City edge Swansea to take first pole of 2014
Manchester City climbed to the top of the Premier League table after winning 3-2 at Swansea City on Wednesday in the first English top-flight fixture of the year 2014.
City's Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho scored the first goal of the new year in the 14th minute at a rain-soaked Liberty Stadium, drilling home right-footed after Swansea partially cleared a Samir Nasri corner.
Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony equalised with a well-placed header in first-half stoppage time, but his international colleague Yaya Toure restored the visitors' lead with a deflected shot in the 58th minute.
City's Serbian left-back Aleksandar Kolarov added a third eight minutes later, lashing a powerful strike past Swansea goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel, before Bony struck again in injury time with a vicious low shot.
Victory took Manuel Pellegrini's side two points clear of former leaders Arsenal, who host Cardiff City later on Saturday in one of 10 New Year's Day matches, while Swansea remain 11th.
"It was a very good result because Swansea are a strong team here at home and also away," City manager Pellegrini told Sky Sports. "I think the way we won today is very important for us."
Third-place Chelsea, who now trail City by four points, visit Southampton later, while fourth-place Everton travel to Stoke City and fifth-place Liverpool host Hull City.
Sixth faces seventh in the day's late kick-off, with Manchester United welcoming Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, French striker Nicolas Anelka was named in West Bromwich Albion's starting XI against Newcastle United despite being under investigation by the Football Association over an allegedly anti-Semitic gesture.