom, all at least four points adrift of safety, are in real trouble. Premier League | Who can still get what? Championship Wolves are Championship champions, 12 points clear of Cardiff, who have two games left to play. Cardiff are battling it out with Fulham and Aston Villa for the second remaining automatic play-off spot, though the Welsh side are in the best position to secure promotion. Two of those sides will go into the play-offs, joined by two more of Middlesbrough, Millwall, Derby, Brentford, Preston, Bristol City and Sheffield United, though the final four of those sides face an uphill task to sneak in. At the other end of the table, Sunderland's relegation to League One has been confirmed. Burton and Barnsley currently make up the bottom three, though Barnsley have a game in hand on Bolton, who are two points above them, just outside the relegation zone. Every side up to Reading can still technically go down. Championship | What can still happen? League One Wigan and Blackburn have sealed the two automatic promotion spots, meaning Shrewsbury will have to settle for a place in the play-offs. They will be joined by Rotherham and two more teams from the six below them. At the bottom, Bury are down, while MK Dns are as good as relegated, six points from safety and with terrible goal difference. Every team up to Doncaster in 14th could still get sucked into the relegation battle. League One | What can still happen? League Two Accrington Stanley and Luton have sealed promotion to League One. Wycombe are in pole position to secure the third and final automatic promotion slot, but the three teams beneath them are still in contention. The play-off berths will be filled by four of the six teams currently between third and eighth. Relegation from the Football League is looking perilously likely for both Chesterfield and Barnet, though Morecambe and Grimsby are still not quite safe. League Two | What can still happen?
Theo Walcott turned in a man-of-the-match showing for Everton in their 1-0 win over Newcastle at Goodison Park last night. Which got us thinking about how well those January transfer window signings have settled into their respective clubs. Which players have seen their careers take off, while whose still need a jump start? In selecting the below list of transfers, we decided to assess the players who cost £15 million pounds and more or those involved in a switch deal which, as it turns out, only applies to the heavyweight change-up between Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Here's our verdict... Theo Walcott The former Arsenal man has been employed on the right of a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 by Sam Allardyce since his arrival but it was a switch over to the left which yielded his reward against Newcastle on Monday night. Walcott drifted in from the left and cut inside onto his right foot to score the game's only goal and his third since arriving for £20m. The problem is that Walcott has only shown flashes of his brilliance as he adjusts to a new style of play under Allardyce, who has endured a testing couple of months from expectant Everton fans. Theo Walcott has scored three goals for Everton since his arrival Credit: PA Playing on the left-hand side could become a regular switch for Walcott, which would give the 29-year-old licence to come inside and get more involved in play. Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez has spoken of how "Goodison Park is not an easy place to play your football" but that Walcott is the type of player and person that can "embrace that expectation around the ground". Adapting to a new manager's methods after having Arsene Wenger's beautiful football blueprint imprinted on the brain takes time, but Walcott is showing signs of being on the right road. Verdict: Hit Lucas Moura A winger of impressive pace and dribbling agility with the flexibility to play centrally or to play out wide. A Brazilian who has the skills and tricks to excite fans but one who could also frustrate in equal measure. Unfortunately for Spurs fans they haven't been able to witness the good and not so good of their £23m signing to date. The 25-year-old has only been afforded one league and two FA Cup starts since arriving. It was always likely to be this way. Mauricio Pochettino is not one to splash the cash in January. In fact Lucas was Spurs' first winter transfer signing since Dele Alli joined back in 2015. Instead Lucas will be given the chance to ease into the ways and means of the English game - and the weather. Lucas Moura thought one of his fingers would fall off in the snow against Rochdale Credit: Reuters Lucas spoke of how his finger almost fell off when he made his Spurs debut at Wembley against Rochdale at the end of February. After a difficult spell at PSG where he was not playing and training, a steady does it approach to Lucas' time in England appears to be the best plan of action. Watch this space. Verdict: Jury's still out Andre Ayew The sight of Andre Ayew returning in a white shirt did not fill Swans' fans with overwhelming pride and joy. Given this was a player who was viewed by some supporters as using the club as a stepping stone to greater things, there was little appetite to see Swansea splash out a club-record transfer fee on a player returning with his tail between his legs after a subdued stint at West Ham. The early signs have been encouraging, though, and Ayew looks hungry to win over apathetic fans. The Ghanian has been industrious and has shown a strong desire to work for the team. While goals have proved harder to come by in his second stint - he is yet to score in eight league appearances since returning - his brother Jordan has benefitted from having his sibling at close quarters. Andre Ayew has shown the hunger for relegation fight Credit: PA Jordan Ayew has stepped up a level since Andre's 'homecoming' and has scored two league goals in the last four games to help Carlos Carvalhal’s side battle against the drop. Verdict:Hit Aymeric Laporte Despite being given the run-around by Mohamed Salah during Man City's chastening Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat, the club's record transfer signing is highly fancied to become a regular alongside Vincent Kompany in the heart of City's defence next term. The 23-year-old has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola in recent weeks to audition for the spot making 530 passes with a 83.3% tackle success rate in his six league starts. The left-footer is able to bring the ball out of defence and deliver long rangy passes and yet is able to cover ground quickly to mop up at the back. Laporte has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola to audition for regular spot Credit: AFP While Nicolas Otamendi was named in the PFA's Premier League Team of the Season, it is Laporte who has been backed by the fans to make the central defensive spot his own when they begin their title defence. Verdict: The jury's out Alexis Sanchez The Chilean has only now started to show flashes of why Manchester United were prepared to lay out £140,000-a-week to sign him and it seems unthinkable that the club are considering parting ways with the 29-year-old this summer. It's been an underwhelming arrival at Old Trafford with three goals in 14 appearances and the sight of Sanchez adopting his hands on hips and blank expression on his face during his United honeymoon hasn't gone down well with fans and pundits alike. Sanchez has scored three goals in 14 appearances for United Credit: Reuters Sanchez delivered his best showing for United in the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham at the weekend but has struggled to adapt to moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world where the focus isn't solely on him. "The change of club was something that was very abrupt, it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January. Many things have happened in my life that are difficult," Sanchez said last month. Verdict: Miss Virgil van Dijk Erase the blot made on his copybook early doors in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, the Dutchman has been a beacon of calm and composure at the heart of Liverpool's defence. A strong and vocal presence, the 26-year-old has been the steady beat to their high press game. Virgil van Dijk has been a calm figure in defence for Liverpool this season Credit: Reuters Jurgen Klopp's side have kept seven clean sheets in the 16 games Van Dijk has played in. That £75m which could have been a noose around Van Dijk's neck is already looking like a bargain. Verdict: An overwhelming hit Henrikh Mkhitaryan There was much excitement and fanfare when Mkhitaryan arrived with Sanchez heading in the opposite direction. Given how the Armenian had linked up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund it was hoped that the pair could recreate that sparkle on the hallowed Emirates turf. There have been glimpses of brilliance from Mkhitaryan but they have been all too fleeting during what has been a tricky time for Arsenal players and fans since the turn of the year. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has shown touches of brilliance Credit: Getty Images Mkhitaryan has scored one and assisted four other goals during his seven Premier League games but has tended to go missing for periods of matches in the same vein of Mesut Ozil. Verdict: The jury's still out Olivier Giroud The Frenchman has created a niche for himself carving out exceptional goals and he has already carried this into his short Chelsea career to date. While the scorpion kick against Crystal Palace during his Arsenal days will take some beating, his dance through the Southampton defence for Chelsea's first in Sunday's FA Cup final was another extraordinary goal to add to his collection. The weekend before Giroud had orchestrated Chelsea's comeback from 2-0 down against the same opponents. Oliver Giroud left Southampton's defence on the floor Credit: PA In Giroud, Chelsea have recruited all the qualities that Antonio Conte's side have lacked this season. Determination, gustiness, strength and bravery. What Conte would have wished for 11 players of this mould for much of the campaign. Then the Italian's future would not be up for endless discussion and Chelsea would be challenging for more than just a solitary Cup come the end of the season. Verdict: Hit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Goals - tick. Mocking of Spurs' Hary Kane - tick. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has cemented himself as a fans' favourite and it hasn't only been down to his fine goalscoring run since arriving on these shores. The Frenchman has struck six goals in eight Premier League starts for Arsenal and assisted another three since becoming the club's record signing from Borussia Dortmund for £57m. The 28-year-old hasn't needed a period of adjustment to life in England and has quickly jumped on some Spurs bashing at the same time. The Gabon international became the latest player to have a dig at Kane following Arsenal's win over West Ham at the weekend. This is how we do in London my Gwadaboy @lacazettealex getting twice ������������ and i would like to claim the goal from @aaronramsey ������just kidding #aubameyang #A⚡️ #pea14 #yagunnersya #coyg A post shared by Aubameyang (@aubameyang97) on Apr 22, 2018 at 9:28am PDT The only drawback of his arrival has been his ineligibility for Arsenal's Europa League campaign. Aubameyang can only sit back and watch as his team-mates fight for their only prize on offer this term. Verdict:Hit Emerson Palmieri It's hard to assess the 23-year-old given his lack of playing time since arriving at Stamford Bridge. The full-back performed well against Burnley last Thursday when drafted in for the suspended Marcos Alonso and then retained his place for the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, despite Antonio Conte raising doubts on whether he had the legs to play two games in the space of four days. The youngster held up well in the first half and faded during the second with the game and heat talking its toll. Emerson Palmieri impressed against Burnley Credit: PA Alonso's future will determine whether Emerson can establish himself as a Chelsea regular. The Spaniard has flourished under Conte and been strong both defensively and offensively. Real Madrid have been linked with the left-back and while Alonso has been coy on his summer plans, Emerson will be keenly watching developments. Verdict: The jury's still out Cenk Tosun The Turkey international arrived on Goodison and said he wanted to become an Everton legend like Duncan Ferguson. Eleven games into his spell in England and with a return of four goals, Goodison Park fans still need further ressurance of his long-term credentials. While some supporters have sympathy for the lack of service the 26-year-old is getting, others have doubted whether he has the ability to lead the line and whether Tosun will remain their No 1 striker next season. Cenk Tosun wants to become a legend like Duncan Ferguson Credit: Getty Images Everton are crying out for a worthy striker to spearhead their attack and with Wayne Rooney's days as an out-and-out number nine striker behind him and Dominic Calvert-Lewin not yet experienced enough, the responsibility has proved a weight too much to carry for Tosun as yet. Verdict:Miss Adrien Silva The midfielder's season could have been so different had his protracted move to Leicester been tied up in the summer. When Fifa ruled that Leicester were 14 seconds too late in issuing their paperwork for the Portugal international, the 29-year-old's career was effectively put on hold until January. When the £22m move was sanctioned in January, Silva headed to the Premier League without game time under his belt. Adrien Silva had to wait until January for his move to Leicester to go through Credit: Getty Images Since his availability he has struggled to hold down a regular place in Leicester's midfield as he continues to adapt to the rigours of the game. Thankfully for Silva he has won his place back in the national team so it hasn't been one to completely write off. Verdict: Miss Ross Barkley It's been a horrid year for the 24-year-old who has had to endure lengthy spells on the sidelines as he recovers from a hamstring problem which has dogged his time since joining Chelsea for £15m from Everton. Barkley's career at Chelsea has been hamstrung by injury Credit: Getty Images Barkley has only made three appearances, including one start but Chelsea were well aware they would have to nurse him back to full health following a serious injury at the start of the season and hadn't envisaged he would be part of their plans this season. Verdict: Not enough game time to assess
The January transfer window signings. Who have been the hits, misses and maybes?
Theo Walcott turned in a man-of-the-match showing for Everton in their 1-0 win over Newcastle at Goodison Park last night. Which got us thinking about how well those January transfer window signings have settled into their respective clubs. Which players have seen their careers take off, while whose still need a jump start? In selecting the below list of transfers, we decided to assess the players who cost £15 million pounds and more or those involved in a switch deal which, as it turns out, only applies to the heavyweight change-up between Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Here's our verdict... Theo Walcott The former Arsenal man has been employed on the right of a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 by Sam Allardyce since his arrival but it was a switch over to the left which yielded his reward against Newcastle on Monday night. Walcott drifted in from the left and cut inside onto his right foot to score the game's only goal and his third since arriving for £20m. The problem is that Walcott has only shown flashes of his brilliance as he adjusts to a new style of play under Allardyce, who has endured a testing couple of months from expectant Everton fans. Theo Walcott has scored three goals for Everton since his arrival Credit: PA Playing on the left-hand side could become a regular switch for Walcott, which would give the 29-year-old licence to come inside and get more involved in play. Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez has spoken of how "Goodison Park is not an easy place to play your football" but that Walcott is the type of player and person that can "embrace that expectation around the ground". Adapting to a new manager's methods after having Arsene Wenger's beautiful football blueprint imprinted on the brain takes time, but Walcott is showing signs of being on the right road. Verdict: Hit Lucas Moura A winger of impressive pace and dribbling agility with the flexibility to play centrally or to play out wide. A Brazilian who has the skills and tricks to excite fans but one who could also frustrate in equal measure. Unfortunately for Spurs fans they haven't been able to witness the good and not so good of their £23m signing to date. The 25-year-old has only been afforded one league and two FA Cup starts since arriving. It was always likely to be this way. Mauricio Pochettino is not one to splash the cash in January. In fact Lucas was Spurs' first winter transfer signing since Dele Alli joined back in 2015. Instead Lucas will be given the chance to ease into the ways and means of the English game - and the weather. Lucas Moura thought one of his fingers would fall off in the snow against Rochdale Credit: Reuters Lucas spoke of how his finger almost fell off when he made his Spurs debut at Wembley against Rochdale at the end of February. After a difficult spell at PSG where he was not playing and training, a steady does it approach to Lucas' time in England appears to be the best plan of action. Watch this space. Verdict: Jury's still out Andre Ayew The sight of Andre Ayew returning in a white shirt did not fill Swans' fans with overwhelming pride and joy. Given this was a player who was viewed by some supporters as using the club as a stepping stone to greater things, there was little appetite to see Swansea splash out a club-record transfer fee on a player returning with his tail between his legs after a subdued stint at West Ham. The early signs have been encouraging, though, and Ayew looks hungry to win over apathetic fans. The Ghanian has been industrious and has shown a strong desire to work for the team. While goals have proved harder to come by in his second stint - he is yet to score in eight league appearances since returning - his brother Jordan has benefitted from having his sibling at close quarters. Andre Ayew has shown the hunger for relegation fight Credit: PA Jordan Ayew has stepped up a level since Andre's 'homecoming' and has scored two league goals in the last four games to help Carlos Carvalhal’s side battle against the drop. Verdict:Hit Aymeric Laporte Despite being given the run-around by Mohamed Salah during Man City's chastening Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat, the club's record transfer signing is highly fancied to become a regular alongside Vincent Kompany in the heart of City's defence next term. The 23-year-old has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola in recent weeks to audition for the spot making 530 passes with a 83.3% tackle success rate in his six league starts. The left-footer is able to bring the ball out of defence and deliver long rangy passes and yet is able to cover ground quickly to mop up at the back. Laporte has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola to audition for regular spot Credit: AFP While Nicolas Otamendi was named in the PFA's Premier League Team of the Season, it is Laporte who has been backed by the fans to make the central defensive spot his own when they begin their title defence. Verdict: The jury's out Alexis Sanchez The Chilean has only now started to show flashes of why Manchester United were prepared to lay out £140,000-a-week to sign him and it seems unthinkable that the club are considering parting ways with the 29-year-old this summer. It's been an underwhelming arrival at Old Trafford with three goals in 14 appearances and the sight of Sanchez adopting his hands on hips and blank expression on his face during his United honeymoon hasn't gone down well with fans and pundits alike. Sanchez has scored three goals in 14 appearances for United Credit: Reuters Sanchez delivered his best showing for United in the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham at the weekend but has struggled to adapt to moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world where the focus isn't solely on him. "The change of club was something that was very abrupt, it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January. Many things have happened in my life that are difficult," Sanchez said last month. Verdict: Miss Virgil van Dijk Erase the blot made on his copybook early doors in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, the Dutchman has been a beacon of calm and composure at the heart of Liverpool's defence. A strong and vocal presence, the 26-year-old has been the steady beat to their high press game. Virgil van Dijk has been a calm figure in defence for Liverpool this season Credit: Reuters Jurgen Klopp's side have kept seven clean sheets in the 16 games Van Dijk has played in. That £75m which could have been a noose around Van Dijk's neck is already looking like a bargain. Verdict: An overwhelming hit Henrikh Mkhitaryan There was much excitement and fanfare when Mkhitaryan arrived with Sanchez heading in the opposite direction. Given how the Armenian had linked up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund it was hoped that the pair could recreate that sparkle on the hallowed Emirates turf. There have been glimpses of brilliance from Mkhitaryan but they have been all too fleeting during what has been a tricky time for Arsenal players and fans since the turn of the year. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has shown touches of brilliance Credit: Getty Images Mkhitaryan has scored one and assisted four other goals during his seven Premier League games but has tended to go missing for periods of matches in the same vein of Mesut Ozil. Verdict: The jury's still out Olivier Giroud The Frenchman has created a niche for himself carving out exceptional goals and he has already carried this into his short Chelsea career to date. While the scorpion kick against Crystal Palace during his Arsenal days will take some beating, his dance through the Southampton defence for Chelsea's first in Sunday's FA Cup final was another extraordinary goal to add to his collection. The weekend before Giroud had orchestrated Chelsea's comeback from 2-0 down against the same opponents. Oliver Giroud left Southampton's defence on the floor Credit: PA In Giroud, Chelsea have recruited all the qualities that Antonio Conte's side have lacked this season. Determination, gustiness, strength and bravery. What Conte would have wished for 11 players of this mould for much of the campaign. Then the Italian's future would not be up for endless discussion and Chelsea would be challenging for more than just a solitary Cup come the end of the season. Verdict: Hit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Goals - tick. Mocking of Spurs' Hary Kane - tick. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has cemented himself as a fans' favourite and it hasn't only been down to his fine goalscoring run since arriving on these shores. The Frenchman has struck six goals in eight Premier League starts for Arsenal and assisted another three since becoming the club's record signing from Borussia Dortmund for £57m. The 28-year-old hasn't needed a period of adjustment to life in England and has quickly jumped on some Spurs bashing at the same time. The Gabon international became the latest player to have a dig at Kane following Arsenal's win over West Ham at the weekend. This is how we do in London my Gwadaboy @lacazettealex getting twice ������������ and i would like to claim the goal from @aaronramsey ������just kidding #aubameyang #A⚡️ #pea14 #yagunnersya #coyg A post shared by Aubameyang (@aubameyang97) on Apr 22, 2018 at 9:28am PDT The only drawback of his arrival has been his ineligibility for Arsenal's Europa League campaign. Aubameyang can only sit back and watch as his team-mates fight for their only prize on offer this term. Verdict:Hit Emerson Palmieri It's hard to assess the 23-year-old given his lack of playing time since arriving at Stamford Bridge. The full-back performed well against Burnley last Thursday when drafted in for the suspended Marcos Alonso and then retained his place for the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, despite Antonio Conte raising doubts on whether he had the legs to play two games in the space of four days. The youngster held up well in the first half and faded during the second with the game and heat talking its toll. Emerson Palmieri impressed against Burnley Credit: PA Alonso's future will determine whether Emerson can establish himself as a Chelsea regular. The Spaniard has flourished under Conte and been strong both defensively and offensively. Real Madrid have been linked with the left-back and while Alonso has been coy on his summer plans, Emerson will be keenly watching developments. Verdict: The jury's still out Cenk Tosun The Turkey international arrived on Goodison and said he wanted to become an Everton legend like Duncan Ferguson. Eleven games into his spell in England and with a return of four goals, Goodison Park fans still need further ressurance of his long-term credentials. While some supporters have sympathy for the lack of service the 26-year-old is getting, others have doubted whether he has the ability to lead the line and whether Tosun will remain their No 1 striker next season. Cenk Tosun wants to become a legend like Duncan Ferguson Credit: Getty Images Everton are crying out for a worthy striker to spearhead their attack and with Wayne Rooney's days as an out-and-out number nine striker behind him and Dominic Calvert-Lewin not yet experienced enough, the responsibility has proved a weight too much to carry for Tosun as yet. Verdict:Miss Adrien Silva The midfielder's season could have been so different had his protracted move to Leicester been tied up in the summer. When Fifa ruled that Leicester were 14 seconds too late in issuing their paperwork for the Portugal international, the 29-year-old's career was effectively put on hold until January. When the £22m move was sanctioned in January, Silva headed to the Premier League without game time under his belt. Adrien Silva had to wait until January for his move to Leicester to go through Credit: Getty Images Since his availability he has struggled to hold down a regular place in Leicester's midfield as he continues to adapt to the rigours of the game. Thankfully for Silva he has won his place back in the national team so it hasn't been one to completely write off. Verdict: Miss Ross Barkley It's been a horrid year for the 24-year-old who has had to endure lengthy spells on the sidelines as he recovers from a hamstring problem which has dogged his time since joining Chelsea for £15m from Everton. Barkley's career at Chelsea has been hamstrung by injury Credit: Getty Images Barkley has only made three appearances, including one start but Chelsea were well aware they would have to nurse him back to full health following a serious injury at the start of the season and hadn't envisaged he would be part of their plans this season. Verdict: Not enough game time to assess
