Goals from Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus saw Manchester City comfortably overcome an in-form Swansea side, with the Welsh outfit scoring a late consolation through Morgan Whittaker.
The away side also set a new English record for consecutive wins in all competitions with 15, and put on a ruthlessly dominant performance against their Championship opposition.
Not even two minutes had been played when City fired in their first statement of intent, as a shot by Jesus from the edge of the box was palmed away by Freddy Woodman. Shortly after, Ilkay Gundogan’s sliced shot also found its way into the goalkeeper’s hands.
City continued to dominate, and the first clear chance came as Benjamin Mendy’s low cross was fired into the stanchion from close range by Jesus. Moments later, a deep corner found the head of Aymeric Laporte, but his header fell just wide of the far post.
Swansea’s first spell of possession resulted in yet another chance for the visitors, as a quick counter-attack found Ferran Torres in down the right channel. His shot was fired across goal towards the far top corner, but Woodman produced a brilliant save to tip the ball past the post.
It was almost incredible that City had yet to score, but they did finally take the lead after half an hour thanks to Kyle Walker and a stroke of luck.
A low cross played in by Walker was aimed towards the onrushing Torres, who just failed to make contact. Woodman, predicting a touch, could not get across his goal in time and the ball nestled into the bottom corner as Swansea’s defence watched on.
The goal did seem to wake Swansea from their slumber, and Jay Fulton powered a header narrowly wide just a minute later. Another chance fell the home side’s way from a corner, but several Swansea players got in each others’ way and none made proper contact with the ball.
City had appeals for a late penalty waved away after Raheem Sterling was manhandled to the floor by Marc Guehi, with replays suggesting VAR may have instructed Peter Bankes to go to his monitor had the technology been implemented at non Premier League grounds.
Half time: Swansea City 0-1 Manchester City
Despite their first half control, the away side only had one goal to show for their efforts. Within five second half minutes, they ended the contest.
In the opening minute, Rodri won the ball back in midfield and spotted Sterling unmarked on the wing, with Connor Roberts foolishly having charged out of position. Sterling controlled the ball under absolutely no pressure and then rolled it past Woodman into the bottom corner for 2-0.
It was the worst possible start for Swansea, and it soon got worse.
Torres had hooked the ball narrowly over following a freekick, but the Swans were instantly guilty of overplaying at the back, and were punished ruthlessly.
Jesus intercepted a weak pass to find Gundogan, who’s pinpoint cross found the onrushing Bernardo Silva at the far post. The Portuguese headed the ball back in to Jesus, who controlled brilliantly and smashed the ball past Woodman from close range.
It was wonderful play from City, but it was entirely avoidable from the home side’s point of view.
Substitutions took some of the sting out of proceedings, although City very nearly made it four as substitute Riyad Mahrez’s low cross was brilliantly cleared by Joel Latibeaudiere with Torres behind him, as fellow substitute Phil Foden’s rebound attempt deflected over the bar.
Against the run of play, and from their first shot on target, Swansea then scored a fine consolation goal.
A cross found Whittaker just inside the box with his back to goal and defenders covering. The youngster controlled brilliantly, before spinning and placing a shot into Zach Steffen’s bottom corner.
Any hopes of an improbable comeback were snuffed out as City monotonised possession, with Tommy Doyle spurning an excellent chance as he chose to shoot from a tight angle rather than passing to the unmarked Foden at the far post.
As the whistle blew, City could reflect on a momentous 15th straight win, as well as progression into the FA Cup quarter finals. Swansea can now fully focus on the league, where they are well placed to make a return to the Premier League.
Full time: Swansea City 1-3 Manchester City
Man of the Match: Rodri
Kyle Walker had a fine game, but Rodri was instrumental in the domination of possession, as well as regularly winning the ball back and assisting the first two goals. Vastly improved over the last few months, his presence has been key to City’s record breaking run.