Premier League final day: Man City virtually seal top four spot as Man Utd match abandoned
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | May 15, 2016
Manchester City 1-1 Swansea City
- Iheanacho follows up with rebound opener as Nordfeldt saves from Aguero
- Swans name weakened team with Euro 2016 stars rested
- Montero has equalising header ruled out for push on Sagna
- Hosts go level with deflected stoppage time free-kick from Ayew
- Man Utd battle with Bournemouth abandoned because of “suspect package”
- Pellegrini ends Man City tenure with top four finish
Draw effectively enough for Man City to make top four despite Man Utd abandonment
Manuel Pellegrini’s parting gift to Manchester City was to all-but confirm Champions League football for successor Pep Guardiola next season with a draw at Swansea City.
Kelechi Iheanacho struck early and that as cancelled out by Andre Ayew’s deflected free-kick, but a point should prove enough to seal a top four Premier League finish for the Etihad outfit, while Manchester United’s home game with Bournemouth was abandoned because of the discovery of a “suspect package”.
A bomb squad arrived at Old Trafford and made a controlled explosion after sniffer dogs were seen sweeping the stadium following an evacuation, but the device blown up turned out to be a hoax.
The match between the Red Devils and Cherries has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 17th at 20:00 BST, and Man Utd still have the FA Cup final with Crystal Palace still to play.
Iheanacho strikes opener
At the Liberty Stadium, it took just five minutes for visiting Man City to go ahead through Nigeria forward Iheanacho. Great work by Kevin De Bruyne in the left channel teed up Sergio Aguero, and he drew a reaction stop from Premier League debutant Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Iheanacho was on-hand and onside to poke in the rebound with referee Mike Dean giving the goal after a slight delay. Undeterred by this early setback, and despite Francesco Guidolin naming a weakened team with his Euro 2016 players rested, the Swans had the ball in the net moments later.
Jefferson Montero appear to outmuscle Bacary Sagna and nod down into the ground past Joe Hart, but match official Dean felt there was a push on Man City’s France full back and ruled any equaliser out.
Ayew brings parity
Swansea went in on level terms, though, thanks to Ayew’s free-kick that took a massive deflection off the head of Fernandinho in the visitors’ wall that totally wrong-footed Joe Hart.
Man City, 15/8 favourites with Coral to win the Premier League next season, spurned several half-chances to go in front again, with Iheanacho slipping over when pulling the trigger with his last action. It would require a massive 19-goal win for Man Utd to deny them Champions League football.
Elsewhere, Olivier Giroud’s hat-trick against Aston Villa allowed Arsenal to climb above north London neighbours Tottenham, who were hammered at relegated Newcastle United, to finish second.
Southampton, for now, are above Man Utd with a 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace and West Ham United were beaten at Stoke City. The lowest the Red Devils can finish is now sixth.