Theo Walcott turned in a man-of-the-match showing for Everton in their 1-0 win over Newcastle at Goodison Park last night. Which got us thinking about how well those January transfer window signings have settled into their respective clubs. Which players have seen their careers take off, while whose still need a jump start? In selecting the below list of transfers, we decided to assess the players who cost £15 million pounds and more or those involved in a switch deal which, as it turns out, only applies to the heavyweight change-up between Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Here's our verdict... Theo Walcott The former Arsenal man has been employed on the right of a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 by Sam Allardyce since his arrival but it was a switch over to the left which yielded his reward against Newcastle on Monday night. Walcott drifted in from the left and cut inside onto his right foot to score the game's only goal and his third since arriving for £20m. The problem is that Walcott has only shown flashes of his brilliance as he adjusts to a new style of play under Allardyce, who has endured a testing couple of months from expectant Everton fans. Theo Walcott has scored three goals for Everton since his arrival Credit: PA Playing on the left-hand side could become a regular switch for Walcott, which would give the 29-year-old licence to come inside and get more involved in play. Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez has spoken of how "Goodison Park is not an easy place to play your football" but that Walcott is the type of player and person that can "embrace that expectation around the ground". Adapting to a new manager's methods after having Arsene Wenger's beautiful football blueprint imprinted on the brain takes time, but Walcott is showing signs of being on the right road. Verdict: Hit Lucas Moura A winger of impressive pace and dribbling agility with the flexibility to play centrally or to play out wide. A Brazilian who has the skills and tricks to excite fans but one who could also frustrate in equal measure. Unfortunately for Spurs fans they haven't been able to witness the good and not so good of their £23m signing to date. The 25-year-old has only been afforded one league and two FA Cup starts since arriving. It was always likely to be this way. Mauricio Pochettino is not one to splash the cash in January. In fact Lucas was Spurs' first winter transfer signing since Dele Alli joined back in 2015. Instead Lucas will be given the chance to ease into the ways and means of the English game - and the weather. Lucas Moura thought one of his fingers would fall off in the snow against Rochdale Credit: Reuters Lucas spoke of how his finger almost fell off when he made his Spurs debut at Wembley against Rochdale at the end of February. After a difficult spell at PSG where he was not playing and training, a steady does it approach to Lucas' time in England appears to be the best plan of action. Watch this space. Verdict: Jury's still out Andre Ayew The sight of Andre Ayew returning in a white shirt did not fill Swans' fans with overwhelming pride and joy. Given this was a player who was viewed by some supporters as using the club as a stepping stone to greater things, there was little appetite to see Swansea splash out a club-record transfer fee on a player returning with his tail between his legs after a subdued stint at West Ham. The early signs have been encouraging, though, and Ayew looks hungry to win over apathetic fans. The Ghanian has been industrious and has shown a strong desire to work for the team. While goals have proved harder to come by in his second stint - he is yet to score in eight league appearances since returning - his brother Jordan has benefitted from having his sibling at close quarters. Andre Ayew has shown the hunger for relegation fight Credit: PA Jordan Ayew has stepped up a level since Andre's 'homecoming' and has scored two league goals in the last four games to help Carlos Carvalhal’s side battle against the drop. Verdict:Hit Aymeric Laporte Despite being given the run-around by Mohamed Salah during Man City's chastening Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat, the club's record transfer signing is highly fancied to become a regular alongside Vincent Kompany in the heart of City's defence next term. The 23-year-old has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola in recent weeks to audition for the spot making 530 passes with a 83.3% tackle success rate in his six league starts. The left-footer is able to bring the ball out of defence and deliver long rangy passes and yet is able to cover ground quickly to mop up at the back. Laporte has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola to audition for regular spot Credit: AFP While Nicolas Otamendi was named in the PFA's Premier League Team of the Season, it is Laporte who has been backed by the fans to make the central defensive spot his own when they begin their title defence. Verdict: The jury's out Alexis Sanchez The Chilean has only now started to show flashes of why Manchester United were prepared to lay out £140,000-a-week to sign him and it seems unthinkable that the club are considering parting ways with the 29-year-old this summer. It's been an underwhelming arrival at Old Trafford with three goals in 14 appearances and the sight of Sanchez adopting his hands on hips and blank expression on his face during his United honeymoon hasn't gone down well with fans and pundits alike. Sanchez has scored three goals in 14 appearances for United Credit: Reuters Sanchez delivered his best showing for United in the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham at the weekend but has struggled to adapt to moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world where the focus isn't solely on him. "The change of club was something that was very abrupt, it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January. Many things have happened in my life that are difficult," Sanchez said last month. Verdict: Miss Virgil van Dijk Erase the blot made on his copybook early doors in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, the Dutchman has been a beacon of calm and composure at the heart of Liverpool's defence. A strong and vocal presence, the 26-year-old has been the steady beat to their high press game. Virgil van Dijk has been a calm figure in defence for Liverpool this season Credit: Reuters Jurgen Klopp's side have kept seven clean sheets in the 16 games Van Dijk has played in. That £75m which could have been a noose around Van Dijk's neck is already looking like a bargain. Verdict: An overwhelming hit Henrikh Mkhitaryan There was much excitement and fanfare when Mkhitaryan arrived with Sanchez heading in the opposite direction. Given how the Armenian had linked up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund it was hoped that the pair could recreate that sparkle on the hallowed Emirates turf. There have been glimpses of brilliance from Mkhitaryan but they have been all too fleeting during what has been a tricky time for Arsenal players and fans since the turn of the year. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has shown touches of brilliance Credit: Getty Images Mkhitaryan has scored one and assisted four other goals during his seven Premier League games but has tended to go missing for periods of matches in the same vein of Mesut Ozil. Verdict: The jury's still out Olivier Giroud The Frenchman has created a niche for himself carving out exceptional goals and he has already carried this into his short Chelsea career to date. While the scorpion kick against Crystal Palace during his Arsenal days will take some beating, his dance through the Southampton defence for Chelsea's first in Sunday's FA Cup final was another extraordinary goal to add to his collection. The weekend before Giroud had orchestrated Chelsea's comeback from 2-0 down against the same opponents. Oliver Giroud left Southampton's defence on the floor Credit: PA In Giroud, Chelsea have recruited all the qualities that Antonio Conte's side have lacked this season. Determination, gustiness, strength and bravery. What Conte would have wished for 11 players of this mould for much of the campaign. Then the Italian's future would not be up for endless discussion and Chelsea would be challenging for more than just a solitary Cup come the end of the season. Verdict: Hit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Goals - tick. Mocking of Spurs' Hary Kane - tick. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has cemented himself as a fans' favourite and it hasn't only been down to his fine goalscoring run since arriving on these shores. The Frenchman has struck six goals in eight Premier League starts for Arsenal and assisted another three since becoming the club's record signing from Borussia Dortmund for £57m. The 28-year-old hasn't needed a period of adjustment to life in England and has quickly jumped on some Spurs bashing at the same time. The Gabon international became the latest player to have a dig at Kane following Arsenal's win over West Ham at the weekend. This is how we do in London my Gwadaboy @lacazettealex getting twice ������������ and i would like to claim the goal from @aaronramsey ������just kidding #aubameyang #A⚡️ #pea14 #yagunnersya #coyg A post shared by Aubameyang (@aubameyang97) on Apr 22, 2018 at 9:28am PDT The only drawback of his arrival has been his ineligibility for Arsenal's Europa League campaign. Aubameyang can only sit back and watch as his team-mates fight for their only prize on offer this term. Verdict:Hit Emerson Palmieri It's hard to assess the 23-year-old given his lack of playing time since arriving at Stamford Bridge. The full-back performed well against Burnley last Thursday when drafted in for the suspended Marcos Alonso and then retained his place for the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, despite Antonio Conte raising doubts on whether he had the legs to play two games in the space of four days. The youngster held up well in the first half and faded during the second with the game and heat talking its toll. Emerson Palmieri impressed against Burnley Credit: PA Alonso's future will determine whether Emerson can establish himself as a Chelsea regular. The Spaniard has flourished under Conte and been strong both defensively and offensively. Real Madrid have been linked with the left-back and while Alonso has been coy on his summer plans, Emerson will be keenly watching developments. Verdict: The jury's still out Cenk Tosun The Turkey international arrived on Goodison and said he wanted to become an Everton legend like Duncan Ferguson. Eleven games into his spell in England and with a return of four goals, Goodison Park fans still need further ressurance of his long-term credentials. While some supporters have sympathy for the lack of service the 26-year-old is getting, others have doubted whether he has the ability to lead the line and whether Tosun will remain their No 1 striker next season. Cenk Tosun wants to become a legend like Duncan Ferguson Credit: Getty Images Everton are crying out for a worthy striker to spearhead their attack and with Wayne Rooney's days as an out-and-out number nine striker behind him and Dominic Calvert-Lewin not yet experienced enough, the responsibility has proved a weight too much to carry for Tosun as yet. Verdict:Miss Adrien Silva The midfielder's season could have been so different had his protracted move to Leicester been tied up in the summer. When Fifa ruled that Leicester were 14 seconds too late in issuing their paperwork for the Portugal international, the 29-year-old's career was effectively put on hold until January. When the £22m move was sanctioned in January, Silva headed to the Premier League without game time under his belt. Adrien Silva had to wait until January for his move to Leicester to go through Credit: Getty Images Since his availability he has struggled to hold down a regular place in Leicester's midfield as he continues to adapt to the rigours of the game. Thankfully for Silva he has won his place back in the national team so it hasn't been one to completely write off. Verdict: Miss Ross Barkley It's been a horrid year for the 24-year-old who has had to endure lengthy spells on the sidelines as he recovers from a hamstring problem which has dogged his time since joining Chelsea for £15m from Everton. Barkley's career at Chelsea has been hamstrung by injury Credit: Getty Images Barkley has only made three appearances, including one start but Chelsea were well aware they would have to nurse him back to full health following a serious injury at the start of the season and hadn't envisaged he would be part of their plans this season. Verdict: Not enough game time to assess
The January transfer window signings. Who have been the hits, misses and maybes?
Theo Walcott turned in a man-of-the-match showing for Everton in their 1-0 win over Newcastle at Goodison Park last night. Which got us thinking about how well those January transfer window signings have settled into their respective clubs. Which players have seen their careers take off, while whose still need a jump start? In selecting the below list of transfers, we decided to assess the players who cost £15 million pounds and more or those involved in a switch deal which, as it turns out, only applies to the heavyweight change-up between Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Here's our verdict... Theo Walcott The former Arsenal man has been employed on the right of a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 by Sam Allardyce since his arrival but it was a switch over to the left which yielded his reward against Newcastle on Monday night. Walcott drifted in from the left and cut inside onto his right foot to score the game's only goal and his third since arriving for £20m. The problem is that Walcott has only shown flashes of his brilliance as he adjusts to a new style of play under Allardyce, who has endured a testing couple of months from expectant Everton fans. Theo Walcott has scored three goals for Everton since his arrival Credit: PA Playing on the left-hand side could become a regular switch for Walcott, which would give the 29-year-old licence to come inside and get more involved in play. Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez has spoken of how "Goodison Park is not an easy place to play your football" but that Walcott is the type of player and person that can "embrace that expectation around the ground". Adapting to a new manager's methods after having Arsene Wenger's beautiful football blueprint imprinted on the brain takes time, but Walcott is showing signs of being on the right road. Verdict: Hit Lucas Moura A winger of impressive pace and dribbling agility with the flexibility to play centrally or to play out wide. A Brazilian who has the skills and tricks to excite fans but one who could also frustrate in equal measure. Unfortunately for Spurs fans they haven't been able to witness the good and not so good of their £23m signing to date. The 25-year-old has only been afforded one league and two FA Cup starts since arriving. It was always likely to be this way. Mauricio Pochettino is not one to splash the cash in January. In fact Lucas was Spurs' first winter transfer signing since Dele Alli joined back in 2015. Instead Lucas will be given the chance to ease into the ways and means of the English game - and the weather. Lucas Moura thought one of his fingers would fall off in the snow against Rochdale Credit: Reuters Lucas spoke of how his finger almost fell off when he made his Spurs debut at Wembley against Rochdale at the end of February. After a difficult spell at PSG where he was not playing and training, a steady does it approach to Lucas' time in England appears to be the best plan of action. Watch this space. Verdict: Jury's still out Andre Ayew The sight of Andre Ayew returning in a white shirt did not fill Swans' fans with overwhelming pride and joy. Given this was a player who was viewed by some supporters as using the club as a stepping stone to greater things, there was little appetite to see Swansea splash out a club-record transfer fee on a player returning with his tail between his legs after a subdued stint at West Ham. The early signs have been encouraging, though, and Ayew looks hungry to win over apathetic fans. The Ghanian has been industrious and has shown a strong desire to work for the team. While goals have proved harder to come by in his second stint - he is yet to score in eight league appearances since returning - his brother Jordan has benefitted from having his sibling at close quarters. Andre Ayew has shown the hunger for relegation fight Credit: PA Jordan Ayew has stepped up a level since Andre's 'homecoming' and has scored two league goals in the last four games to help Carlos Carvalhal’s side battle against the drop. Verdict:Hit Aymeric Laporte Despite being given the run-around by Mohamed Salah during Man City's chastening Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat, the club's record transfer signing is highly fancied to become a regular alongside Vincent Kompany in the heart of City's defence next term. The 23-year-old has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola in recent weeks to audition for the spot making 530 passes with a 83.3% tackle success rate in his six league starts. The left-footer is able to bring the ball out of defence and deliver long rangy passes and yet is able to cover ground quickly to mop up at the back. Laporte has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola to audition for regular spot Credit: AFP While Nicolas Otamendi was named in the PFA's Premier League Team of the Season, it is Laporte who has been backed by the fans to make the central defensive spot his own when they begin their title defence. Verdict: The jury's out Alexis Sanchez The Chilean has only now started to show flashes of why Manchester United were prepared to lay out £140,000-a-week to sign him and it seems unthinkable that the club are considering parting ways with the 29-year-old this summer. It's been an underwhelming arrival at Old Trafford with three goals in 14 appearances and the sight of Sanchez adopting his hands on hips and blank expression on his face during his United honeymoon hasn't gone down well with fans and pundits alike. Sanchez has scored three goals in 14 appearances for United Credit: Reuters Sanchez delivered his best showing for United in the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham at the weekend but has struggled to adapt to moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world where the focus isn't solely on him. "The change of club was something that was very abrupt, it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January. Many things have happened in my life that are difficult," Sanchez said last month. Verdict: Miss Virgil van Dijk Erase the blot made on his copybook early doors in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, the Dutchman has been a beacon of calm and composure at the heart of Liverpool's defence. A strong and vocal presence, the 26-year-old has been the steady beat to their high press game. Virgil van Dijk has been a calm figure in defence for Liverpool this season Credit: Reuters Jurgen Klopp's side have kept seven clean sheets in the 16 games Van Dijk has played in. That £75m which could have been a noose around Van Dijk's neck is already looking like a bargain. Verdict: An overwhelming hit Henrikh Mkhitaryan There was much excitement and fanfare when Mkhitaryan arrived with Sanchez heading in the opposite direction. Given how the Armenian had linked up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund it was hoped that the pair could recreate that sparkle on the hallowed Emirates turf. There have been glimpses of brilliance from Mkhitaryan but they have been all too fleeting during what has been a tricky time for Arsenal players and fans since the turn of the year. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has shown touches of brilliance Credit: Getty Images Mkhitaryan has scored one and assisted four other goals during his seven Premier League games but has tended to go missing for periods of matches in the same vein of Mesut Ozil. Verdict: The jury's still out Olivier Giroud The Frenchman has created a niche for himself carving out exceptional goals and he has already carried this into his short Chelsea career to date. While the scorpion kick against Crystal Palace during his Arsenal days will take some beating, his dance through the Southampton defence for Chelsea's first in Sunday's FA Cup final was another extraordinary goal to add to his collection. The weekend before Giroud had orchestrated Chelsea's comeback from 2-0 down against the same opponents. Oliver Giroud left Southampton's defence on the floor Credit: PA In Giroud, Chelsea have recruited all the qualities that Antonio Conte's side have lacked this season. Determination, gustiness, strength and bravery. What Conte would have wished for 11 players of this mould for much of the campaign. Then the Italian's future would not be up for endless discussion and Chelsea would be challenging for more than just a solitary Cup come the end of the season. Verdict: Hit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Goals - tick. Mocking of Spurs' Hary Kane - tick. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has cemented himself as a fans' favourite and it hasn't only been down to his fine goalscoring run since arriving on these shores. The Frenchman has struck six goals in eight Premier League starts for Arsenal and assisted another three since becoming the club's record signing from Borussia Dortmund for £57m. The 28-year-old hasn't needed a period of adjustment to life in England and has quickly jumped on some Spurs bashing at the same time. The Gabon international became the latest player to have a dig at Kane following Arsenal's win over West Ham at the weekend. This is how we do in London my Gwadaboy @lacazettealex getting twice ������������ and i would like to claim the goal from @aaronramsey ������just kidding #aubameyang #A⚡️ #pea14 #yagunnersya #coyg A post shared by Aubameyang (@aubameyang97) on Apr 22, 2018 at 9:28am PDT The only drawback of his arrival has been his ineligibility for Arsenal's Europa League campaign. Aubameyang can only sit back and watch as his team-mates fight for their only prize on offer this term. Verdict:Hit Emerson Palmieri It's hard to assess the 23-year-old given his lack of playing time since arriving at Stamford Bridge. The full-back performed well against Burnley last Thursday when drafted in for the suspended Marcos Alonso and then retained his place for the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, despite Antonio Conte raising doubts on whether he had the legs to play two games in the space of four days. The youngster held up well in the first half and faded during the second with the game and heat talking its toll. Emerson Palmieri impressed against Burnley Credit: PA Alonso's future will determine whether Emerson can establish himself as a Chelsea regular. The Spaniard has flourished under Conte and been strong both defensively and offensively. Real Madrid have been linked with the left-back and while Alonso has been coy on his summer plans, Emerson will be keenly watching developments. Verdict: The jury's still out Cenk Tosun The Turkey international arrived on Goodison and said he wanted to become an Everton legend like Duncan Ferguson. Eleven games into his spell in England and with a return of four goals, Goodison Park fans still need further ressurance of his long-term credentials. While some supporters have sympathy for the lack of service the 26-year-old is getting, others have doubted whether he has the ability to lead the line and whether Tosun will remain their No 1 striker next season. Cenk Tosun wants to become a legend like Duncan Ferguson Credit: Getty Images Everton are crying out for a worthy striker to spearhead their attack and with Wayne Rooney's days as an out-and-out number nine striker behind him and Dominic Calvert-Lewin not yet experienced enough, the responsibility has proved a weight too much to carry for Tosun as yet. Verdict:Miss Adrien Silva The midfielder's season could have been so different had his protracted move to Leicester been tied up in the summer. When Fifa ruled that Leicester were 14 seconds too late in issuing their paperwork for the Portugal international, the 29-year-old's career was effectively put on hold until January. When the £22m move was sanctioned in January, Silva headed to the Premier League without game time under his belt. Adrien Silva had to wait until January for his move to Leicester to go through Credit: Getty Images Since his availability he has struggled to hold down a regular place in Leicester's midfield as he continues to adapt to the rigours of the game. Thankfully for Silva he has won his place back in the national team so it hasn't been one to completely write off. Verdict: Miss Ross Barkley It's been a horrid year for the 24-year-old who has had to endure lengthy spells on the sidelines as he recovers from a hamstring problem which has dogged his time since joining Chelsea for £15m from Everton. Barkley's career at Chelsea has been hamstrung by injury Credit: Getty Images Barkley has only made three appearances, including one start but Chelsea were well aware they would have to nurse him back to full health following a serious injury at the start of the season and hadn't envisaged he would be part of their plans this season. Verdict: Not enough game time to assess
