The Premier League is a competition full of history and steeped in ritual. Perhaps chief among these is the honor of being a traditionally mid-to-low table team that takes an early lead, only to eventually lose to a title contender.
We could save a “________ (Underdog) take surprise __th minute lead, but fall _ – _ to ________ (Favorite)” headline template and use it each weekend.
This week’s honoree was plucky Swansea City. Currently in 6th — though no one expects them to finish there — Swansea made the the critical mistake of scoring first against Manchester City.
Wilfried Bony, what were you thinking?
Of course, Swansea were doomed. That is, unless there is more glory in keeping this underdog tradition than there are in three points. It’s possible, you know, the English are a bit strange about these things.
It didn’t take long for reality to set in. Score too soon against a much better team and you’re destined to have your well-positioned defender stand still while the likes of Stevan Jovetić runs through your box like free-range poultry.
Yaya Touré — yes, the Yaya Touré — would put things away for Manchester City in the 67th minute. It’s good to have Yaya back. The Premier League just isn’t as much fun with him in a slump.
At the final whistle, Swansea went home with no points, but did pick up a hard look at their reality. Manchester City, on the other hand, can continue to hope they’re still in place to make a run for the title. Their outlook is certainly sunnier if Touré can come back to life.