MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Yaya Toure responded to Manuel Pellegrini's rallying call as he fired champions Manchester City to a 2-1 Premier League win over Swansea on Saturday.
The City midfielder, below par for much of the season but continually backed by City manager Pellegrini, powered forward to strike the winner just after the hour at the Etihad Stadium.
City had needed to respond after Wilfried Bony struck early for the visitors with a sublime piece of skill inside the area in the ninth minute.
Stevan Jovetic grabbed the equalizer 10 minutes later before City upped the tempo and Toure, in typical style, charged forward to settle the match in the 62nd.
City stays third with 24 points, six points ahead of Swansea. Both teams have played 12 matches.
The result eased some of the anxiety at City after just one win in the previous six games in all competitions.
Toure was at the heart of the victory, coming good after being sent off on his last appearance at the ground — the dismal Champions League loss to CSKA Moscow.
Toure had been rested after previous international breaks but, as he is suspended for Tuesday's clash with Bayern Munich, Pellegrini had challenged him to reproduce his best.
Swansea took the lead with a moment of high-quality attacking play. Nathan Dyer took a pass from Bony and then improvised to return it to the Ivory Coast striker with a clever flick into the area. Bony showed fine skill to control with his chest and then clip a shot past Joe Hart.
City equalized when Toure pushed forward and fed Jesus Navas out wide. The Spaniard curled an inviting low ball into the area and Jovetic stuck out a leg to divert past Lukasz Fabianski.
But still the general quality did not improve and referee Neil Swarbrick booked Kyle Bartley for a clumsy challenge on Sergio Aguero. That pair were involved in another moment of controversy moments later. Aguero went down holding his head after an off-the-ball collision with Bartley and was told to get up by Angel Rangel. Swarbrick needed to step in to avert a confrontation. After more players arrived on the scene the official needed to talk to captains Vincent Kompany and Ashley Williams to calm the situation.
City began to assert superiority. Fabianski produced a fine fingertip save to touch a powerful drive from Gael Clichy onto the post and Jovetic then shot from distance straight at the goalkeeper.
Swansea made a lively start to the second half with Jefferson Montero breaking through but Hart was quick off his line to smother the shot.
Hart did have an uncomfortable moment at a corner and then had to save from Glyfi Sigurdsson but Swansea gradually started to get pushed back.
Aguero had a shot deflected wide and Pablo Zabaleta drove a shot narrowly over the bar.
The goal City was threatening came just after the hour as Toure combined with Fernandinho. The pair exchanged passes and Toure took the Brazilian's backheeled return in his stride to drive into the area and poke the ball past Fabianski.