Theo Walcott turned in a man-of-the-match showing for Everton in their 1-0 win over Newcastle at Goodison Park last night. Which got us thinking about how well those January transfer window signings have settled into their respective clubs. Which players have seen their careers take off, while whose still need a jump start? In selecting the below list of transfers, we decided to assess the players who cost £15 million pounds and more or those involved in a switch deal which, as it turns out, only applies to the heavyweight change-up between Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Here's our verdict... Theo Walcott The former Arsenal man has been employed on the right of a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 by Sam Allardyce since his arrival but it was a switch over to the left which yielded his reward against Newcastle on Monday night. Walcott drifted in from the left and cut inside onto his right foot to score the game's only goal and his third since arriving for £20m. The problem is that Walcott has only shown flashes of his brilliance as he adjusts to a new style of play under Allardyce, who has endured a testing couple of months from expectant Everton fans. Theo Walcott has scored three goals for Everton since his arrival Credit: PA Playing on the left-hand side could become a regular switch for Walcott, which would give the 29-year-old licence to come inside and get more involved in play. Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez has spoken of how "Goodison Park is not an easy place to play your football" but that Walcott is the type of player and person that can "embrace that expectation around the ground". Adapting to a new manager's methods after having Arsene Wenger's beautiful football blueprint imprinted on the brain takes time, but Walcott is showing signs of being on the right road. Verdict: Hit Lucas Moura A winger of impressive pace and dribbling agility with the flexibility to play centrally or to play out wide. A Brazilian who has the skills and tricks to excite fans but one who could also frustrate in equal measure. Unfortunately for Spurs fans they haven't been able to witness the good and not so good of their £23m signing to date. The 25-year-old has only been afforded one league and two FA Cup starts since arriving. It was always likely to be this way. Mauricio Pochettino is not one to splash the cash in January. In fact Lucas was Spurs' first winter transfer signing since Dele Alli joined back in 2015. Instead Lucas will be given the chance to ease into the ways and means of the English game - and the weather. Lucas Moura thought one of his fingers would fall off in the snow against Rochdale Credit: Reuters Lucas spoke of how his finger almost fell off when he made his Spurs debut at Wembley against Rochdale at the end of February. After a difficult spell at PSG where he was not playing and training, a steady does it approach to Lucas' time in England appears to be the best plan of action. Watch this space. Verdict: Jury's still out Andre Ayew The sight of Andre Ayew returning in a white shirt did not fill Swans' fans with overwhelming pride and joy. Given this was a player who was viewed by some supporters as using the club as a stepping stone to greater things, there was little appetite to see Swansea splash out a club-record transfer fee on a player returning with his tail between his legs after a subdued stint at West Ham. The early signs have been encouraging, though, and Ayew looks hungry to win over apathetic fans. The Ghanian has been industrious and has shown a strong desire to work for the team. While goals have proved harder to come by in his second stint - he is yet to score in eight league appearances since returning - his brother Jordan has benefitted from having his sibling at close quarters. Andre Ayew has shown the hunger for relegation fight Credit: PA Jordan Ayew has stepped up a level since Andre's 'homecoming' and has scored two league goals in the last four games to help Carlos Carvalhal’s side battle against the drop. Verdict:Hit Aymeric Laporte Despite being given the run-around by Mohamed Salah during Man City's chastening Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat, the club's record transfer signing is highly fancied to become a regular alongside Vincent Kompany in the heart of City's defence next term. The 23-year-old has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola in recent weeks to audition for the spot making 530 passes with a 83.3% tackle success rate in his six league starts. The left-footer is able to bring the ball out of defence and deliver long rangy passes and yet is able to cover ground quickly to mop up at the back. Laporte has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola to audition for regular spot Credit: AFP While Nicolas Otamendi was named in the PFA's Premier League Team of the Season, it is Laporte who has been backed by the fans to make the central defensive spot his own when they begin their title defence. Verdict: The jury's out Alexis Sanchez The Chilean has only now started to show flashes of why Manchester United were prepared to lay out £140,000-a-week to sign him and it seems unthinkable that the club are considering parting ways with the 29-year-old this summer. It's been an underwhelming arrival at Old Trafford with three goals in 14 appearances and the sight of Sanchez adopting his hands on hips and blank expression on his face during his United honeymoon hasn't gone down well with fans and pundits alike. Sanchez has scored three goals in 14 appearances for United Credit: Reuters Sanchez delivered his best showing for United in the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham at the weekend but has struggled to adapt to moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world where the focus isn't solely on him. "The change of club was something that was very abrupt, it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January. Many things have happened in my life that are difficult," Sanchez said last month. Verdict: Miss Virgil van Dijk Erase the blot made on his copybook early doors in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, the Dutchman has been a beacon of calm and composure at the heart of Liverpool's defence. A strong and vocal presence, the 26-year-old has been the steady beat to their high press game. Virgil van Dijk has been a calm figure in defence for Liverpool this season Credit: Reuters Jurgen Klopp's side have kept seven clean sheets in the 16 games Van Dijk has played in. That £75m which could have been a noose around Van Dijk's neck is already looking like a bargain. Verdict: An overwhelming hit Henrikh Mkhitaryan There was much excitement and fanfare when Mkhitaryan arrived with Sanchez heading in the opposite direction. Given how the Armenian had linked up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund it was hoped that the pair could recreate that sparkle on the hallowed Emirates turf. There have been glimpses of brilliance from Mkhitaryan but they have been all too fleeting during what has been a tricky time for Arsenal players and fans since the turn of the year. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has shown touches of brilliance Credit: Getty Images Mkhitaryan has scored one and assisted four other goals during his seven Premier League games but has tended to go missing for periods of matches in the same vein of Mesut Ozil. Verdict: The jury's still out Olivier Giroud The Frenchman has created a niche for himself carving out exceptional goals and he has already carried this into his short Chelsea career to date. While the scorpion kick against Crystal Palace during his Arsenal days will take some beating, his dance through the Southampton defence for Chelsea's first in Sunday's FA Cup final was another extraordinary goal to add to his collection. The weekend before Giroud had orchestrated Chelsea's comeback from 2-0 down against the same opponents. Oliver Giroud left Southampton's defence on the floor Credit: PA In Giroud, Chelsea have recruited all the qualities that Antonio Conte's side have lacked this season. Determination, gustiness, strength and bravery. What Conte would have wished for 11 players of this mould for much of the campaign. Then the Italian's future would not be up for endless discussion and Chelsea would be challenging for more than just a solitary Cup come the end of the season. Verdict: Hit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Goals - tick. Mocking of Spurs' Hary Kane - tick. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has cemented himself as a fans' favourite and it hasn't only been down to his fine goalscoring run since arriving on these shores. The Frenchman has struck six goals in eight Premier League starts for Arsenal and assisted another three since becoming the club's record signing from Borussia Dortmund for £57m. The 28-year-old hasn't needed a period of adjustment to life in England and has quickly jumped on some Spurs bashing at the same time. The Gabon international became the latest player to have a dig at Kane following Arsenal's win over West Ham at the weekend. This is how we do in London my Gwadaboy @lacazettealex getting twice ������������ and i would like to claim the goal from @aaronramsey ������just kidding #aubameyang #A⚡️ #pea14 #yagunnersya #coyg A post shared by Aubameyang (@aubameyang97) on Apr 22, 2018 at 9:28am PDT The only drawback of his arrival has been his ineligibility for Arsenal's Europa League campaign. Aubameyang can only sit back and watch as his team-mates fight for their only prize on offer this term. Verdict:Hit Emerson Palmieri It's hard to assess the 23-year-old given his lack of playing time since arriving at Stamford Bridge. The full-back performed well against Burnley last Thursday when drafted in for the suspended Marcos Alonso and then retained his place for the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, despite Antonio Conte raising doubts on whether he had the legs to play two games in the space of four days. The youngster held up well in the first half and faded during the second with the game and heat talking its toll. Emerson Palmieri impressed against Burnley Credit: PA Alonso's future will determine whether Emerson can establish himself as a Chelsea regular. The Spaniard has flourished under Conte and been strong both defensively and offensively. Real Madrid have been linked with the left-back and while Alonso has been coy on his summer plans, Emerson will be keenly watching developments. Verdict: The jury's still out Cenk Tosun The Turkey international arrived on Goodison and said he wanted to become an Everton legend like Duncan Ferguson. Eleven games into his spell in England and with a return of four goals, Goodison Park fans still need further ressurance of his long-term credentials. While some supporters have sympathy for the lack of service the 26-year-old is getting, others have doubted whether he has the ability to lead the line and whether Tosun will remain their No 1 striker next season. Cenk Tosun wants to become a legend like Duncan Ferguson Credit: Getty Images Everton are crying out for a worthy striker to spearhead their attack and with Wayne Rooney's days as an out-and-out number nine striker behind him and Dominic Calvert-Lewin not yet experienced enough, the responsibility has proved a weight too much to carry for Tosun as yet. Verdict:Miss Adrien Silva The midfielder's season could have been so different had his protracted move to Leicester been tied up in the summer. When Fifa ruled that Leicester were 14 seconds too late in issuing their paperwork for the Portugal international, the 29-year-old's career was effectively put on hold until January. When the £22m move was sanctioned in January, Silva headed to the Premier League without game time under his belt. Adrien Silva had to wait until January for his move to Leicester to go through Credit: Getty Images Since his availability he has struggled to hold down a regular place in Leicester's midfield as he continues to adapt to the rigours of the game. Thankfully for Silva he has won his place back in the national team so it hasn't been one to completely write off. Verdict: Miss Ross Barkley It's been a horrid year for the 24-year-old who has had to endure lengthy spells on the sidelines as he recovers from a hamstring problem which has dogged his time since joining Chelsea for £15m from Everton. Barkley's career at Chelsea has been hamstrung by injury Credit: Getty Images Barkley has only made three appearances, including one start but Chelsea were well aware they would have to nurse him back to full health following a serious injury at the start of the season and hadn't envisaged he would be part of their plans this season. Verdict: Not enough game time to assess
The January transfer window signings. Who have been the hits, misses and maybes?
Theo Walcott turned in a man-of-the-match showing for Everton in their 1-0 win over Newcastle at Goodison Park last night. Which got us thinking about how well those January transfer window signings have settled into their respective clubs. Which players have seen their careers take off, while whose still need a jump start? In selecting the below list of transfers, we decided to assess the players who cost £15 million pounds and more or those involved in a switch deal which, as it turns out, only applies to the heavyweight change-up between Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Here's our verdict... Theo Walcott The former Arsenal man has been employed on the right of a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 by Sam Allardyce since his arrival but it was a switch over to the left which yielded his reward against Newcastle on Monday night. Walcott drifted in from the left and cut inside onto his right foot to score the game's only goal and his third since arriving for £20m. The problem is that Walcott has only shown flashes of his brilliance as he adjusts to a new style of play under Allardyce, who has endured a testing couple of months from expectant Everton fans. Theo Walcott has scored three goals for Everton since his arrival Credit: PA Playing on the left-hand side could become a regular switch for Walcott, which would give the 29-year-old licence to come inside and get more involved in play. Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez has spoken of how "Goodison Park is not an easy place to play your football" but that Walcott is the type of player and person that can "embrace that expectation around the ground". Adapting to a new manager's methods after having Arsene Wenger's beautiful football blueprint imprinted on the brain takes time, but Walcott is showing signs of being on the right road. Verdict: Hit Lucas Moura A winger of impressive pace and dribbling agility with the flexibility to play centrally or to play out wide. A Brazilian who has the skills and tricks to excite fans but one who could also frustrate in equal measure. Unfortunately for Spurs fans they haven't been able to witness the good and not so good of their £23m signing to date. The 25-year-old has only been afforded one league and two FA Cup starts since arriving. It was always likely to be this way. Mauricio Pochettino is not one to splash the cash in January. In fact Lucas was Spurs' first winter transfer signing since Dele Alli joined back in 2015. Instead Lucas will be given the chance to ease into the ways and means of the English game - and the weather. Lucas Moura thought one of his fingers would fall off in the snow against Rochdale Credit: Reuters Lucas spoke of how his finger almost fell off when he made his Spurs debut at Wembley against Rochdale at the end of February. After a difficult spell at PSG where he was not playing and training, a steady does it approach to Lucas' time in England appears to be the best plan of action. Watch this space. Verdict: Jury's still out Andre Ayew The sight of Andre Ayew returning in a white shirt did not fill Swans' fans with overwhelming pride and joy. Given this was a player who was viewed by some supporters as using the club as a stepping stone to greater things, there was little appetite to see Swansea splash out a club-record transfer fee on a player returning with his tail between his legs after a subdued stint at West Ham. The early signs have been encouraging, though, and Ayew looks hungry to win over apathetic fans. The Ghanian has been industrious and has shown a strong desire to work for the team. While goals have proved harder to come by in his second stint - he is yet to score in eight league appearances since returning - his brother Jordan has benefitted from having his sibling at close quarters. Andre Ayew has shown the hunger for relegation fight Credit: PA Jordan Ayew has stepped up a level since Andre's 'homecoming' and has scored two league goals in the last four games to help Carlos Carvalhal’s side battle against the drop. Verdict:Hit Aymeric Laporte Despite being given the run-around by Mohamed Salah during Man City's chastening Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat, the club's record transfer signing is highly fancied to become a regular alongside Vincent Kompany in the heart of City's defence next term. The 23-year-old has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola in recent weeks to audition for the spot making 530 passes with a 83.3% tackle success rate in his six league starts. The left-footer is able to bring the ball out of defence and deliver long rangy passes and yet is able to cover ground quickly to mop up at the back. Laporte has been given the chance by Pep Guardiola to audition for regular spot Credit: AFP While Nicolas Otamendi was named in the PFA's Premier League Team of the Season, it is Laporte who has been backed by the fans to make the central defensive spot his own when they begin their title defence. Verdict: The jury's out Alexis Sanchez The Chilean has only now started to show flashes of why Manchester United were prepared to lay out £140,000-a-week to sign him and it seems unthinkable that the club are considering parting ways with the 29-year-old this summer. It's been an underwhelming arrival at Old Trafford with three goals in 14 appearances and the sight of Sanchez adopting his hands on hips and blank expression on his face during his United honeymoon hasn't gone down well with fans and pundits alike. Sanchez has scored three goals in 14 appearances for United Credit: Reuters Sanchez delivered his best showing for United in the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham at the weekend but has struggled to adapt to moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world where the focus isn't solely on him. "The change of club was something that was very abrupt, it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January. Many things have happened in my life that are difficult," Sanchez said last month. Verdict: Miss Virgil van Dijk Erase the blot made on his copybook early doors in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, the Dutchman has been a beacon of calm and composure at the heart of Liverpool's defence. A strong and vocal presence, the 26-year-old has been the steady beat to their high press game. Virgil van Dijk has been a calm figure in defence for Liverpool this season Credit: Reuters Jurgen Klopp's side have kept seven clean sheets in the 16 games Van Dijk has played in. That £75m which could have been a noose around Van Dijk's neck is already looking like a bargain. Verdict: An overwhelming hit Henrikh Mkhitaryan There was much excitement and fanfare when Mkhitaryan arrived with Sanchez heading in the opposite direction. Given how the Armenian had linked up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund it was hoped that the pair could recreate that sparkle on the hallowed Emirates turf. There have been glimpses of brilliance from Mkhitaryan but they have been all too fleeting during what has been a tricky time for Arsenal players and fans since the turn of the year. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has shown touches of brilliance Credit: Getty Images Mkhitaryan has scored one and assisted four other goals during his seven Premier League games but has tended to go missing for periods of matches in the same vein of Mesut Ozil. Verdict: The jury's still out Olivier Giroud The Frenchman has created a niche for himself carving out exceptional goals and he has already carried this into his short Chelsea career to date. While the scorpion kick against Crystal Palace during his Arsenal days will take some beating, his dance through the Southampton defence for Chelsea's first in Sunday's FA Cup final was another extraordinary goal to add to his collection. The weekend before Giroud had orchestrated Chelsea's comeback from 2-0 down against the same opponents. Oliver Giroud left Southampton's defence on the floor Credit: PA In Giroud, Chelsea have recruited all the qualities that Antonio Conte's side have lacked this season. Determination, gustiness, strength and bravery. What Conte would have wished for 11 players of this mould for much of the campaign. Then the Italian's future would not be up for endless discussion and Chelsea would be challenging for more than just a solitary Cup come the end of the season. Verdict: Hit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Goals - tick. Mocking of Spurs' Hary Kane - tick. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has cemented himself as a fans' favourite and it hasn't only been down to his fine goalscoring run since arriving on these shores. The Frenchman has struck six goals in eight Premier League starts for Arsenal and assisted another three since becoming the club's record signing from Borussia Dortmund for £57m. The 28-year-old hasn't needed a period of adjustment to life in England and has quickly jumped on some Spurs bashing at the same time. The Gabon international became the latest player to have a dig at Kane following Arsenal's win over West Ham at the weekend. This is how we do in London my Gwadaboy @lacazettealex getting twice ������������ and i would like to claim the goal from @aaronramsey ������just kidding #aubameyang #A⚡️ #pea14 #yagunnersya #coyg A post shared by Aubameyang (@aubameyang97) on Apr 22, 2018 at 9:28am PDT The only drawback of his arrival has been his ineligibility for Arsenal's Europa League campaign. Aubameyang can only sit back and watch as his team-mates fight for their only prize on offer this term. Verdict:Hit Emerson Palmieri It's hard to assess the 23-year-old given his lack of playing time since arriving at Stamford Bridge. The full-back performed well against Burnley last Thursday when drafted in for the suspended Marcos Alonso and then retained his place for the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, despite Antonio Conte raising doubts on whether he had the legs to play two games in the space of four days. The youngster held up well in the first half and faded during the second with the game and heat talking its toll. Emerson Palmieri impressed against Burnley Credit: PA Alonso's future will determine whether Emerson can establish himself as a Chelsea regular. The Spaniard has flourished under Conte and been strong both defensively and offensively. Real Madrid have been linked with the left-back and while Alonso has been coy on his summer plans, Emerson will be keenly watching developments. Verdict: The jury's still out Cenk Tosun The Turkey international arrived on Goodison and said he wanted to become an Everton legend like Duncan Ferguson. Eleven games into his spell in England and with a return of four goals, Goodison Park fans still need further ressurance of his long-term credentials. While some supporters have sympathy for the lack of service the 26-year-old is getting, others have doubted whether he has the ability to lead the line and whether Tosun will remain their No 1 striker next season. Cenk Tosun wants to become a legend like Duncan Ferguson Credit: Getty Images Everton are crying out for a worthy striker to spearhead their attack and with Wayne Rooney's days as an out-and-out number nine striker behind him and Dominic Calvert-Lewin not yet experienced enough, the responsibility has proved a weight too much to carry for Tosun as yet. Verdict:Miss Adrien Silva The midfielder's season could have been so different had his protracted move to Leicester been tied up in the summer. When Fifa ruled that Leicester were 14 seconds too late in issuing their paperwork for the Portugal international, the 29-year-old's career was effectively put on hold until January. When the £22m move was sanctioned in January, Silva headed to the Premier League without game time under his belt. Adrien Silva had to wait until January for his move to Leicester to go through Credit: Getty Images Since his availability he has struggled to hold down a regular place in Leicester's midfield as he continues to adapt to the rigours of the game. Thankfully for Silva he has won his place back in the national team so it hasn't been one to completely write off. Verdict: Miss Ross Barkley It's been a horrid year for the 24-year-old who has had to endure lengthy spells on the sidelines as he recovers from a hamstring problem which has dogged his time since joining Chelsea for £15m from Everton. Barkley's career at Chelsea has been hamstrung by injury Credit: Getty Images Barkley has only made three appearances, including one start but Chelsea were well aware they would have to nurse him back to full health following a serious injury at the start of the season and hadn't envisaged he would be part of their plans this season. Verdict: Not enough game time to assess
The weekend no doubt belonged to Jose Mourinho who master-minded Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur and once again showed that he is a manager able to navigate a team towards trophies. He did a number over Mauricio Pochettino, stifling Spurs, and summoned some big performances from his big players. His reaction showed how much it meant. When it comes to the players, here is my team of the week: Jack Butland It has been a tough season for the Stoke City goalkeeper but he excelled with a series of saves in the draw against Burnley. He even stopped James Tarkowski’s close-range header but could not repel Ashley Barnes’s follow-up. Jack Butland was in fine form this weekend Credit: Getty images Phil Jones A timely return to form for Jones with the England squad looming. Has looked good, at times, this season but can get caught out positionally. Made some vital blocks against Tottenham. Chris Smalling His partnership with Phil Jones has left many United fans underwhelmed but no-one could deny that Smalling got the better of Harry Kane in the FA Cup semi-final. Nacho Monreal With three goals in his last seven Premier League matches the Spaniard has made an unlikely impact for Arsenal. He scored again against West Ham but more than that Arsenal look a better defensive unit with him. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring for Arsenal Credit: AFP Kevin De Bruyne The Manchester City midfielder was at his sumptuous best as he sprayed the ball around in the champions' demolition of Swansea City. Scored a wonderful goal, also. Aaron Ramsey The Arsenal midfielder was fortunate with his goal against West Ham that restored his side’s lead but he has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season. Ilkay Gundogan In the absence of Fernandinho, Gundogan played the ‘number six’ role for Manchester City and produced an accomplished performance. Admittedly it was against a relegation-threatened Swansea City side but Gundogan showed his class. Gundogan ran things in central midfield Credit: Getty images Christian Eriksen Was, probably, the only Tottenham Hotspur player to acquit himself well in their disappointing display as they lost the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. Set up their goal and constantly demanded the ball but was often let down by those around him. Alexis Sanchez It has obviously been a difficult season for Sanchez who has, largely, struggled since his January move to United but he again excelled at Wembley. Scored a fine header and was a relentless threat with his positive running against Tottenham. Olivier Giroud The striker continued his amazing, unbeaten run at Wembley where he has not lost in 10 matches. Scored a brilliant goal and is now on track to win a fourth FA Cup in five seasons. Eden Hazard Despite Giroud’s goal and eye-catching performance it was Hazard who was Chelsea's stand-out player in their FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton. It has been a tough few months for Hazard but he undoubtedly delivered.
