Wilfried Bony scored on his return to the Liberty Stadium as Manchester City held off a fightback from Swansea City to emerge with a 4-2 win that maintains their bid for second place.
Last season’s champions headed to south Wales with a three-point advantage over third-placed Arsenal, who will have one game in hand come the end of the weekend’s action.
And, despite making a slow start, Yaya Toure fired City in front with his 50th Premier League goal after 21 minutes, before James Milner doubled the advantage 15 minutes later.
Swansea deservedly pulled a goal back through Gylfi Sigurdsson just before the break and Bafetimbi Gomis – who scored the winner at Arsenal on Monday – restored parity in the 64th minute.
Bony watched on from the City bench for the most part following his January switch to the Etihad Stadium but, after Toure had re-established City’s lead and Joe Hart had pulled off a spectacular save to deny Federico Fernandez, he sent in a fourth off the left-hand post.
Toure returned to the Manchester City starting XI in place of Fernando, while Jazz Richards replaced the injured Angel Rangel for Swansea and Gomis came in for Ki Sung-yueng, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season following knee surgery.
And the French striker was heavily involved from the off as he drew an early save from Hart before scooping over from a Jefferson Montero cut-back.
The visitors were almost caught out when Nathan Dyer robbed a ponderous Eliaquim Mangala of the ball in a dangerous area, but saw his eventual strike touched wide by Hart.
Sergio Aguero then had an effort correctly ruled out for offside, but Toure fired his side in front with a shot from just inside the box that deflected off Swansea captain Ashley Williams and snuck past goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who might feel he should have done better.
And City doubled their lead nine minutes before the break – Aguero taking out Richards with a clever pass before Milner cut inside Neil Taylor to guide the ball beyond Fabianski.
Swansea could count themselves unfortunate to be 2-0 down, but Sigurdsson buried a shot in the bottom right-hand corner on the stroke of half-time to reduce the deficit.
Fabianski had to be alert in the early stages of the second half as he kept out efforts from Mangala, David Silva and substitute Jesus Navas, while Jonjo Shelvey forced Hart into a diving save at the other end.
Gomis’ leveller came courtesy of a delightful Richards ball over the top, which the frontman brought down superbly and fired across Hart.
Swansea’s fightback was to garner no reward, though, as Toure sent City back in front with a low strike to the bottom right-hand corner, before Hart pulled off one of the saves of the season to keep out a Fernandez header and denied another Gomis effort moments later.
Home fans afforded Bony a warm reception when he was brought on for the last five minutes, but the Ivorian responded by wrapping up the win in stoppage time, as Swansea’s slim hopes of UEFA Europa League qualification fizzled out.
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