Premier League and FA Cup team of the weekend, by Jason Burt
The weekend no doubt belonged to Jose Mourinho who master-minded Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur and once again showed that he is a manager able to navigate a team towards trophies. He did a number over Mauricio Pochettino, stifling Spurs, and summoned some big performances from his big players. His reaction showed how much it meant. When it comes to the players, here is my team of the week: Jack Butland It has been a tough season for the Stoke City goalkeeper but he excelled with a series of saves in the draw against Burnley. He even stopped James Tarkowski’s close-range header but could not repel Ashley Barnes’s follow-up. Jack Butland was in fine form this weekend Credit: Getty images Phil Jones A timely return to form for Jones with the England squad looming. Has looked good, at times, this season but can get caught out positionally. Made some vital blocks against Tottenham. Chris Smalling His partnership with Phil Jones has left many United fans underwhelmed but no-one could deny that Smalling got the better of Harry Kane in the FA Cup semi-final. Nacho Monreal With three goals in his last seven Premier League matches the Spaniard has made an unlikely impact for Arsenal. He scored again against West Ham but more than that Arsenal look a better defensive unit with him. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring for Arsenal Credit: AFP Kevin De Bruyne The Manchester City midfielder was at his sumptuous best as he sprayed the ball around in the champions' demolition of Swansea City. Scored a wonderful goal, also. Aaron Ramsey The Arsenal midfielder was fortunate with his goal against West Ham that restored his side’s lead but he has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season. Ilkay Gundogan In the absence of Fernandinho, Gundogan played the ‘number six’ role for Manchester City and produced an accomplished performance. Admittedly it was against a relegation-threatened Swansea City side but Gundogan showed his class. Gundogan ran things in central midfield Credit: Getty images Christian Eriksen Was, probably, the only Tottenham Hotspur player to acquit himself well in their disappointing display as they lost the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. Set up their goal and constantly demanded the ball but was often let down by those around him. Alexis Sanchez It has obviously been a difficult season for Sanchez who has, largely, struggled since his January move to United but he again excelled at Wembley. Scored a fine header and was a relentless threat with his positive running against Tottenham. Olivier Giroud The striker continued his amazing, unbeaten run at Wembley where he has not lost in 10 matches. Scored a brilliant goal and is now on track to win a fourth FA Cup in five seasons. Eden Hazard Despite Giroud’s goal and eye-catching performance it was Hazard who was Chelsea's stand-out player in their FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton. It has been a tough few months for Hazard but he undoubtedly delivered.
The weekend no doubt belonged to Jose Mourinho who master-minded Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur and once again showed that he is a manager able to navigate a team towards trophies. He did a number over Mauricio Pochettino, stifling Spurs, and summoned some big performances from his big players. His reaction showed how much it meant. When it comes to the players, here is my team of the week: Jack Butland It has been a tough season for the Stoke City goalkeeper but he excelled with a series of saves in the draw against Burnley. He even stopped James Tarkowski’s close-range header but could not repel Ashley Barnes’s follow-up. Jack Butland was in fine form this weekend Credit: Getty images Phil Jones A timely return to form for Jones with the England squad looming. Has looked good, at times, this season but can get caught out positionally. Made some vital blocks against Tottenham. Chris Smalling His partnership with Phil Jones has left many United fans underwhelmed but no-one could deny that Smalling got the better of Harry Kane in the FA Cup semi-final. Nacho Monreal With three goals in his last seven Premier League matches the Spaniard has made an unlikely impact for Arsenal. He scored again against West Ham but more than that Arsenal look a better defensive unit with him. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring for Arsenal Credit: AFP Kevin De Bruyne The Manchester City midfielder was at his sumptuous best as he sprayed the ball around in the champions' demolition of Swansea City. Scored a wonderful goal, also. Aaron Ramsey The Arsenal midfielder was fortunate with his goal against West Ham that restored his side’s lead but he has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season. Ilkay Gundogan In the absence of Fernandinho, Gundogan played the ‘number six’ role for Manchester City and produced an accomplished performance. Admittedly it was against a relegation-threatened Swansea City side but Gundogan showed his class. Gundogan ran things in central midfield Credit: Getty images Christian Eriksen Was, probably, the only Tottenham Hotspur player to acquit himself well in their disappointing display as they lost the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. Set up their goal and constantly demanded the ball but was often let down by those around him. Alexis Sanchez It has obviously been a difficult season for Sanchez who has, largely, struggled since his January move to United but he again excelled at Wembley. Scored a fine header and was a relentless threat with his positive running against Tottenham. Olivier Giroud The striker continued his amazing, unbeaten run at Wembley where he has not lost in 10 matches. Scored a brilliant goal and is now on track to win a fourth FA Cup in five seasons. Eden Hazard Despite Giroud’s goal and eye-catching performance it was Hazard who was Chelsea's stand-out player in their FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton. It has been a tough few months for Hazard but he undoubtedly delivered.
Premier League and FA Cup team of the weekend, by Jason Burt
The weekend no doubt belonged to Jose Mourinho who master-minded Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur and once again showed that he is a manager able to navigate a team towards trophies. He did a number over Mauricio Pochettino, stifling Spurs, and summoned some big performances from his big players. His reaction showed how much it meant. When it comes to the players, here is my team of the week: Jack Butland It has been a tough season for the Stoke City goalkeeper but he excelled with a series of saves in the draw against Burnley. He even stopped James Tarkowski’s close-range header but could not repel Ashley Barnes’s follow-up. Jack Butland was in fine form this weekend Credit: Getty images Phil Jones A timely return to form for Jones with the England squad looming. Has looked good, at times, this season but can get caught out positionally. Made some vital blocks against Tottenham. Chris Smalling His partnership with Phil Jones has left many United fans underwhelmed but no-one could deny that Smalling got the better of Harry Kane in the FA Cup semi-final. Nacho Monreal With three goals in his last seven Premier League matches the Spaniard has made an unlikely impact for Arsenal. He scored again against West Ham but more than that Arsenal look a better defensive unit with him. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring for Arsenal Credit: AFP Kevin De Bruyne The Manchester City midfielder was at his sumptuous best as he sprayed the ball around in the champions' demolition of Swansea City. Scored a wonderful goal, also. Aaron Ramsey The Arsenal midfielder was fortunate with his goal against West Ham that restored his side’s lead but he has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season. Ilkay Gundogan In the absence of Fernandinho, Gundogan played the ‘number six’ role for Manchester City and produced an accomplished performance. Admittedly it was against a relegation-threatened Swansea City side but Gundogan showed his class. Gundogan ran things in central midfield Credit: Getty images Christian Eriksen Was, probably, the only Tottenham Hotspur player to acquit himself well in their disappointing display as they lost the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. Set up their goal and constantly demanded the ball but was often let down by those around him. Alexis Sanchez It has obviously been a difficult season for Sanchez who has, largely, struggled since his January move to United but he again excelled at Wembley. Scored a fine header and was a relentless threat with his positive running against Tottenham. Olivier Giroud The striker continued his amazing, unbeaten run at Wembley where he has not lost in 10 matches. Scored a brilliant goal and is now on track to win a fourth FA Cup in five seasons. Eden Hazard Despite Giroud’s goal and eye-catching performance it was Hazard who was Chelsea's stand-out player in their FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton. It has been a tough few months for Hazard but he undoubtedly delivered.
The weekend no doubt belonged to Jose Mourinho who master-minded Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur and once again showed that he is a manager able to navigate a team towards trophies. He did a number over Mauricio Pochettino, stifling Spurs, and summoned some big performances from his big players. His reaction showed how much it meant. When it comes to the players, here is my team of the week: Jack Butland It has been a tough season for the Stoke City goalkeeper but he excelled with a series of saves in the draw against Burnley. He even stopped James Tarkowski’s close-range header but could not repel Ashley Barnes’s follow-up. Jack Butland was in fine form this weekend Credit: Getty images Phil Jones A timely return to form for Jones with the England squad looming. Has looked good, at times, this season but can get caught out positionally. Made some vital blocks against Tottenham. Chris Smalling His partnership with Phil Jones has left many United fans underwhelmed but no-one could deny that Smalling got the better of Harry Kane in the FA Cup semi-final. Nacho Monreal With three goals in his last seven Premier League matches the Spaniard has made an unlikely impact for Arsenal. He scored again against West Ham but more than that Arsenal look a better defensive unit with him. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring for Arsenal Credit: AFP Kevin De Bruyne The Manchester City midfielder was at his sumptuous best as he sprayed the ball around in the champions' demolition of Swansea City. Scored a wonderful goal, also. Aaron Ramsey The Arsenal midfielder was fortunate with his goal against West Ham that restored his side’s lead but he has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season. Ilkay Gundogan In the absence of Fernandinho, Gundogan played the ‘number six’ role for Manchester City and produced an accomplished performance. Admittedly it was against a relegation-threatened Swansea City side but Gundogan showed his class. Gundogan ran things in central midfield Credit: Getty images Christian Eriksen Was, probably, the only Tottenham Hotspur player to acquit himself well in their disappointing display as they lost the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. Set up their goal and constantly demanded the ball but was often let down by those around him. Alexis Sanchez It has obviously been a difficult season for Sanchez who has, largely, struggled since his January move to United but he again excelled at Wembley. Scored a fine header and was a relentless threat with his positive running against Tottenham. Olivier Giroud The striker continued his amazing, unbeaten run at Wembley where he has not lost in 10 matches. Scored a brilliant goal and is now on track to win a fourth FA Cup in five seasons. Eden Hazard Despite Giroud’s goal and eye-catching performance it was Hazard who was Chelsea's stand-out player in their FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton. It has been a tough few months for Hazard but he undoubtedly delivered.
Premier League and FA Cup team of the weekend, by Jason Burt
The weekend no doubt belonged to Jose Mourinho who master-minded Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur and once again showed that he is a manager able to navigate a team towards trophies. He did a number over Mauricio Pochettino, stifling Spurs, and summoned some big performances from his big players. His reaction showed how much it meant. When it comes to the players, here is my team of the week: Jack Butland It has been a tough season for the Stoke City goalkeeper but he excelled with a series of saves in the draw against Burnley. He even stopped James Tarkowski’s close-range header but could not repel Ashley Barnes’s follow-up. Jack Butland was in fine form this weekend Credit: Getty images Phil Jones A timely return to form for Jones with the England squad looming. Has looked good, at times, this season but can get caught out positionally. Made some vital blocks against Tottenham. Chris Smalling His partnership with Phil Jones has left many United fans underwhelmed but no-one could deny that Smalling got the better of Harry Kane in the FA Cup semi-final. Nacho Monreal With three goals in his last seven Premier League matches the Spaniard has made an unlikely impact for Arsenal. He scored again against West Ham but more than that Arsenal look a better defensive unit with him. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring for Arsenal Credit: AFP Kevin De Bruyne The Manchester City midfielder was at his sumptuous best as he sprayed the ball around in the champions' demolition of Swansea City. Scored a wonderful goal, also. Aaron Ramsey The Arsenal midfielder was fortunate with his goal against West Ham that restored his side’s lead but he has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season. Ilkay Gundogan In the absence of Fernandinho, Gundogan played the ‘number six’ role for Manchester City and produced an accomplished performance. Admittedly it was against a relegation-threatened Swansea City side but Gundogan showed his class. Gundogan ran things in central midfield Credit: Getty images Christian Eriksen Was, probably, the only Tottenham Hotspur player to acquit himself well in their disappointing display as they lost the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. Set up their goal and constantly demanded the ball but was often let down by those around him. Alexis Sanchez It has obviously been a difficult season for Sanchez who has, largely, struggled since his January move to United but he again excelled at Wembley. Scored a fine header and was a relentless threat with his positive running against Tottenham. Olivier Giroud The striker continued his amazing, unbeaten run at Wembley where he has not lost in 10 matches. Scored a brilliant goal and is now on track to win a fourth FA Cup in five seasons. Eden Hazard Despite Giroud’s goal and eye-catching performance it was Hazard who was Chelsea's stand-out player in their FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton. It has been a tough few months for Hazard but he undoubtedly delivered.
The weekend no doubt belonged to Jose Mourinho who master-minded Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur and once again showed that he is a manager able to navigate a team towards trophies. He did a number over Mauricio Pochettino, stifling Spurs, and summoned some big performances from his big players. His reaction showed how much it meant. When it comes to the players, here is my team of the week: Jack Butland It has been a tough season for the Stoke City goalkeeper but he excelled with a series of saves in the draw against Burnley. He even stopped James Tarkowski’s close-range header but could not repel Ashley Barnes’s follow-up. Jack Butland was in fine form this weekend Credit: Getty images Phil Jones A timely return to form for Jones with the England squad looming. Has looked good, at times, this season but can get caught out positionally. Made some vital blocks against Tottenham. Chris Smalling His partnership with Phil Jones has left many United fans underwhelmed but no-one could deny that Smalling got the better of Harry Kane in the FA Cup semi-final. Nacho Monreal With three goals in his last seven Premier League matches the Spaniard has made an unlikely impact for Arsenal. He scored again against West Ham but more than that Arsenal look a better defensive unit with him. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring for Arsenal Credit: AFP Kevin De Bruyne The Manchester City midfielder was at his sumptuous best as he sprayed the ball around in the champions' demolition of Swansea City. Scored a wonderful goal, also. Aaron Ramsey The Arsenal midfielder was fortunate with his goal against West Ham that restored his side’s lead but he has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season. Ilkay Gundogan In the absence of Fernandinho, Gundogan played the ‘number six’ role for Manchester City and produced an accomplished performance. Admittedly it was against a relegation-threatened Swansea City side but Gundogan showed his class. Gundogan ran things in central midfield Credit: Getty images Christian Eriksen Was, probably, the only Tottenham Hotspur player to acquit himself well in their disappointing display as they lost the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. Set up their goal and constantly demanded the ball but was often let down by those around him. Alexis Sanchez It has obviously been a difficult season for Sanchez who has, largely, struggled since his January move to United but he again excelled at Wembley. Scored a fine header and was a relentless threat with his positive running against Tottenham. Olivier Giroud The striker continued his amazing, unbeaten run at Wembley where he has not lost in 10 matches. Scored a brilliant goal and is now on track to win a fourth FA Cup in five seasons. Eden Hazard Despite Giroud’s goal and eye-catching performance it was Hazard who was Chelsea's stand-out player in their FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton. It has been a tough few months for Hazard but he undoubtedly delivered.
Premier League and FA Cup team of the weekend, by Jason Burt
The weekend no doubt belonged to Jose Mourinho who master-minded Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur and once again showed that he is a manager able to navigate a team towards trophies. He did a number over Mauricio Pochettino, stifling Spurs, and summoned some big performances from his big players. His reaction showed how much it meant. When it comes to the players, here is my team of the week: Jack Butland It has been a tough season for the Stoke City goalkeeper but he excelled with a series of saves in the draw against Burnley. He even stopped James Tarkowski’s close-range header but could not repel Ashley Barnes’s follow-up. Jack Butland was in fine form this weekend Credit: Getty images Phil Jones A timely return to form for Jones with the England squad looming. Has looked good, at times, this season but can get caught out positionally. Made some vital blocks against Tottenham. Chris Smalling His partnership with Phil Jones has left many United fans underwhelmed but no-one could deny that Smalling got the better of Harry Kane in the FA Cup semi-final. Nacho Monreal With three goals in his last seven Premier League matches the Spaniard has made an unlikely impact for Arsenal. He scored again against West Ham but more than that Arsenal look a better defensive unit with him. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring for Arsenal Credit: AFP Kevin De Bruyne The Manchester City midfielder was at his sumptuous best as he sprayed the ball around in the champions' demolition of Swansea City. Scored a wonderful goal, also. Aaron Ramsey The Arsenal midfielder was fortunate with his goal against West Ham that restored his side’s lead but he has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season. Ilkay Gundogan In the absence of Fernandinho, Gundogan played the ‘number six’ role for Manchester City and produced an accomplished performance. Admittedly it was against a relegation-threatened Swansea City side but Gundogan showed his class. Gundogan ran things in central midfield Credit: Getty images Christian Eriksen Was, probably, the only Tottenham Hotspur player to acquit himself well in their disappointing display as they lost the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. Set up their goal and constantly demanded the ball but was often let down by those around him. Alexis Sanchez It has obviously been a difficult season for Sanchez who has, largely, struggled since his January move to United but he again excelled at Wembley. Scored a fine header and was a relentless threat with his positive running against Tottenham. Olivier Giroud The striker continued his amazing, unbeaten run at Wembley where he has not lost in 10 matches. Scored a brilliant goal and is now on track to win a fourth FA Cup in five seasons. Eden Hazard Despite Giroud’s goal and eye-catching performance it was Hazard who was Chelsea's stand-out player in their FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton. It has been a tough few months for Hazard but he undoubtedly delivered.
Mame Biram Diouf's first-half miss for Stoke City against Burnley was pinpointed by both managers as key after the game finished level.
Diouf miss 'a turning point' for both Stoke and Burnley
Mame Biram Diouf's first-half miss for Stoke City against Burnley was pinpointed by both managers as key after the game finished level.
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Kevin De Bruyne scores a screamer as Manchester City celebrate title by thrashing Swansea
It was not just the sight of Manchester City running up another avalanche of goals and playing football from another planet that will have disheartened their immediate rivals here. With 15 minutes still to go in the latest exhilarating demonstration of show-stopping football that had swept Pep Guardiola’s team to the title with five games to go, Benjamin Mendy returned to the pitch almost seven months to the day since rupturing his cruciate ligament injury. A season in which City still threaten to break all manner of records has been played largely without the most expensive full-back in the game and the sight of the France defender returning to the fray merely underlined the challenge the rest of the Premier League will have trying to rein this team in next season. They have yet to spend again, which they will do, and already they are stronger. City need just two wins from their final four league games to break Chelsea’s record Premier League points haul of 95. Six more goals and they will also eclipse the record 103 goals Chelsea scored in 2009/10. By the end of an intoxicating afternoon when Swansea City became a punchbag, the Manchester City supporters could not contain themselves. David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored City's first two goals Credit: Getty images Flooding the field at the final whistle, they mobbed their triumphant players, blissfully ignoring subsequent calls to vacate the pitch as they stood in their hundreds in front of the tunnel cheering and chanting. It was quite the scene although it is still likely to invite a charge from the Football Association, not least when you consider that Wigan Athletic were charged after their fans invaded the pitch following February’s FA Cup win over Manchester City. “We have become champions with five games left but that doesn’t mean we can now stop and put our feet up,” Guardiola said in his programme notes. Not when there are records to break. Not when Manchester City still have a big say in what happens at the opposite end of the table. Not when a carnival atmosphere demanded more carnival football which, unsurprisingly, they duly delivered, their opponents left dazed and confused on the passing carousel. Successful passes in the first half Swansea City’s top flight status was not going to be determined by what happened here and, for all the wonders Carlos Carvalhal has worked since taking charge of the club in December, he will have known it was going to take something very special to rain on the host’s parade. Within 16 minutes, though, it had simply become a case of damage limitation. Survival is firmly in Swansea City’s hands but it is not unfeasible goal difference could still have a bearing on who stays up and hoping Guardiola’s side did not run up a cricket score will have been uppermost in the Carvalhal’s mind once Raheem Sterling scored his team’s second goal four minutes after he had helped fashion the opener for David Silva. By the end, he will probably have been relieved to keep it to five such was the chasm in quality. The first two goals were what everyone would now characterise as classic Manchester City team goals – you know the sort by now: the blur of passes, the stealth like movement, the calm close range finish. The first was beautifully orchestrated – Sterling to Fabian Delph to Aymeric Laporte to De Bruyne who, spotting Sterling making a dart to the byline, stroked a sublime pass with the outside of his right boot in behind Kyle Naughton. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) Sterling had the presence of mind to pull the ball back from Silva – how his final ball has improved – and the Spaniard did the rest, holding off a stretching Mike van der Hoorn to volley home. In doing so, he became the sixth Manchester City player this season to reach double figures in all competitions. Poor Naughton. It was mayhem on his side and, before long, he was being picked on again, this time Silva cushioning a beautifully weighted pass in behind the Swansea City wing back for Delph to latch on to and square a pass for Sterling to tap home for his 23rd goal of the campaign. De Bruyne fires home from distance Credit: Reuters They punish you mercilessly, Silva and De Bruyne, with the unerring accuracy of their passing. It required a double take initially but Manchester City completed an astonishing 542 passes in the first half. To put that into context, five of Guardiola’s players completed more passes individually in the opening 45 minutes than the entire Swansea City team. It was that one-sided. Alfie Mawson managed a speculative shot on target for the visitors in the 44th minute but that was as good as it got for them. If the team goal does not do for beleaguered opponents, though, there’s always the moment of individual brilliance to leave them utterly deflated. Step forward De Bruyne. Tom Carroll played an ambitious pass out to Jordan Ayew that might have had a chance had the Swansea City striker not been dozing. Laporte nipped in front and prodded the ball to De Bruyne who, surveyed the scene, spotted a clearing and then launched a blistering 30-yard drive into the far corner as the Etihad rose to acclaim its beloved Belgian. Possession: Man City vs Swansea There was plenty more for the natives to gorge over. Local boy Phil Foden produced a tantalising cameo, weaving past three bodies before sticking a cross on Gabriel Jesus’s head that the Brazilian seemed certain to dispatch only to head straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Jesus had already missed a penalty by then when Federico Fernandez scythed through Sterling only for his blushes to be spared when Bernardo Silva tucked home the rebound. It did not look like being Jesus’s afternoon but then Yaya Toure floated a fine pass over Swansea City’s ramshackle defence and this time the striker made no mistake with a smartly controlled header. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 6:22PM Full time City win 5-0. They are just too good to be playing teams like Swansea on a weekly basis. Fans stream onto the pitch to celebrate and every one of the City players look terrified, except Benjamin Mendy, who is absolutely loving it. Kompany is escorted off the pitch 6:18PM 90 mins +1 Gundogan nearly gets in on the act but puts his first time effort over the bar. 6:17PM 90 mins Two minutes added on. No Swansea player wants to play these final two minutes. 6:16PM GOOOOAL! Jesus has his goal! If you give Toure time to pick a pass 40 yards from goal he does it as well as anyone on the planet. Jesus runs off the final defender to meet Yaya's chipped through ball and he heads into the far corner to make it 5-0. Unstoppable. Man City 5 - 0 Swansea (Gabriel Jesus, 88 min) 6:15PM 87 mins Everyone wants a goal! Kompany is hanging on the shoulder of the last defender, and runs onto a dinked Yaya Toure through ball like a seasoned centre-forward. He doesn't quite take it down in hit path properly, and it bounces up before he heads just wide. 6:11PM 83 mins Lovely from Foden, who jinks past three Swansea players out on the left and hangs a cross up into the six-yard box, and perfectly onto the head of Jesus, but his effort is straight at the keeper. Keeper pick-up: Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Lukasz Fabianski, 83 min) 6:09PM 82 mins A patient passing move eventually finds its way to Mendy, but he mis-hits his shot which bounces harmlessly into Fabianki's arms. 6:06PM 79 mins Foden whisks past a challenge in midfield and is scythed down by Van der Hoorn. The referee blows for a free-kick but the ball had fallen to Silva, who swiftly slipped Sterling in on goal. That should have been advantage played, but the whistle went too quickly. Yaya Toure fires the free kick into the wall, and Swansea race up the other end with Abraham making good ground. He lifts a cross up to the back post, and the arriving Sam Clucas skews his volley horribly wide. Poor. 6:03PM 76 mins Given the experience English football has of Mendy - that of the joker he plays on social media - it's a little unusual to see him taking things so seriously or, well, without a smile on his face, out there. 6:02PM One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon... ...and it greets Benjamin Mendy's return to action. He replaces Delph at left-back. Tammy Abraham comes on for Martin Olsson for Swansea. 6:00PM Another City sub Foden replaces Sterling. 5:57PM 69 mins A whipped cross into the Swansea box is flicked on by Mawson, and rebounds off the inside of the post and down to a black shirt to be cleared. It remains four-nil, for now. 5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions, and after the game we'll see Vincent Kompany lift the Premier League trophy... again. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Manchester City vs Swansea, Premier League: live score updates
5:54PM Substitutions for each side De Bruyne given a standing ovation as he is replaced by Yaya Toure. Sam Clucas and Kyle Bartley replace Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernandez. 5:51PM GOOOOALL!! 4-0 to City. Gabriel Jesus nonchalantly wanders up to the spot, Fabianksi guesses right and saves the spot kick, pushing onto the post! But he's so so unlucky, with the rebounding coming out across goal and straight into the path of Bernardo Silva, who's first to react. Man City 4 - 0 Swansea (Bernardo Silva, 64 min) 5:49PM PENALTY MAN CITY! Silva slips Sterling in, he toes the ball past Fernandez and draws the foul. Craig Pawson points to the spot. Jesus to take. 5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions, and after the game we'll see Vincent Kompany lift the Premier League trophy... again. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions, and after the game we'll see Vincent Kompany lift the Premier League trophy... again. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Manchester City vs Swansea, Premier League: live score updates
5:45PM Player of the season? He gets my vote. 5 - Kevin De Bruyne has now scored five goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season; the most of any player. Smash. pic.twitter.com/17kNulRJFe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 5:44PM 57 mins Swansea win a corner and Ki's corner is met by Mawson, unchallenged, in the six-yard box... but he heads over the bar. A rare Swansea chance, and a wasted one. Miss: Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 56 min) 5:42PM WHAT A GOAL!!!! De Bruyne makes it 3-0! What a stunning strike that is! City pass, pass, pass, taking their time, but then Swansea get a foot in but only manage to half clear their lines. De Bruyne decides passing any more isn't worth it, and absolutely spanks one from 25 yards and out to the right. He connects with it so perfectly and it rockets into the left side of the goal with Fabianski left helpless. Man City 3 - 0 Swansea (Kevin De Bruyne, 54 min) 5:38PM 51 mins Swansea are doing a better job of breaking up play with little fouls and tackles, and City's fluency has thus been disrupted a little so far this half. Little action of note to report. De Bruyne shoots into the side netting from a tight angle. 5:33PM 46 mins Danilo whips a great cross across the face of the Swansea goal but no one is there to tap home. 5:32PM 45 minutes to go Is this just a case of damage limitation for Swansea, then? Probably. Can they keep the deficit to two goals? Probably not. The second half is under way. 5:18PM Half time It's been, just like so many other matches for Manchester City this season, oh, so easy. They are simply a cut above every other team in this league and have been all season. The difference between them and the teams fighting relegation is frightening, and Swansea simply don't have a chance. City are 2-0 up and there's no way back into this one for the Swans. Man City vs Swansea shots on goal 5:15PM 45 mins One minute added on. 5:15PM 45 mins Swansea have their first shot on target, and it comes from a run from deep from an unlikely source in Alfie Mawson. Ultimately it's an easy save for Ederson, but still something to cheer for the travelling fans. Attempt Saved: Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Alfie Mawson, 45 min) 5:12PM 42 mins Anyone got any idea how Swansea get back into this one? Carlos Carvalhal watches from the touchline Credit: AFP 5:11PM 40 mins Swansea looks like they might have a chance to get at the City goal after De Bruyne charges out to intercept a long ball and misses it. Olsson controls and drives at Danilo, drops his shoulder and then takes it around him on the outside. His touch is poor, though, and he knows it, throwing himself to the ground in a desperate attempt to con the referee. Craig Pawson isn't moved, and gives Olsson a yellow for simulation. Good decision. 5:06PM 35 mins Jordan Ayew wants a free-kick in the centre circle but it's adjudged a good tackle by Delph, and he sets Jesus on his way down the right. The Brazilian drills a low effort at goal but Fabianski is equal to it. 5:03PM 33 mins Good save from Fabianski to keep De Bruyne's low effort from the edge of the box. The rebound falls to Sterling, but he is correctly flagged offside. Fabianski saved his effort, anyway. 5:01PM 30 mins Swansea are finally growing into the game a little, but chances are still way beyond them. 4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions, and after the game we'll see Vincent Kompany lift the Premier League trophy... again. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions, and after the game we'll see Vincent Kompany lift the Premier League trophy... again. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Manchester City vs Swansea, Premier League: live score updates
4:57PM Incredible stuff David Silva the 6th City player into double figures for the season now. That was his 10th of the campaign in all comps. Others: Aguero 30, Sterling 23, including one here v Swansea, Jesus 14, Sane 13, De Bruyne 11 #MCFC— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 22, 2018 4:54PM 25 mins It hits the wall, and City scramble it clear. 4:54PM 24 mins Sterling is adjudged to have pulled back King after City clear, and Swansea have a free-kick in a decent position. Olsson is over it, 25 yards from goal, right of centre. 4:53PM 22 mins Delph tries the most audacious of first time volleys, hitting Sterling's ball out to him back across goal, but it flies wide of the post. 4:51PM 20 mins Swansea haven't even got close to touching the ball within 30 yards of the City goal, and it has just been one way traffic so far. Carvalhal said Swansea had a plan to stop City, but there is no way back from this now. It's just a question of how many City get. Man City vs Swansea 4:47PM GOOOOOAAAAAL! Sterling makes it 2-0! Delph stands Naughton up, plays a swift one-two with Silva, and drills low across goal where a grateful Raheem Sterling is waiting to tap home his 18th league goal of the season. Man City 2 - 0 Swansea (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) 4:46PM 14 mins Celebrations galore at the Etihad: Credit: afp Credit: AFP 4:45PM GOOOOOOOAAAAALL!!! David Silva puts City 1-0 up Just like that (see last post) Silva is in fact on the end of a move, after De Bruyne picks Sterling out with a lovely ball with the outside of his boot around the defender on the City left. Sterling runs onto it, and cuts back to Silva, who takes one touch before thrashing home from an angle. 1-0 City and it's just so easy for them. Man City 1 - 0 Swansea (David Silva, 12 min) 4:41PM 10 mins Silva is running things in midfield, seeing plenty of the ball between the lines, and it surely won't be long until he picks out a killer final ball. Swansea already making a few desperate challenges to stay level. 4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions, and after the game we'll see Vincent Kompany lift the Premier League trophy... again. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions, and after the game we'll see Vincent Kompany lift the Premier League trophy... again. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Manchester City vs Swansea, Premier League: live score updates
4:38PM 6 mins Olsson just took the worst cross I have ever seen. It went at about 90 degrees away from the direction he'd intended. Real Sunday League stuff. Truly beautiful. 4:33PM 3 mins "Stand up for the champions" is being sung in the Etihad stands. Haven't yet heard anyone sing 'if you're happy and you know it'. Yet City settling into plenty of early possession. Swansea are working very hard indeed. This could be a long afternoon. 4:30PM Off we go Thanks for the Guard of Honour and the warm reception @SwansOfficial and fans. Here's to a great game! �� #cityvswans#mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 22, 2018 Let's get on with the footy! City get things started. 4:27PM The celebrations We've just had a guard of honour for the champions, and after the game we'll see Vincent Kompany lift the Premier League trophy... again. Swansea's players clap City's onto the pitch 4:19PM Swansea's warm-up Sky have just shown a clip of Swansea's back five warming up by moving in a line back and forth, side to side, in perfect co-ordination. They'll have to play like that to for 90 minutes to get anything from today's game. 4:16PM Carlos Carvalhal talks "I understand the past: City have only lost one game at home, usually scoring three, four, five goals. They are champions, they are the best team and one of the best in Europe. "We know about all of this. From our side, we have a strategy to try and stop them, it won't be easy because they are so strong, but we also have a strategy to try and play and our football and score goals. "We will do our best to try and achieve something. Let's play!" 4:07PM They've let the fans get hold of the trophy outside the ground Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images (I think it's probably a replica trophy.) 3:59PM At the other end of the table After Stoke's draw with Burnley, Swansea remain four points clear of safety with one game in hand over Southampton and two over Stoke. They have every chance of survival, but they will still want to try and get something from today's game. Away to the champions, though, they will be up against it. 3:38PM It's good to have him back it’s been a long run, but the Shark is finally back on track �� @ManCitypic.twitter.com/Kd7Xc1LF68— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) April 22, 2018 3:35PM Swansea team �� Today's team news from the Etihad Stadium...#MCISWApic.twitter.com/trz3dI8KfV— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) 22 April 2018 3:35PM Benjamin Mendy returns to the squad Your Champions line-up like this! �� City XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (C), Laporte, Delph, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Silva, Sterling, Jesus Subs: Bravo, Walker, Sané, Mendy, Otamendi, Touré, Foden Presented by @HAYSWorldwidepic.twitter.com/W6TduoN1X5— Manchester City (@ManCity) 22 April 2018 3:34PM Stand up for the champions The banners are ready and the champagne on ice for Manchester City, who are having at party at the Etihad Stadium against Swansea City. City's season did seem to be winding down to an anti-climactic finish after defeats in the Manchester Derby and the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. A comprehensive performance and victory over Spurs was a worth exclamation point at the end of their league campaign however, and they were confirmed as champions when West Brom won at Man Utd. Team news to follow...
Burnley Fan View: Sean Dyche should be manager of the season
Burnley Fan View: Sean Dyche should be manager of the season
Burnley Fan View: Sean Dyche should be manager of the season
Stoke City's failure to beat West Ham or Burnley now means they must win at high-flying Liverpool, says goalkeeper Jack Butland.
Struggling Stoke have to win at Liverpool, concedes Butland
Stoke City's failure to beat West Ham or Burnley now means they must win at high-flying Liverpool, says goalkeeper Jack Butland.
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Ashley Barnes salvages point for Burnley to leave Stoke staring into the abyss
Stoke’s survival hopes receding after Burnley salvage point
Stoke’s survival hopes receding after Burnley salvage point
Stoke’s survival hopes receding after Burnley salvage point
Burnley’s Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring the equaliser.
Stoke’s survival hopes receding after Burnley salvage point
Burnley’s Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring the equaliser.
Stoke’s survival hopes receding after Burnley salvage point
Stoke’s survival hopes receding after Burnley salvage point
Stoke’s survival hopes receding after Burnley salvage point
Beginning with a match that ranks among the more irrelevant of your 34-year career was never likely to get the celebratory tour off to a particularly rousing start, but three goals in the final 10 minutes did at least ensure a positive end to an otherwise easily forgettable match. The final headline act for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal tenure really starts with the Europa League first leg against Atletico Madrid, but a rather flattering win here against West Ham United should at least boost confidence, especially in ­Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey, ahead of Thursday night. With Burnley also held by Stoke City on Sunday, Arsenal are now ­almost assured of finishing at least sixth to avoid the pre-season disruption for Wenger’s successor that Europa League qualifying would cause. Wenger’s send-off will now depend entirely on whether he can rouse three more big performances from his players in the Europa League, and so depart Lyon next month with a trophy and Arsenal back in the Champions League. On this evidence, it is far from certain. With West Ham resilient and roared on, among others, by centre-back James Collins in the away end, Arsenal summoned only one shot on goal during a first half played at almost a pre-season pace in the London heat. It was most notable for what looked like a significant injury to their Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny. He eventually left the pitch on a stretcher in tears and a protective brace that makes him a doubt not just for the remaining Europa League matches, but perhaps also the World Cup. Elneny’s injury will now be X-rayed, but Wenger said simply that “it does not look good”. Wenger was given a good reception Credit: Getty images David Ospina’s selection as Arsenal goalkeeper suggests Petr Cech will return on Thursday in the ­Europa League, but there was also no starting place for club record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, despite him only being eligible this season for Arsenal in the ­Premier League. The rationale was clearly that Lacazette needs time on the pitch following his own recent absence with a serious knee injury, but ­Arsenal began hesitantly. Danny Welbeck threatened most regularly, but his finishing both on the floor and in the air lacked composure. Nacho Monreal has been proving himself useful this season in both penalty areas and he calmly controlled Granit Xhaka’s 51st-minute corner before finishing with power and precision past Joe Hart. Arsenal rarely looked secure ­defensively and, with Marko ­Arnautovic playing with his usual intensity, the match was soon level. Ospina’s punched clearance had reached only Cheikhou Kouyate and, after a deft touch by Manuel Lanzini, Arnautovic scored his 10th goal of the season. Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal Arsenal had looked unlikely to find a winner but, after 82 minutes, Declan Rice ducked under a cross from Ramsey in the mistaken belief that Hart was expecting the ball to reach him. He was not and it simply nestled into the corner of the goal. David Moyes, the West Ham manager, felt that it was the game’s decisive moment and warned his 19-year-old defender that he must learn from it. “A poor mistake,” he said. “At 81 minutes, I thought we were good for a point.” “It flattened the team. If you are a centre-half the last thing you do is let it go. Why would you duck ­under it? “He’s played great in the last couple of games and it is a learning curve. If it happens again, then you don’t progress.” Declan Rice was at fault for Aaron Ramsey's goal Credit: Reuters Arsenal certainly did then progress through the gears and, after excellent passing by Welbeck and Aubameyang, Lacazette smashed a deflected shot off Aaron Cresswell and past Hart. The best was then saved to last, when Ramsey brilliantly weaved past several defenders and passed for Lacazette to finish clinically. Only then did a chant of “One Arsene Wenger” really echo around the stadium. It was a belated gesture, in keeping with a season that will be ­defined now by the next two Thursday nights. 3:34PM Ramsey on the departing Arsene Wenger "He brought me here as a 17-year-old, so I owe him a lot, he deserves all the credit he gets. "We're not thinking about who's coming in next or playing for our futures. It's more about ending the season well for him and hopefully ending with a cup." 3:31PM A happy start to the end for Wenger That was about as Arsene Wenger's Arsenal as they come, that match: a 4-1 win that could easily have been a 1-3 defeat after a flurry of late goals just when the match looked liked it could tip either way. The most positive thing for Arsenal, though, ahead of the Atletico game later this week, will be Alexandre Lacazette's brace. A good time to find form. Lacazette celebrates scoring Arsenal's fourth goal Credit: Getty images 3:25PM Full time And Arsenal wrap up a scarcely believable 4-1 win to celebrate the first game at the Emirates since Arsene Wenger's end-of-season departure was announced. They were - just about - the better team, but West Ham will feel themselves unlucky not to have got something from that. 3:23PM 90 mins +3 Bellerin's cross evades Aubameyang. A chorus of "one Arsene Wenger" rings out around the Emirates. 3:22PM Key man 19 - Aaron Ramsey has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season (19 - 11 goals and eight assists). Leader. pic.twitter.com/1zWyOxD4Tg— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 3:22PM 90 mins +2 Arsenal are on fire now. Lacazette does really well to hold off a couple of challenges in the box, before laying off for Xhaka, but he leans back and fires well over the bar. 3:19PM GOOOOOAAALLL! 4-1 to Arsenal! Lacazette makes it four! Aubameyang has added something extra since he was brought on, and he is involved again. He plays Ramsey in down the left, who dances between challenges, feeds back to Lacazette, who takes one touch out of his feet and fires past Hart, who won't be able to believe he's conceded four goals today. Arsenal 4 - 1 West Ham (Alexandre Lacazette, 89 min) 3:17PM 88 mins Arnautovic earns a yellow card for taking out Aubameyang as he went charging down the left wing. Welbeck is replaced by Chambers. 3:14PM GOOOOOOAALL! 3-1 to Arsenal! Arsenal pass the ball patiently from left to right, with Welbeck finding Aubameyang, who passes out to Lacazette on the right. The Frenchman takes a touch before winding up a shot, but it takes a deflection off Cresswell, leaving Hart helpless. Arsenal 3 - 1 West Ham (Alexandre Lacazette, 85 min) 3:13PM GOOOOOOOOAL!!!! 2-1 to Arsenal! Arsenal break down the right but Lacazette's cross is cleared by Declan Rice - but only as far as Aaron Ramsey. He cuts back onto his right on the left side, and dinks a pretty tame cross in towards Aubameyang, Hart screams "away!" but Rice opts to duck out of the way inexplicably and the cross bounces into the net. What a time to make your first mistake of the match for the youngster, and that could cost his side the point they deserve. Arsenal 2 - 1 West Ham (Aaron Ramsey, 82 min) 3:11PM 79 mins What a save from Joe Hart! Welbeck opens up on the left and lets rip from distance but HArt throws himself brilliantly to his left to tip around the post. Attempt Saved: Arsenal 1 - 1 West Ham (Danny Welbeck, 79 min) Half the ground were celebrating there, including Per Mertesacked on the Arsenal bench. 3:04PM 74 mins Mustafi yellow-carded for a late challenge on Hernandez. Silly from the German. 3:03PM 72 mins Poor first involvement from Aubameyang, who grossly overhits his pass to Lacazette. Shortly after Granit Xhaka forces a great save from Hart low to his left. It's not clear if that was sneaking in, but Hart couldn't have been sure. 2:59PM 69 mins Arsenal fans starting to get a little antsy now. The last five minutes has seen West Ham find their feet again. First change for Arsenal, now. Aubameyang replaces Alex Iwobi. 2:56PM GOOOOOAL! West Ham are level through Arnautovic! Arsenal are all over the place all of a sudden, they fail to clear their lines and West Ham punish them. Kouyate lines one up from the edge of the box, which is blocked, but the rebound falls to Lanzini, who pokes the ball through to Arnautovic on the left, and he powers a left-footed effort into the far corner. Lovely finish but Arsenal have to do better defensively, there. Arsenal 1 - 1 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 64 min) Xhaka's arm-in-the-air, claiming offside while standing still is laughable. 2:53PM 61 mins Hernandez's first touch is a header at the far post and could feasibly have resulted in a goal. He looked annoyed at himself and the replays show why. He should have done better there. Miss: Arsenal 1 - 0 West Ham (Chicharito, 61 min) Maitland-Niles is booked for a late challenge on Noble, and from the free-kick, West Ham work it well down the right and eventually win a corner. From that Arnautovic slams a volley over the bar. 2:50PM 60 mins Arsenal are hunting down every loose ball and they have a hunger about them now. Their attackers clearly love scoring goals and sense an opportunity here. They just have to remember they have a goal to defend, too. Here comes West Ham's first subs. Manuel Lanzini and Javier Hernandes replace Mario and Fernandes. 2:47PM 57 mins Iwobi finds acres of space on the right and pulls the ball back for Ramsey bit his low drilled effort is off target. 2:45PM 55 mins It all Arsenal now, who have momentum behind them now - so often they score in bursts at home, one goal leading to two or three in quick succession. Again and again Arsenal come. First Lacazette and then Iwobi have shots blocked. Then Ramsey, too, though his was from a long, long way out. 2:42PM GOOOOOOOOOAL! 1-0 Arsenal (Monreal) From the free-kick, Arsenal win a corner, which Xhaka floats in to around the penalty spot, where Monreal has peeled off, and he controls his volley really well and slams it home to put Arsenal in front! Arsenal 1 - 0 West Ham (Nacho Monreal, 51 min) 2:41PM 51 mins Mario takes it but he can't even clear the first man, and Ramsey can control the ball and and set Arsenal off on the attack. Welbeck is released down the right, and Zabaleta looks likeliest to get there, but he is just sooooo slow, and Welbeck gets there first. Zabaleta has committed and and takes Welbeck out, earning a deserved yellow card, though Arsenal's players want a red. 2:39PM 48 mins Lacazette turns Cresswell inside out before dinking a cross up towards Welbeck at the back post. Under pressure, the clearance only falls as far as Monreal, who plant a well-hit half volley straight at Hart. West Ham go up the other end and win a corner. Mustafi clearing first time when he had time to take a touch. 2:37PM "Just a rolled ankle" News from the Arsenal medical staff: Elneny's injury is not too serious. It is just a rolled ankle. Who knows how long that rules him out for. 2:35PM West Ham get the second half started What joys will the second half bring? 2:31PM This is how Elneny got injured It was a really awkward landing, and he looked in a lot of discomfort. Here's hoping it isn't too serious, but the stills of it don't look pretty. Ouch pic.twitter.com/wGjdt3jbIM— Darran Jones (@darranjones1980) April 22, 2018 2:22PM Half time A 45 minutes in which both teams had more than enough chance to break the deadlock but you'd probably say West Ham, as underdogs, would just about be the happier with that first half. For Arsenal fans, that half will probably help them get over any sadness they felt about Wenger's departure. They need a change. Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal Possession: Arsenal vs West Ham 2:20PM 45 mins +5 Arsenal pass and pass and pass. and eventually it comes to Ramsey, who turns and fires, but it goes harmlessly wide of the target. 2:19PM 45 mins +3 West Ham waste a decent position on the left when Arnautovic's cross is cleared easily, but pressure from Masuaku on Iwobi earns a corner. Ogbonna kicks it out for a goal kick, but the referee gives another corner. It comes to nothing again and Arsenal break. They have numbers over and it looks like the counter attack is on, but Arsenal slow things down and allow West Ham back in. The home crowd groan. 2:17PM 45 mins +1 Maitland-Niles is involved in things straight away, exchanging passes with Ramsey on the edge of the box and trying to play Welbeck in, but the striker is offside. 2:15PM 45 mins Five minutes added on, after that lengthy delay as Elneny was taken off. 2:14PM A fairly even game so far Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal It's not looking good for Elneny out there, replays showing he jarred his ankle in a challenge with Noble. Ainsley Maitland-Niles ia getting ready to come on. Elneny's injury could be a real blow ahead of the Europa League semi-final. Arsenal don't really have an alternative for that defensive midfield role. And don't try and tell me Xhaka, Wilshere or Ramsey can 'do a job' there. They can't. 2:11PM 40 mins Xhaka absolutely flies in on Masuaku, and West Ham have an advantage, but you'd imagine a yellow card is coming for Xhaka once the most breaks down. And once the ball is kicked out for Elneny to receive treatment, Lee Mason gives Xhaka a yellow. 2:06PM 35 mins Iwobi slips Bellerin in on the right, and the right-back lifts a ball up to the back post, where Welbeck is arriving, but he can't quite keep his header down. Arsenal are working their way into this game. Welbeck's been at the heart of their best play. Welbeck's made a bright start Credit: Reuters 2:04PM 34 mins Xhaka decides to shoot at the goalkeepers side - and not over the wall - and it's an easy save for Hart. 2:04PM 33 mins Rice brings down Welbeck on the edge of the D, and Arsenal have a free-kick in a dangerous position. Xhaka stands over it. 2:01PM 31 mins A neat one-two between Welbeck and Elneny opens things up centrally, but the forward drags his shot horribly wide. Out: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Danny Welbeck, 32 min) 1:57PM 27 mins A strong challenge from Kouyate leaves Ramsey on his backside and needing a bit of treatment. He's quickly up again, though. 1:55PM 25 mins Welbeck fires low and across Joe Hart's goal but his effort flies a yard wide of the post. 1:54PM 23 mins Best chance of the game for Arsenal as Welbeck checks back on the right in an advanced position, before laying it back for Bellerin, but he leans back and skies his effort. It's not been a great start for Arsenal Credit: AFP 1:51PM 21 mins Another direct ball from West Ham up to Arnautovic, and he lays off to Fernandes with his back to goal. Fernandes volleys at goal first time, and fires hiiiiigh over the bar. 1:50PM 20 mins Arsenal respond with a decent spell of possession inside the West Ham half. It concludes with Lacazette working a yard of space inside the box but Mark Noble does really well to get back and stick a toe in to deny the Frenchman just as he was lining one up. 1:47PM 16 mins Another west Ham long ball, and this time Masuaku is chasing it down on the left. He wins a corner off Bellerin, from which Kouyate heads over the ball. It's been all West Ham for the past six or seven minutes. 1:46PM 15 mins And again! Arnautovic shakes off Mustafi under a bouncing ball and is clean through - how on earth has this happened again?! He opens his body up and in doing so makes absolutely sure Ospina knows exactly where he's going to put it. The keeper saves fairly easily. Attempt Saved: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 1:44PM 13 mins Two long balls cause Arsenal all kinds of trouble - and the positive atmosphere is hinting at fading away here. The first one puts Mario in and his low shot forces a decent save from Ospina, before Arnautovic is put through on the right but he is caught by Mustafi who does well to recover and smother the chance. 1:42PM 11 mins Arsenal are pressing West Ham quite aggressively all over the pitch, but the visitors have been playing some really calm, composed football to get themselves out, and they build a brilliant move here with Cresswell, Mario and Arnautovic combined well on the left side. Play opens up for Mario and he tries to slip Edmilson Fernandes in through the middle, but it's just an inch too far ahead of him. Some positive signs for West Ham. 1:39PM 9 mins Xhaka spreads play out to Monreal well on the left. He is closed down by Zabaleta and Arsenal have another corner. Xhaka finds Koscielny at the near post and he rises really well, but can't quite direct his header on target. Out: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Laurent Koscielny, 9 min) 1:37PM 7 mins Play is delayed a moment after Arsenal win a corner as referee Lee Mason has some adjustments made to his kit, before Xhaka's corner is well-headed clear under pressure. 1:34PM 4 mins I think... I THINK... I can hear some Arsenal fans singing "there's only one Arsene Wenger" somewhere at the Emirates. 1:33PM 2 mins Xhaka feeds Ramsey in midfield and the game hints at opening up for the Welshman, but he overhits his attempted through ball and the attack breaks down. 1:30PM A good atmosphere! The sun is shining on the Emirates and the fans are in decent voice, too. This could be fun! Arsenal get us started. 1:28PM The players are out... ...and kick-off is just minutes away. 1:26PM Plenty of empty seats... Five minutes till kickoff and it is far from full here. pic.twitter.com/8PzpV7I1TL— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) April 22, 2018 1:20PM There is another team playing here today West Ham manager David Moyes speaks: "We know we're going to have to be hard to beat. Arsenal are very good team at home. "Arsene's news doesn't help us - we need to work hard. The only thing that might work in our favour is that they have a semi-final on Thursday. We need to let them know they're in for a game today. 1:11PM They're all coming out of the woodwork today... Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images Credit: getty images 12:51PM "I'd be embarrassed if Arsenal didn't know who the next manager was" Gary Neville reckons Arsenal's hierarchy must know who is coming in to replace Wenger. There's no single stand-out candidate, though, is there? Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal? 12:45PM Wenger talks "First of all I'm focused on the game. My job is to win the next game. We have to separate the emotions that come with such a decision [to leave] and doing my job well until the end. "I've been in this job a long time, you learn to deal with difficult situations. "I'll explain why the decision has been announced now a bit later - not after the game, after the season. Wenger at Arsenal gallery "I dedicated my whole life to making this club solid and healthy, and I want the person who comes in to have an exciting time ahead. I will work for that to happen until the end of my career here. "I hope the team will be full of positive emotions today, and I would like the team to be supported well, too. We have had a good season at home." 12:35PM West Ham are unchanged from the draw with Stoke We're unchanged! #ARSWHU#COYIpic.twitter.com/4ZpSz9vwbQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) April 22, 2018 Presumably we'll see big Andy Carroll causing havoc throwing himself around at some point later on. 12:33PM Team news - it's a strong Arsenal team But Opsina plays in goal and Ozil is ill. There's also no starting place for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Jack Wilshere misses out with an ankle problem. Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Elneny; Ramsey, Iwobi, Welbeck; Lacazette. �� Here's how we line up for today's match #AFCvWHUpic.twitter.com/wUHpFt3BAH— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 22, 2018 12:25PM Wenger urges supporters to 'stand behind the team' in his programme notes I'm sure you are all aware that, after careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. I don't want to say too much now, but as I said on Friday I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club with full commitment and integrity for so many memorable years. For now, there are still seven football matches to play this season - hopefully eight if we can triumph over Atletico - and my immediate thoughts have to be about these games, starting with West Ham today. I want to finish these notes by offering thanks to the staff, the players, the directors and the fans who make this club so special. My love and support for Arsenal will last forever and I urge our fans to stand behind the team so we can finish on a high. 12:21PM The beginning of the end So, it's the first game since Arsene Wenger announced he will be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season after 22 years at the club, and the expectation is that the news will have a positive impact on the Emirates attendance and atmosphere, both of which have been waning terribly in recent weeks with the domestic season as good as over. Timeline | Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal Of course, he deserves the send-off of all send-offs, and although most Arsenal fans will be glad to see the back of Wenger, they should also be grateful for all that he has done for the club over the past two decades. Everyone will be hoping that the Emirates will be packed today and Wenger will get a good reception, particularly with the pressure off given there's essentially nothing riding on this game for the home side.
Alexandre Lacazette wraps up winning start to Arsene Wenger's Arsenal farewell
Beginning with a match that ranks among the more irrelevant of your 34-year career was never likely to get the celebratory tour off to a particularly rousing start, but three goals in the final 10 minutes did at least ensure a positive end to an otherwise easily forgettable match. The final headline act for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal tenure really starts with the Europa League first leg against Atletico Madrid, but a rather flattering win here against West Ham United should at least boost confidence, especially in ­Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey, ahead of Thursday night. With Burnley also held by Stoke City on Sunday, Arsenal are now ­almost assured of finishing at least sixth to avoid the pre-season disruption for Wenger’s successor that Europa League qualifying would cause. Wenger’s send-off will now depend entirely on whether he can rouse three more big performances from his players in the Europa League, and so depart Lyon next month with a trophy and Arsenal back in the Champions League. On this evidence, it is far from certain. With West Ham resilient and roared on, among others, by centre-back James Collins in the away end, Arsenal summoned only one shot on goal during a first half played at almost a pre-season pace in the London heat. It was most notable for what looked like a significant injury to their Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny. He eventually left the pitch on a stretcher in tears and a protective brace that makes him a doubt not just for the remaining Europa League matches, but perhaps also the World Cup. Elneny’s injury will now be X-rayed, but Wenger said simply that “it does not look good”. Wenger was given a good reception Credit: Getty images David Ospina’s selection as Arsenal goalkeeper suggests Petr Cech will return on Thursday in the ­Europa League, but there was also no starting place for club record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, despite him only being eligible this season for Arsenal in the ­Premier League. The rationale was clearly that Lacazette needs time on the pitch following his own recent absence with a serious knee injury, but ­Arsenal began hesitantly. Danny Welbeck threatened most regularly, but his finishing both on the floor and in the air lacked composure. Nacho Monreal has been proving himself useful this season in both penalty areas and he calmly controlled Granit Xhaka’s 51st-minute corner before finishing with power and precision past Joe Hart. Arsenal rarely looked secure ­defensively and, with Marko ­Arnautovic playing with his usual intensity, the match was soon level. Ospina’s punched clearance had reached only Cheikhou Kouyate and, after a deft touch by Manuel Lanzini, Arnautovic scored his 10th goal of the season. Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal Arsenal had looked unlikely to find a winner but, after 82 minutes, Declan Rice ducked under a cross from Ramsey in the mistaken belief that Hart was expecting the ball to reach him. He was not and it simply nestled into the corner of the goal. David Moyes, the West Ham manager, felt that it was the game’s decisive moment and warned his 19-year-old defender that he must learn from it. “A poor mistake,” he said. “At 81 minutes, I thought we were good for a point.” “It flattened the team. If you are a centre-half the last thing you do is let it go. Why would you duck ­under it? “He’s played great in the last couple of games and it is a learning curve. If it happens again, then you don’t progress.” Declan Rice was at fault for Aaron Ramsey's goal Credit: Reuters Arsenal certainly did then progress through the gears and, after excellent passing by Welbeck and Aubameyang, Lacazette smashed a deflected shot off Aaron Cresswell and past Hart. The best was then saved to last, when Ramsey brilliantly weaved past several defenders and passed for Lacazette to finish clinically. Only then did a chant of “One Arsene Wenger” really echo around the stadium. It was a belated gesture, in keeping with a season that will be ­defined now by the next two Thursday nights. 3:34PM Ramsey on the departing Arsene Wenger "He brought me here as a 17-year-old, so I owe him a lot, he deserves all the credit he gets. "We're not thinking about who's coming in next or playing for our futures. It's more about ending the season well for him and hopefully ending with a cup." 3:31PM A happy start to the end for Wenger That was about as Arsene Wenger's Arsenal as they come, that match: a 4-1 win that could easily have been a 1-3 defeat after a flurry of late goals just when the match looked liked it could tip either way. The most positive thing for Arsenal, though, ahead of the Atletico game later this week, will be Alexandre Lacazette's brace. A good time to find form. Lacazette celebrates scoring Arsenal's fourth goal Credit: Getty images 3:25PM Full time And Arsenal wrap up a scarcely believable 4-1 win to celebrate the first game at the Emirates since Arsene Wenger's end-of-season departure was announced. They were - just about - the better team, but West Ham will feel themselves unlucky not to have got something from that. 3:23PM 90 mins +3 Bellerin's cross evades Aubameyang. A chorus of "one Arsene Wenger" rings out around the Emirates. 3:22PM Key man 19 - Aaron Ramsey has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season (19 - 11 goals and eight assists). Leader. pic.twitter.com/1zWyOxD4Tg— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 3:22PM 90 mins +2 Arsenal are on fire now. Lacazette does really well to hold off a couple of challenges in the box, before laying off for Xhaka, but he leans back and fires well over the bar. 3:19PM GOOOOOAAALLL! 4-1 to Arsenal! Lacazette makes it four! Aubameyang has added something extra since he was brought on, and he is involved again. He plays Ramsey in down the left, who dances between challenges, feeds back to Lacazette, who takes one touch out of his feet and fires past Hart, who won't be able to believe he's conceded four goals today. Arsenal 4 - 1 West Ham (Alexandre Lacazette, 89 min) 3:17PM 88 mins Arnautovic earns a yellow card for taking out Aubameyang as he went charging down the left wing. Welbeck is replaced by Chambers. 3:14PM GOOOOOOAALL! 3-1 to Arsenal! Arsenal pass the ball patiently from left to right, with Welbeck finding Aubameyang, who passes out to Lacazette on the right. The Frenchman takes a touch before winding up a shot, but it takes a deflection off Cresswell, leaving Hart helpless. Arsenal 3 - 1 West Ham (Alexandre Lacazette, 85 min) 3:13PM GOOOOOOOOAL!!!! 2-1 to Arsenal! Arsenal break down the right but Lacazette's cross is cleared by Declan Rice - but only as far as Aaron Ramsey. He cuts back onto his right on the left side, and dinks a pretty tame cross in towards Aubameyang, Hart screams "away!" but Rice opts to duck out of the way inexplicably and the cross bounces into the net. What a time to make your first mistake of the match for the youngster, and that could cost his side the point they deserve. Arsenal 2 - 1 West Ham (Aaron Ramsey, 82 min) 3:11PM 79 mins What a save from Joe Hart! Welbeck opens up on the left and lets rip from distance but HArt throws himself brilliantly to his left to tip around the post. Attempt Saved: Arsenal 1 - 1 West Ham (Danny Welbeck, 79 min) Half the ground were celebrating there, including Per Mertesacked on the Arsenal bench. 3:04PM 74 mins Mustafi yellow-carded for a late challenge on Hernandez. Silly from the German. 3:03PM 72 mins Poor first involvement from Aubameyang, who grossly overhits his pass to Lacazette. Shortly after Granit Xhaka forces a great save from Hart low to his left. It's not clear if that was sneaking in, but Hart couldn't have been sure. 2:59PM 69 mins Arsenal fans starting to get a little antsy now. The last five minutes has seen West Ham find their feet again. First change for Arsenal, now. Aubameyang replaces Alex Iwobi. 2:56PM GOOOOOAL! West Ham are level through Arnautovic! Arsenal are all over the place all of a sudden, they fail to clear their lines and West Ham punish them. Kouyate lines one up from the edge of the box, which is blocked, but the rebound falls to Lanzini, who pokes the ball through to Arnautovic on the left, and he powers a left-footed effort into the far corner. Lovely finish but Arsenal have to do better defensively, there. Arsenal 1 - 1 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 64 min) Xhaka's arm-in-the-air, claiming offside while standing still is laughable. 2:53PM 61 mins Hernandez's first touch is a header at the far post and could feasibly have resulted in a goal. He looked annoyed at himself and the replays show why. He should have done better there. Miss: Arsenal 1 - 0 West Ham (Chicharito, 61 min) Maitland-Niles is booked for a late challenge on Noble, and from the free-kick, West Ham work it well down the right and eventually win a corner. From that Arnautovic slams a volley over the bar. 2:50PM 60 mins Arsenal are hunting down every loose ball and they have a hunger about them now. Their attackers clearly love scoring goals and sense an opportunity here. They just have to remember they have a goal to defend, too. Here comes West Ham's first subs. Manuel Lanzini and Javier Hernandes replace Mario and Fernandes. 2:47PM 57 mins Iwobi finds acres of space on the right and pulls the ball back for Ramsey bit his low drilled effort is off target. 2:45PM 55 mins It all Arsenal now, who have momentum behind them now - so often they score in bursts at home, one goal leading to two or three in quick succession. Again and again Arsenal come. First Lacazette and then Iwobi have shots blocked. Then Ramsey, too, though his was from a long, long way out. 2:42PM GOOOOOOOOOAL! 1-0 Arsenal (Monreal) From the free-kick, Arsenal win a corner, which Xhaka floats in to around the penalty spot, where Monreal has peeled off, and he controls his volley really well and slams it home to put Arsenal in front! Arsenal 1 - 0 West Ham (Nacho Monreal, 51 min) 2:41PM 51 mins Mario takes it but he can't even clear the first man, and Ramsey can control the ball and and set Arsenal off on the attack. Welbeck is released down the right, and Zabaleta looks likeliest to get there, but he is just sooooo slow, and Welbeck gets there first. Zabaleta has committed and and takes Welbeck out, earning a deserved yellow card, though Arsenal's players want a red. 2:39PM 48 mins Lacazette turns Cresswell inside out before dinking a cross up towards Welbeck at the back post. Under pressure, the clearance only falls as far as Monreal, who plant a well-hit half volley straight at Hart. West Ham go up the other end and win a corner. Mustafi clearing first time when he had time to take a touch. 2:37PM "Just a rolled ankle" News from the Arsenal medical staff: Elneny's injury is not too serious. It is just a rolled ankle. Who knows how long that rules him out for. 2:35PM West Ham get the second half started What joys will the second half bring? 2:31PM This is how Elneny got injured It was a really awkward landing, and he looked in a lot of discomfort. Here's hoping it isn't too serious, but the stills of it don't look pretty. Ouch pic.twitter.com/wGjdt3jbIM— Darran Jones (@darranjones1980) April 22, 2018 2:22PM Half time A 45 minutes in which both teams had more than enough chance to break the deadlock but you'd probably say West Ham, as underdogs, would just about be the happier with that first half. For Arsenal fans, that half will probably help them get over any sadness they felt about Wenger's departure. They need a change. Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal Possession: Arsenal vs West Ham 2:20PM 45 mins +5 Arsenal pass and pass and pass. and eventually it comes to Ramsey, who turns and fires, but it goes harmlessly wide of the target. 2:19PM 45 mins +3 West Ham waste a decent position on the left when Arnautovic's cross is cleared easily, but pressure from Masuaku on Iwobi earns a corner. Ogbonna kicks it out for a goal kick, but the referee gives another corner. It comes to nothing again and Arsenal break. They have numbers over and it looks like the counter attack is on, but Arsenal slow things down and allow West Ham back in. The home crowd groan. 2:17PM 45 mins +1 Maitland-Niles is involved in things straight away, exchanging passes with Ramsey on the edge of the box and trying to play Welbeck in, but the striker is offside. 2:15PM 45 mins Five minutes added on, after that lengthy delay as Elneny was taken off. 2:14PM A fairly even game so far Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal It's not looking good for Elneny out there, replays showing he jarred his ankle in a challenge with Noble. Ainsley Maitland-Niles ia getting ready to come on. Elneny's injury could be a real blow ahead of the Europa League semi-final. Arsenal don't really have an alternative for that defensive midfield role. And don't try and tell me Xhaka, Wilshere or Ramsey can 'do a job' there. They can't. 2:11PM 40 mins Xhaka absolutely flies in on Masuaku, and West Ham have an advantage, but you'd imagine a yellow card is coming for Xhaka once the most breaks down. And once the ball is kicked out for Elneny to receive treatment, Lee Mason gives Xhaka a yellow. 2:06PM 35 mins Iwobi slips Bellerin in on the right, and the right-back lifts a ball up to the back post, where Welbeck is arriving, but he can't quite keep his header down. Arsenal are working their way into this game. Welbeck's been at the heart of their best play. Welbeck's made a bright start Credit: Reuters 2:04PM 34 mins Xhaka decides to shoot at the goalkeepers side - and not over the wall - and it's an easy save for Hart. 2:04PM 33 mins Rice brings down Welbeck on the edge of the D, and Arsenal have a free-kick in a dangerous position. Xhaka stands over it. 2:01PM 31 mins A neat one-two between Welbeck and Elneny opens things up centrally, but the forward drags his shot horribly wide. Out: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Danny Welbeck, 32 min) 1:57PM 27 mins A strong challenge from Kouyate leaves Ramsey on his backside and needing a bit of treatment. He's quickly up again, though. 1:55PM 25 mins Welbeck fires low and across Joe Hart's goal but his effort flies a yard wide of the post. 1:54PM 23 mins Best chance of the game for Arsenal as Welbeck checks back on the right in an advanced position, before laying it back for Bellerin, but he leans back and skies his effort. It's not been a great start for Arsenal Credit: AFP 1:51PM 21 mins Another direct ball from West Ham up to Arnautovic, and he lays off to Fernandes with his back to goal. Fernandes volleys at goal first time, and fires hiiiiigh over the bar. 1:50PM 20 mins Arsenal respond with a decent spell of possession inside the West Ham half. It concludes with Lacazette working a yard of space inside the box but Mark Noble does really well to get back and stick a toe in to deny the Frenchman just as he was lining one up. 1:47PM 16 mins Another west Ham long ball, and this time Masuaku is chasing it down on the left. He wins a corner off Bellerin, from which Kouyate heads over the ball. It's been all West Ham for the past six or seven minutes. 1:46PM 15 mins And again! Arnautovic shakes off Mustafi under a bouncing ball and is clean through - how on earth has this happened again?! He opens his body up and in doing so makes absolutely sure Ospina knows exactly where he's going to put it. The keeper saves fairly easily. Attempt Saved: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 1:44PM 13 mins Two long balls cause Arsenal all kinds of trouble - and the positive atmosphere is hinting at fading away here. The first one puts Mario in and his low shot forces a decent save from Ospina, before Arnautovic is put through on the right but he is caught by Mustafi who does well to recover and smother the chance. 1:42PM 11 mins Arsenal are pressing West Ham quite aggressively all over the pitch, but the visitors have been playing some really calm, composed football to get themselves out, and they build a brilliant move here with Cresswell, Mario and Arnautovic combined well on the left side. Play opens up for Mario and he tries to slip Edmilson Fernandes in through the middle, but it's just an inch too far ahead of him. Some positive signs for West Ham. 1:39PM 9 mins Xhaka spreads play out to Monreal well on the left. He is closed down by Zabaleta and Arsenal have another corner. Xhaka finds Koscielny at the near post and he rises really well, but can't quite direct his header on target. Out: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Laurent Koscielny, 9 min) 1:37PM 7 mins Play is delayed a moment after Arsenal win a corner as referee Lee Mason has some adjustments made to his kit, before Xhaka's corner is well-headed clear under pressure. 1:34PM 4 mins I think... I THINK... I can hear some Arsenal fans singing "there's only one Arsene Wenger" somewhere at the Emirates. 1:33PM 2 mins Xhaka feeds Ramsey in midfield and the game hints at opening up for the Welshman, but he overhits his attempted through ball and the attack breaks down. 1:30PM A good atmosphere! The sun is shining on the Emirates and the fans are in decent voice, too. This could be fun! Arsenal get us started. 1:28PM The players are out... ...and kick-off is just minutes away. 1:26PM Plenty of empty seats... Five minutes till kickoff and it is far from full here. pic.twitter.com/8PzpV7I1TL— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) April 22, 2018 1:20PM There is another team playing here today West Ham manager David Moyes speaks: "We know we're going to have to be hard to beat. Arsenal are very good team at home. "Arsene's news doesn't help us - we need to work hard. The only thing that might work in our favour is that they have a semi-final on Thursday. We need to let them know they're in for a game today. 1:11PM They're all coming out of the woodwork today... Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images Credit: getty images 12:51PM "I'd be embarrassed if Arsenal didn't know who the next manager was" Gary Neville reckons Arsenal's hierarchy must know who is coming in to replace Wenger. There's no single stand-out candidate, though, is there? Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal? 12:45PM Wenger talks "First of all I'm focused on the game. My job is to win the next game. We have to separate the emotions that come with such a decision [to leave] and doing my job well until the end. "I've been in this job a long time, you learn to deal with difficult situations. "I'll explain why the decision has been announced now a bit later - not after the game, after the season. Wenger at Arsenal gallery "I dedicated my whole life to making this club solid and healthy, and I want the person who comes in to have an exciting time ahead. I will work for that to happen until the end of my career here. "I hope the team will be full of positive emotions today, and I would like the team to be supported well, too. We have had a good season at home." 12:35PM West Ham are unchanged from the draw with Stoke We're unchanged! #ARSWHU#COYIpic.twitter.com/4ZpSz9vwbQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) April 22, 2018 Presumably we'll see big Andy Carroll causing havoc throwing himself around at some point later on. 12:33PM Team news - it's a strong Arsenal team But Opsina plays in goal and Ozil is ill. There's also no starting place for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Jack Wilshere misses out with an ankle problem. Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Elneny; Ramsey, Iwobi, Welbeck; Lacazette. �� Here's how we line up for today's match #AFCvWHUpic.twitter.com/wUHpFt3BAH— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 22, 2018 12:25PM Wenger urges supporters to 'stand behind the team' in his programme notes I'm sure you are all aware that, after careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. I don't want to say too much now, but as I said on Friday I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club with full commitment and integrity for so many memorable years. For now, there are still seven football matches to play this season - hopefully eight if we can triumph over Atletico - and my immediate thoughts have to be about these games, starting with West Ham today. I want to finish these notes by offering thanks to the staff, the players, the directors and the fans who make this club so special. My love and support for Arsenal will last forever and I urge our fans to stand behind the team so we can finish on a high. 12:21PM The beginning of the end So, it's the first game since Arsene Wenger announced he will be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season after 22 years at the club, and the expectation is that the news will have a positive impact on the Emirates attendance and atmosphere, both of which have been waning terribly in recent weeks with the domestic season as good as over. Timeline | Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal Of course, he deserves the send-off of all send-offs, and although most Arsenal fans will be glad to see the back of Wenger, they should also be grateful for all that he has done for the club over the past two decades. Everyone will be hoping that the Emirates will be packed today and Wenger will get a good reception, particularly with the pressure off given there's essentially nothing riding on this game for the home side.
Beginning with a match that ranks among the more irrelevant of your 34-year career was never likely to get the celebratory tour off to a particularly rousing start, but three goals in the final 10 minutes did at least ensure a positive end to an otherwise easily forgettable match. The final headline act for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal tenure really starts with the Europa League first leg against Atletico Madrid, but a rather flattering win here against West Ham United should at least boost confidence, especially in ­Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey, ahead of Thursday night. With Burnley also held by Stoke City on Sunday, Arsenal are now ­almost assured of finishing at least sixth to avoid the pre-season disruption for Wenger’s successor that Europa League qualifying would cause. Wenger’s send-off will now depend entirely on whether he can rouse three more big performances from his players in the Europa League, and so depart Lyon next month with a trophy and Arsenal back in the Champions League. On this evidence, it is far from certain. With West Ham resilient and roared on, among others, by centre-back James Collins in the away end, Arsenal summoned only one shot on goal during a first half played at almost a pre-season pace in the London heat. It was most notable for what looked like a significant injury to their Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny. He eventually left the pitch on a stretcher in tears and a protective brace that makes him a doubt not just for the remaining Europa League matches, but perhaps also the World Cup. Elneny’s injury will now be X-rayed, but Wenger said simply that “it does not look good”. Wenger was given a good reception Credit: Getty images David Ospina’s selection as Arsenal goalkeeper suggests Petr Cech will return on Thursday in the ­Europa League, but there was also no starting place for club record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, despite him only being eligible this season for Arsenal in the ­Premier League. The rationale was clearly that Lacazette needs time on the pitch following his own recent absence with a serious knee injury, but ­Arsenal began hesitantly. Danny Welbeck threatened most regularly, but his finishing both on the floor and in the air lacked composure. Nacho Monreal has been proving himself useful this season in both penalty areas and he calmly controlled Granit Xhaka’s 51st-minute corner before finishing with power and precision past Joe Hart. Arsenal rarely looked secure ­defensively and, with Marko ­Arnautovic playing with his usual intensity, the match was soon level. Ospina’s punched clearance had reached only Cheikhou Kouyate and, after a deft touch by Manuel Lanzini, Arnautovic scored his 10th goal of the season. Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal Arsenal had looked unlikely to find a winner but, after 82 minutes, Declan Rice ducked under a cross from Ramsey in the mistaken belief that Hart was expecting the ball to reach him. He was not and it simply nestled into the corner of the goal. David Moyes, the West Ham manager, felt that it was the game’s decisive moment and warned his 19-year-old defender that he must learn from it. “A poor mistake,” he said. “At 81 minutes, I thought we were good for a point.” “It flattened the team. If you are a centre-half the last thing you do is let it go. Why would you duck ­under it? “He’s played great in the last couple of games and it is a learning curve. If it happens again, then you don’t progress.” Declan Rice was at fault for Aaron Ramsey's goal Credit: Reuters Arsenal certainly did then progress through the gears and, after excellent passing by Welbeck and Aubameyang, Lacazette smashed a deflected shot off Aaron Cresswell and past Hart. The best was then saved to last, when Ramsey brilliantly weaved past several defenders and passed for Lacazette to finish clinically. Only then did a chant of “One Arsene Wenger” really echo around the stadium. It was a belated gesture, in keeping with a season that will be ­defined now by the next two Thursday nights. 3:34PM Ramsey on the departing Arsene Wenger "He brought me here as a 17-year-old, so I owe him a lot, he deserves all the credit he gets. "We're not thinking about who's coming in next or playing for our futures. It's more about ending the season well for him and hopefully ending with a cup." 3:31PM A happy start to the end for Wenger That was about as Arsene Wenger's Arsenal as they come, that match: a 4-1 win that could easily have been a 1-3 defeat after a flurry of late goals just when the match looked liked it could tip either way. The most positive thing for Arsenal, though, ahead of the Atletico game later this week, will be Alexandre Lacazette's brace. A good time to find form. Lacazette celebrates scoring Arsenal's fourth goal Credit: Getty images 3:25PM Full time And Arsenal wrap up a scarcely believable 4-1 win to celebrate the first game at the Emirates since Arsene Wenger's end-of-season departure was announced. They were - just about - the better team, but West Ham will feel themselves unlucky not to have got something from that. 3:23PM 90 mins +3 Bellerin's cross evades Aubameyang. A chorus of "one Arsene Wenger" rings out around the Emirates. 3:22PM Key man 19 - Aaron Ramsey has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season (19 - 11 goals and eight assists). Leader. pic.twitter.com/1zWyOxD4Tg— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 3:22PM 90 mins +2 Arsenal are on fire now. Lacazette does really well to hold off a couple of challenges in the box, before laying off for Xhaka, but he leans back and fires well over the bar. 3:19PM GOOOOOAAALLL! 4-1 to Arsenal! Lacazette makes it four! Aubameyang has added something extra since he was brought on, and he is involved again. He plays Ramsey in down the left, who dances between challenges, feeds back to Lacazette, who takes one touch out of his feet and fires past Hart, who won't be able to believe he's conceded four goals today. Arsenal 4 - 1 West Ham (Alexandre Lacazette, 89 min) 3:17PM 88 mins Arnautovic earns a yellow card for taking out Aubameyang as he went charging down the left wing. Welbeck is replaced by Chambers. 3:14PM GOOOOOOAALL! 3-1 to Arsenal! Arsenal pass the ball patiently from left to right, with Welbeck finding Aubameyang, who passes out to Lacazette on the right. The Frenchman takes a touch before winding up a shot, but it takes a deflection off Cresswell, leaving Hart helpless. Arsenal 3 - 1 West Ham (Alexandre Lacazette, 85 min) 3:13PM GOOOOOOOOAL!!!! 2-1 to Arsenal! Arsenal break down the right but Lacazette's cross is cleared by Declan Rice - but only as far as Aaron Ramsey. He cuts back onto his right on the left side, and dinks a pretty tame cross in towards Aubameyang, Hart screams "away!" but Rice opts to duck out of the way inexplicably and the cross bounces into the net. What a time to make your first mistake of the match for the youngster, and that could cost his side the point they deserve. Arsenal 2 - 1 West Ham (Aaron Ramsey, 82 min) 3:11PM 79 mins What a save from Joe Hart! Welbeck opens up on the left and lets rip from distance but HArt throws himself brilliantly to his left to tip around the post. Attempt Saved: Arsenal 1 - 1 West Ham (Danny Welbeck, 79 min) Half the ground were celebrating there, including Per Mertesacked on the Arsenal bench. 3:04PM 74 mins Mustafi yellow-carded for a late challenge on Hernandez. Silly from the German. 3:03PM 72 mins Poor first involvement from Aubameyang, who grossly overhits his pass to Lacazette. Shortly after Granit Xhaka forces a great save from Hart low to his left. It's not clear if that was sneaking in, but Hart couldn't have been sure. 2:59PM 69 mins Arsenal fans starting to get a little antsy now. The last five minutes has seen West Ham find their feet again. First change for Arsenal, now. Aubameyang replaces Alex Iwobi. 2:56PM GOOOOOAL! West Ham are level through Arnautovic! Arsenal are all over the place all of a sudden, they fail to clear their lines and West Ham punish them. Kouyate lines one up from the edge of the box, which is blocked, but the rebound falls to Lanzini, who pokes the ball through to Arnautovic on the left, and he powers a left-footed effort into the far corner. Lovely finish but Arsenal have to do better defensively, there. Arsenal 1 - 1 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 64 min) Xhaka's arm-in-the-air, claiming offside while standing still is laughable. 2:53PM 61 mins Hernandez's first touch is a header at the far post and could feasibly have resulted in a goal. He looked annoyed at himself and the replays show why. He should have done better there. Miss: Arsenal 1 - 0 West Ham (Chicharito, 61 min) Maitland-Niles is booked for a late challenge on Noble, and from the free-kick, West Ham work it well down the right and eventually win a corner. From that Arnautovic slams a volley over the bar. 2:50PM 60 mins Arsenal are hunting down every loose ball and they have a hunger about them now. Their attackers clearly love scoring goals and sense an opportunity here. They just have to remember they have a goal to defend, too. Here comes West Ham's first subs. Manuel Lanzini and Javier Hernandes replace Mario and Fernandes. 2:47PM 57 mins Iwobi finds acres of space on the right and pulls the ball back for Ramsey bit his low drilled effort is off target. 2:45PM 55 mins It all Arsenal now, who have momentum behind them now - so often they score in bursts at home, one goal leading to two or three in quick succession. Again and again Arsenal come. First Lacazette and then Iwobi have shots blocked. Then Ramsey, too, though his was from a long, long way out. 2:42PM GOOOOOOOOOAL! 1-0 Arsenal (Monreal) From the free-kick, Arsenal win a corner, which Xhaka floats in to around the penalty spot, where Monreal has peeled off, and he controls his volley really well and slams it home to put Arsenal in front! Arsenal 1 - 0 West Ham (Nacho Monreal, 51 min) 2:41PM 51 mins Mario takes it but he can't even clear the first man, and Ramsey can control the ball and and set Arsenal off on the attack. Welbeck is released down the right, and Zabaleta looks likeliest to get there, but he is just sooooo slow, and Welbeck gets there first. Zabaleta has committed and and takes Welbeck out, earning a deserved yellow card, though Arsenal's players want a red. 2:39PM 48 mins Lacazette turns Cresswell inside out before dinking a cross up towards Welbeck at the back post. Under pressure, the clearance only falls as far as Monreal, who plant a well-hit half volley straight at Hart. West Ham go up the other end and win a corner. Mustafi clearing first time when he had time to take a touch. 2:37PM "Just a rolled ankle" News from the Arsenal medical staff: Elneny's injury is not too serious. It is just a rolled ankle. Who knows how long that rules him out for. 2:35PM West Ham get the second half started What joys will the second half bring? 2:31PM This is how Elneny got injured It was a really awkward landing, and he looked in a lot of discomfort. Here's hoping it isn't too serious, but the stills of it don't look pretty. Ouch pic.twitter.com/wGjdt3jbIM— Darran Jones (@darranjones1980) April 22, 2018 2:22PM Half time A 45 minutes in which both teams had more than enough chance to break the deadlock but you'd probably say West Ham, as underdogs, would just about be the happier with that first half. For Arsenal fans, that half will probably help them get over any sadness they felt about Wenger's departure. They need a change. Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal Possession: Arsenal vs West Ham 2:20PM 45 mins +5 Arsenal pass and pass and pass. and eventually it comes to Ramsey, who turns and fires, but it goes harmlessly wide of the target. 2:19PM 45 mins +3 West Ham waste a decent position on the left when Arnautovic's cross is cleared easily, but pressure from Masuaku on Iwobi earns a corner. Ogbonna kicks it out for a goal kick, but the referee gives another corner. It comes to nothing again and Arsenal break. They have numbers over and it looks like the counter attack is on, but Arsenal slow things down and allow West Ham back in. The home crowd groan. 2:17PM 45 mins +1 Maitland-Niles is involved in things straight away, exchanging passes with Ramsey on the edge of the box and trying to play Welbeck in, but the striker is offside. 2:15PM 45 mins Five minutes added on, after that lengthy delay as Elneny was taken off. 2:14PM A fairly even game so far Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal It's not looking good for Elneny out there, replays showing he jarred his ankle in a challenge with Noble. Ainsley Maitland-Niles ia getting ready to come on. Elneny's injury could be a real blow ahead of the Europa League semi-final. Arsenal don't really have an alternative for that defensive midfield role. And don't try and tell me Xhaka, Wilshere or Ramsey can 'do a job' there. They can't. 2:11PM 40 mins Xhaka absolutely flies in on Masuaku, and West Ham have an advantage, but you'd imagine a yellow card is coming for Xhaka once the most breaks down. And once the ball is kicked out for Elneny to receive treatment, Lee Mason gives Xhaka a yellow. 2:06PM 35 mins Iwobi slips Bellerin in on the right, and the right-back lifts a ball up to the back post, where Welbeck is arriving, but he can't quite keep his header down. Arsenal are working their way into this game. Welbeck's been at the heart of their best play. Welbeck's made a bright start Credit: Reuters 2:04PM 34 mins Xhaka decides to shoot at the goalkeepers side - and not over the wall - and it's an easy save for Hart. 2:04PM 33 mins Rice brings down Welbeck on the edge of the D, and Arsenal have a free-kick in a dangerous position. Xhaka stands over it. 2:01PM 31 mins A neat one-two between Welbeck and Elneny opens things up centrally, but the forward drags his shot horribly wide. Out: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Danny Welbeck, 32 min) 1:57PM 27 mins A strong challenge from Kouyate leaves Ramsey on his backside and needing a bit of treatment. He's quickly up again, though. 1:55PM 25 mins Welbeck fires low and across Joe Hart's goal but his effort flies a yard wide of the post. 1:54PM 23 mins Best chance of the game for Arsenal as Welbeck checks back on the right in an advanced position, before laying it back for Bellerin, but he leans back and skies his effort. It's not been a great start for Arsenal Credit: AFP 1:51PM 21 mins Another direct ball from West Ham up to Arnautovic, and he lays off to Fernandes with his back to goal. Fernandes volleys at goal first time, and fires hiiiiigh over the bar. 1:50PM 20 mins Arsenal respond with a decent spell of possession inside the West Ham half. It concludes with Lacazette working a yard of space inside the box but Mark Noble does really well to get back and stick a toe in to deny the Frenchman just as he was lining one up. 1:47PM 16 mins Another west Ham long ball, and this time Masuaku is chasing it down on the left. He wins a corner off Bellerin, from which Kouyate heads over the ball. It's been all West Ham for the past six or seven minutes. 1:46PM 15 mins And again! Arnautovic shakes off Mustafi under a bouncing ball and is clean through - how on earth has this happened again?! He opens his body up and in doing so makes absolutely sure Ospina knows exactly where he's going to put it. The keeper saves fairly easily. Attempt Saved: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 1:44PM 13 mins Two long balls cause Arsenal all kinds of trouble - and the positive atmosphere is hinting at fading away here. The first one puts Mario in and his low shot forces a decent save from Ospina, before Arnautovic is put through on the right but he is caught by Mustafi who does well to recover and smother the chance. 1:42PM 11 mins Arsenal are pressing West Ham quite aggressively all over the pitch, but the visitors have been playing some really calm, composed football to get themselves out, and they build a brilliant move here with Cresswell, Mario and Arnautovic combined well on the left side. Play opens up for Mario and he tries to slip Edmilson Fernandes in through the middle, but it's just an inch too far ahead of him. Some positive signs for West Ham. 1:39PM 9 mins Xhaka spreads play out to Monreal well on the left. He is closed down by Zabaleta and Arsenal have another corner. Xhaka finds Koscielny at the near post and he rises really well, but can't quite direct his header on target. Out: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Laurent Koscielny, 9 min) 1:37PM 7 mins Play is delayed a moment after Arsenal win a corner as referee Lee Mason has some adjustments made to his kit, before Xhaka's corner is well-headed clear under pressure. 1:34PM 4 mins I think... I THINK... I can hear some Arsenal fans singing "there's only one Arsene Wenger" somewhere at the Emirates. 1:33PM 2 mins Xhaka feeds Ramsey in midfield and the game hints at opening up for the Welshman, but he overhits his attempted through ball and the attack breaks down. 1:30PM A good atmosphere! The sun is shining on the Emirates and the fans are in decent voice, too. This could be fun! Arsenal get us started. 1:28PM The players are out... ...and kick-off is just minutes away. 1:26PM Plenty of empty seats... Five minutes till kickoff and it is far from full here. pic.twitter.com/8PzpV7I1TL— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) April 22, 2018 1:20PM There is another team playing here today West Ham manager David Moyes speaks: "We know we're going to have to be hard to beat. Arsenal are very good team at home. "Arsene's news doesn't help us - we need to work hard. The only thing that might work in our favour is that they have a semi-final on Thursday. We need to let them know they're in for a game today. 1:11PM They're all coming out of the woodwork today... Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images Credit: getty images 12:51PM "I'd be embarrassed if Arsenal didn't know who the next manager was" Gary Neville reckons Arsenal's hierarchy must know who is coming in to replace Wenger. There's no single stand-out candidate, though, is there? Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal? 12:45PM Wenger talks "First of all I'm focused on the game. My job is to win the next game. We have to separate the emotions that come with such a decision [to leave] and doing my job well until the end. "I've been in this job a long time, you learn to deal with difficult situations. "I'll explain why the decision has been announced now a bit later - not after the game, after the season. Wenger at Arsenal gallery "I dedicated my whole life to making this club solid and healthy, and I want the person who comes in to have an exciting time ahead. I will work for that to happen until the end of my career here. "I hope the team will be full of positive emotions today, and I would like the team to be supported well, too. We have had a good season at home." 12:35PM West Ham are unchanged from the draw with Stoke We're unchanged! #ARSWHU#COYIpic.twitter.com/4ZpSz9vwbQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) April 22, 2018 Presumably we'll see big Andy Carroll causing havoc throwing himself around at some point later on. 12:33PM Team news - it's a strong Arsenal team But Opsina plays in goal and Ozil is ill. There's also no starting place for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Jack Wilshere misses out with an ankle problem. Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Elneny; Ramsey, Iwobi, Welbeck; Lacazette. �� Here's how we line up for today's match #AFCvWHUpic.twitter.com/wUHpFt3BAH— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 22, 2018 12:25PM Wenger urges supporters to 'stand behind the team' in his programme notes I'm sure you are all aware that, after careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. I don't want to say too much now, but as I said on Friday I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club with full commitment and integrity for so many memorable years. For now, there are still seven football matches to play this season - hopefully eight if we can triumph over Atletico - and my immediate thoughts have to be about these games, starting with West Ham today. I want to finish these notes by offering thanks to the staff, the players, the directors and the fans who make this club so special. My love and support for Arsenal will last forever and I urge our fans to stand behind the team so we can finish on a high. 12:21PM The beginning of the end So, it's the first game since Arsene Wenger announced he will be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season after 22 years at the club, and the expectation is that the news will have a positive impact on the Emirates attendance and atmosphere, both of which have been waning terribly in recent weeks with the domestic season as good as over. Timeline | Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal Of course, he deserves the send-off of all send-offs, and although most Arsenal fans will be glad to see the back of Wenger, they should also be grateful for all that he has done for the club over the past two decades. Everyone will be hoping that the Emirates will be packed today and Wenger will get a good reception, particularly with the pressure off given there's essentially nothing riding on this game for the home side.
Alexandre Lacazette wraps up winning start to Arsene Wenger's Arsenal farewell
Beginning with a match that ranks among the more irrelevant of your 34-year career was never likely to get the celebratory tour off to a particularly rousing start, but three goals in the final 10 minutes did at least ensure a positive end to an otherwise easily forgettable match. The final headline act for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal tenure really starts with the Europa League first leg against Atletico Madrid, but a rather flattering win here against West Ham United should at least boost confidence, especially in ­Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey, ahead of Thursday night. With Burnley also held by Stoke City on Sunday, Arsenal are now ­almost assured of finishing at least sixth to avoid the pre-season disruption for Wenger’s successor that Europa League qualifying would cause. Wenger’s send-off will now depend entirely on whether he can rouse three more big performances from his players in the Europa League, and so depart Lyon next month with a trophy and Arsenal back in the Champions League. On this evidence, it is far from certain. With West Ham resilient and roared on, among others, by centre-back James Collins in the away end, Arsenal summoned only one shot on goal during a first half played at almost a pre-season pace in the London heat. It was most notable for what looked like a significant injury to their Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny. He eventually left the pitch on a stretcher in tears and a protective brace that makes him a doubt not just for the remaining Europa League matches, but perhaps also the World Cup. Elneny’s injury will now be X-rayed, but Wenger said simply that “it does not look good”. Wenger was given a good reception Credit: Getty images David Ospina’s selection as Arsenal goalkeeper suggests Petr Cech will return on Thursday in the ­Europa League, but there was also no starting place for club record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, despite him only being eligible this season for Arsenal in the ­Premier League. The rationale was clearly that Lacazette needs time on the pitch following his own recent absence with a serious knee injury, but ­Arsenal began hesitantly. Danny Welbeck threatened most regularly, but his finishing both on the floor and in the air lacked composure. Nacho Monreal has been proving himself useful this season in both penalty areas and he calmly controlled Granit Xhaka’s 51st-minute corner before finishing with power and precision past Joe Hart. Arsenal rarely looked secure ­defensively and, with Marko ­Arnautovic playing with his usual intensity, the match was soon level. Ospina’s punched clearance had reached only Cheikhou Kouyate and, after a deft touch by Manuel Lanzini, Arnautovic scored his 10th goal of the season. Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal Arsenal had looked unlikely to find a winner but, after 82 minutes, Declan Rice ducked under a cross from Ramsey in the mistaken belief that Hart was expecting the ball to reach him. He was not and it simply nestled into the corner of the goal. David Moyes, the West Ham manager, felt that it was the game’s decisive moment and warned his 19-year-old defender that he must learn from it. “A poor mistake,” he said. “At 81 minutes, I thought we were good for a point.” “It flattened the team. If you are a centre-half the last thing you do is let it go. Why would you duck ­under it? “He’s played great in the last couple of games and it is a learning curve. If it happens again, then you don’t progress.” Declan Rice was at fault for Aaron Ramsey's goal Credit: Reuters Arsenal certainly did then progress through the gears and, after excellent passing by Welbeck and Aubameyang, Lacazette smashed a deflected shot off Aaron Cresswell and past Hart. The best was then saved to last, when Ramsey brilliantly weaved past several defenders and passed for Lacazette to finish clinically. Only then did a chant of “One Arsene Wenger” really echo around the stadium. It was a belated gesture, in keeping with a season that will be ­defined now by the next two Thursday nights. 3:34PM Ramsey on the departing Arsene Wenger "He brought me here as a 17-year-old, so I owe him a lot, he deserves all the credit he gets. "We're not thinking about who's coming in next or playing for our futures. It's more about ending the season well for him and hopefully ending with a cup." 3:31PM A happy start to the end for Wenger That was about as Arsene Wenger's Arsenal as they come, that match: a 4-1 win that could easily have been a 1-3 defeat after a flurry of late goals just when the match looked liked it could tip either way. The most positive thing for Arsenal, though, ahead of the Atletico game later this week, will be Alexandre Lacazette's brace. A good time to find form. Lacazette celebrates scoring Arsenal's fourth goal Credit: Getty images 3:25PM Full time And Arsenal wrap up a scarcely believable 4-1 win to celebrate the first game at the Emirates since Arsene Wenger's end-of-season departure was announced. They were - just about - the better team, but West Ham will feel themselves unlucky not to have got something from that. 3:23PM 90 mins +3 Bellerin's cross evades Aubameyang. A chorus of "one Arsene Wenger" rings out around the Emirates. 3:22PM Key man 19 - Aaron Ramsey has had a hand in more goals than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season (19 - 11 goals and eight assists). Leader. pic.twitter.com/1zWyOxD4Tg— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018 3:22PM 90 mins +2 Arsenal are on fire now. Lacazette does really well to hold off a couple of challenges in the box, before laying off for Xhaka, but he leans back and fires well over the bar. 3:19PM GOOOOOAAALLL! 4-1 to Arsenal! Lacazette makes it four! Aubameyang has added something extra since he was brought on, and he is involved again. He plays Ramsey in down the left, who dances between challenges, feeds back to Lacazette, who takes one touch out of his feet and fires past Hart, who won't be able to believe he's conceded four goals today. Arsenal 4 - 1 West Ham (Alexandre Lacazette, 89 min) 3:17PM 88 mins Arnautovic earns a yellow card for taking out Aubameyang as he went charging down the left wing. Welbeck is replaced by Chambers. 3:14PM GOOOOOOAALL! 3-1 to Arsenal! Arsenal pass the ball patiently from left to right, with Welbeck finding Aubameyang, who passes out to Lacazette on the right. The Frenchman takes a touch before winding up a shot, but it takes a deflection off Cresswell, leaving Hart helpless. Arsenal 3 - 1 West Ham (Alexandre Lacazette, 85 min) 3:13PM GOOOOOOOOAL!!!! 2-1 to Arsenal! Arsenal break down the right but Lacazette's cross is cleared by Declan Rice - but only as far as Aaron Ramsey. He cuts back onto his right on the left side, and dinks a pretty tame cross in towards Aubameyang, Hart screams "away!" but Rice opts to duck out of the way inexplicably and the cross bounces into the net. What a time to make your first mistake of the match for the youngster, and that could cost his side the point they deserve. Arsenal 2 - 1 West Ham (Aaron Ramsey, 82 min) 3:11PM 79 mins What a save from Joe Hart! Welbeck opens up on the left and lets rip from distance but HArt throws himself brilliantly to his left to tip around the post. Attempt Saved: Arsenal 1 - 1 West Ham (Danny Welbeck, 79 min) Half the ground were celebrating there, including Per Mertesacked on the Arsenal bench. 3:04PM 74 mins Mustafi yellow-carded for a late challenge on Hernandez. Silly from the German. 3:03PM 72 mins Poor first involvement from Aubameyang, who grossly overhits his pass to Lacazette. Shortly after Granit Xhaka forces a great save from Hart low to his left. It's not clear if that was sneaking in, but Hart couldn't have been sure. 2:59PM 69 mins Arsenal fans starting to get a little antsy now. The last five minutes has seen West Ham find their feet again. First change for Arsenal, now. Aubameyang replaces Alex Iwobi. 2:56PM GOOOOOAL! West Ham are level through Arnautovic! Arsenal are all over the place all of a sudden, they fail to clear their lines and West Ham punish them. Kouyate lines one up from the edge of the box, which is blocked, but the rebound falls to Lanzini, who pokes the ball through to Arnautovic on the left, and he powers a left-footed effort into the far corner. Lovely finish but Arsenal have to do better defensively, there. Arsenal 1 - 1 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 64 min) Xhaka's arm-in-the-air, claiming offside while standing still is laughable. 2:53PM 61 mins Hernandez's first touch is a header at the far post and could feasibly have resulted in a goal. He looked annoyed at himself and the replays show why. He should have done better there. Miss: Arsenal 1 - 0 West Ham (Chicharito, 61 min) Maitland-Niles is booked for a late challenge on Noble, and from the free-kick, West Ham work it well down the right and eventually win a corner. From that Arnautovic slams a volley over the bar. 2:50PM 60 mins Arsenal are hunting down every loose ball and they have a hunger about them now. Their attackers clearly love scoring goals and sense an opportunity here. They just have to remember they have a goal to defend, too. Here comes West Ham's first subs. Manuel Lanzini and Javier Hernandes replace Mario and Fernandes. 2:47PM 57 mins Iwobi finds acres of space on the right and pulls the ball back for Ramsey bit his low drilled effort is off target. 2:45PM 55 mins It all Arsenal now, who have momentum behind them now - so often they score in bursts at home, one goal leading to two or three in quick succession. Again and again Arsenal come. First Lacazette and then Iwobi have shots blocked. Then Ramsey, too, though his was from a long, long way out. 2:42PM GOOOOOOOOOAL! 1-0 Arsenal (Monreal) From the free-kick, Arsenal win a corner, which Xhaka floats in to around the penalty spot, where Monreal has peeled off, and he controls his volley really well and slams it home to put Arsenal in front! Arsenal 1 - 0 West Ham (Nacho Monreal, 51 min) 2:41PM 51 mins Mario takes it but he can't even clear the first man, and Ramsey can control the ball and and set Arsenal off on the attack. Welbeck is released down the right, and Zabaleta looks likeliest to get there, but he is just sooooo slow, and Welbeck gets there first. Zabaleta has committed and and takes Welbeck out, earning a deserved yellow card, though Arsenal's players want a red. 2:39PM 48 mins Lacazette turns Cresswell inside out before dinking a cross up towards Welbeck at the back post. Under pressure, the clearance only falls as far as Monreal, who plant a well-hit half volley straight at Hart. West Ham go up the other end and win a corner. Mustafi clearing first time when he had time to take a touch. 2:37PM "Just a rolled ankle" News from the Arsenal medical staff: Elneny's injury is not too serious. It is just a rolled ankle. Who knows how long that rules him out for. 2:35PM West Ham get the second half started What joys will the second half bring? 2:31PM This is how Elneny got injured It was a really awkward landing, and he looked in a lot of discomfort. Here's hoping it isn't too serious, but the stills of it don't look pretty. Ouch pic.twitter.com/wGjdt3jbIM— Darran Jones (@darranjones1980) April 22, 2018 2:22PM Half time A 45 minutes in which both teams had more than enough chance to break the deadlock but you'd probably say West Ham, as underdogs, would just about be the happier with that first half. For Arsenal fans, that half will probably help them get over any sadness they felt about Wenger's departure. They need a change. Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal Possession: Arsenal vs West Ham 2:20PM 45 mins +5 Arsenal pass and pass and pass. and eventually it comes to Ramsey, who turns and fires, but it goes harmlessly wide of the target. 2:19PM 45 mins +3 West Ham waste a decent position on the left when Arnautovic's cross is cleared easily, but pressure from Masuaku on Iwobi earns a corner. Ogbonna kicks it out for a goal kick, but the referee gives another corner. It comes to nothing again and Arsenal break. They have numbers over and it looks like the counter attack is on, but Arsenal slow things down and allow West Ham back in. The home crowd groan. 2:17PM 45 mins +1 Maitland-Niles is involved in things straight away, exchanging passes with Ramsey on the edge of the box and trying to play Welbeck in, but the striker is offside. 2:15PM 45 mins Five minutes added on, after that lengthy delay as Elneny was taken off. 2:14PM A fairly even game so far Arsenal vs West Ham shots on goal It's not looking good for Elneny out there, replays showing he jarred his ankle in a challenge with Noble. Ainsley Maitland-Niles ia getting ready to come on. Elneny's injury could be a real blow ahead of the Europa League semi-final. Arsenal don't really have an alternative for that defensive midfield role. And don't try and tell me Xhaka, Wilshere or Ramsey can 'do a job' there. They can't. 2:11PM 40 mins Xhaka absolutely flies in on Masuaku, and West Ham have an advantage, but you'd imagine a yellow card is coming for Xhaka once the most breaks down. And once the ball is kicked out for Elneny to receive treatment, Lee Mason gives Xhaka a yellow. 2:06PM 35 mins Iwobi slips Bellerin in on the right, and the right-back lifts a ball up to the back post, where Welbeck is arriving, but he can't quite keep his header down. Arsenal are working their way into this game. Welbeck's been at the heart of their best play. Welbeck's made a bright start Credit: Reuters 2:04PM 34 mins Xhaka decides to shoot at the goalkeepers side - and not over the wall - and it's an easy save for Hart. 2:04PM 33 mins Rice brings down Welbeck on the edge of the D, and Arsenal have a free-kick in a dangerous position. Xhaka stands over it. 2:01PM 31 mins A neat one-two between Welbeck and Elneny opens things up centrally, but the forward drags his shot horribly wide. Out: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Danny Welbeck, 32 min) 1:57PM 27 mins A strong challenge from Kouyate leaves Ramsey on his backside and needing a bit of treatment. He's quickly up again, though. 1:55PM 25 mins Welbeck fires low and across Joe Hart's goal but his effort flies a yard wide of the post. 1:54PM 23 mins Best chance of the game for Arsenal as Welbeck checks back on the right in an advanced position, before laying it back for Bellerin, but he leans back and skies his effort. It's not been a great start for Arsenal Credit: AFP 1:51PM 21 mins Another direct ball from West Ham up to Arnautovic, and he lays off to Fernandes with his back to goal. Fernandes volleys at goal first time, and fires hiiiiigh over the bar. 1:50PM 20 mins Arsenal respond with a decent spell of possession inside the West Ham half. It concludes with Lacazette working a yard of space inside the box but Mark Noble does really well to get back and stick a toe in to deny the Frenchman just as he was lining one up. 1:47PM 16 mins Another west Ham long ball, and this time Masuaku is chasing it down on the left. He wins a corner off Bellerin, from which Kouyate heads over the ball. It's been all West Ham for the past six or seven minutes. 1:46PM 15 mins And again! Arnautovic shakes off Mustafi under a bouncing ball and is clean through - how on earth has this happened again?! He opens his body up and in doing so makes absolutely sure Ospina knows exactly where he's going to put it. The keeper saves fairly easily. Attempt Saved: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 1:44PM 13 mins Two long balls cause Arsenal all kinds of trouble - and the positive atmosphere is hinting at fading away here. The first one puts Mario in and his low shot forces a decent save from Ospina, before Arnautovic is put through on the right but he is caught by Mustafi who does well to recover and smother the chance. 1:42PM 11 mins Arsenal are pressing West Ham quite aggressively all over the pitch, but the visitors have been playing some really calm, composed football to get themselves out, and they build a brilliant move here with Cresswell, Mario and Arnautovic combined well on the left side. Play opens up for Mario and he tries to slip Edmilson Fernandes in through the middle, but it's just an inch too far ahead of him. Some positive signs for West Ham. 1:39PM 9 mins Xhaka spreads play out to Monreal well on the left. He is closed down by Zabaleta and Arsenal have another corner. Xhaka finds Koscielny at the near post and he rises really well, but can't quite direct his header on target. Out: Arsenal 0 - 0 West Ham (Laurent Koscielny, 9 min) 1:37PM 7 mins Play is delayed a moment after Arsenal win a corner as referee Lee Mason has some adjustments made to his kit, before Xhaka's corner is well-headed clear under pressure. 1:34PM 4 mins I think... I THINK... I can hear some Arsenal fans singing "there's only one Arsene Wenger" somewhere at the Emirates. 1:33PM 2 mins Xhaka feeds Ramsey in midfield and the game hints at opening up for the Welshman, but he overhits his attempted through ball and the attack breaks down. 1:30PM A good atmosphere! The sun is shining on the Emirates and the fans are in decent voice, too. This could be fun! Arsenal get us started. 1:28PM The players are out... ...and kick-off is just minutes away. 1:26PM Plenty of empty seats... Five minutes till kickoff and it is far from full here. pic.twitter.com/8PzpV7I1TL— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) April 22, 2018 1:20PM There is another team playing here today West Ham manager David Moyes speaks: "We know we're going to have to be hard to beat. Arsenal are very good team at home. "Arsene's news doesn't help us - we need to work hard. The only thing that might work in our favour is that they have a semi-final on Thursday. We need to let them know they're in for a game today. 1:11PM They're all coming out of the woodwork today... Credit: Reuters Credit: getty images Credit: getty images 12:51PM "I'd be embarrassed if Arsenal didn't know who the next manager was" Gary Neville reckons Arsenal's hierarchy must know who is coming in to replace Wenger. There's no single stand-out candidate, though, is there? Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal? 12:45PM Wenger talks "First of all I'm focused on the game. My job is to win the next game. We have to separate the emotions that come with such a decision [to leave] and doing my job well until the end. "I've been in this job a long time, you learn to deal with difficult situations. "I'll explain why the decision has been announced now a bit later - not after the game, after the season. Wenger at Arsenal gallery "I dedicated my whole life to making this club solid and healthy, and I want the person who comes in to have an exciting time ahead. I will work for that to happen until the end of my career here. "I hope the team will be full of positive emotions today, and I would like the team to be supported well, too. We have had a good season at home." 12:35PM West Ham are unchanged from the draw with Stoke We're unchanged! #ARSWHU#COYIpic.twitter.com/4ZpSz9vwbQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) April 22, 2018 Presumably we'll see big Andy Carroll causing havoc throwing himself around at some point later on. 12:33PM Team news - it's a strong Arsenal team But Opsina plays in goal and Ozil is ill. There's also no starting place for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Jack Wilshere misses out with an ankle problem. Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Elneny; Ramsey, Iwobi, Welbeck; Lacazette. �� Here's how we line up for today's match #AFCvWHUpic.twitter.com/wUHpFt3BAH— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 22, 2018 12:25PM Wenger urges supporters to 'stand behind the team' in his programme notes I'm sure you are all aware that, after careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. I don't want to say too much now, but as I said on Friday I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club with full commitment and integrity for so many memorable years. For now, there are still seven football matches to play this season - hopefully eight if we can triumph over Atletico - and my immediate thoughts have to be about these games, starting with West Ham today. I want to finish these notes by offering thanks to the staff, the players, the directors and the fans who make this club so special. My love and support for Arsenal will last forever and I urge our fans to stand behind the team so we can finish on a high. 12:21PM The beginning of the end So, it's the first game since Arsene Wenger announced he will be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season after 22 years at the club, and the expectation is that the news will have a positive impact on the Emirates attendance and atmosphere, both of which have been waning terribly in recent weeks with the domestic season as good as over. Timeline | Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal Of course, he deserves the send-off of all send-offs, and although most Arsenal fans will be glad to see the back of Wenger, they should also be grateful for all that he has done for the club over the past two decades. Everyone will be hoping that the Emirates will be packed today and Wenger will get a good reception, particularly with the pressure off given there's essentially nothing riding on this game for the home side.