Although Swansea City fell just short in their upset bid against Manchester City on New Year's Day, the Swans had to come away encouraged due to the captivating performance put forth by forward Wilfried Bony.
Swansea dropped a 3-2 decision to the EPL's highest-scoring squad. However, Bony helped keep the Jacks competitive. Following a Fernandinho marker for Man City in the 14th minute, Bony equalized in stoppage time just prior to the end of the first half, which allowed Swansea to enter the break deadlocked in a 1-1 contest.
As seen in this shot chart courtesy of Squawka Football, Bony actually narrowly missed scoring two additional goals prior to finally beating Citizens goalkeeper Joe Hart.
SHOT MAP: Wilfried Bony was good for his goal after two earlier near misses. Set-up an intriguing second half. pic.twitter.com/mjEouiwyv6— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 1, 2014
Bony's first-half goal also ended a lengthy scoring drought. As WhoScored.com indicates, the 25-year-old Ivory Coast native had gone nearly four full games' worth of time without scoring.
Wilfried Bony: Before his goal against Manchester City, Bony had gone 328 minutes in the PL without a goal #Swans— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 1, 2014
Despite that, Infostrada Sports reveals that Bony became Swansea's leading scorer this season with that goal, which says a lot about the Swans' scoring woes.
The breakout performance likely came as a surprise to many, but not to Bony himself. According to Andrew Gwilym of Press Association (h/t the Daily Mail), Bony established scoring 20 goals this season as a benchmark.
I had started scoring goals on a regular basis before my injury and I want to get back to that. I'm a striker and I need that. I have a lot to do to get to my best. There are a lot of games but I try to do my best every time in training and games.
Unfortunately for Swansea City, they were unable to hold the Manchester City attack in check in the second half as Yaya Toure and Aleksandar Kolarov both scored to give the Citizens a 3-1 advantage.
Bony wasn't done, though, as he beat Hart yet again with a long-range bomb in extra time. It was too little, too late from Swansea's perspective, but Bony's strong game may bode well for the Swans for the remainder of the season.
Despite the losing effort, WhoScored.com named Bony the man of the match due to his two-goal outburst.
The statistics suggest that Swansea City got the better of the play against Man City with one more shot and 52 percent of the possession. Even so, Manchester City found a way to win, which is what the top teams tend to do.
If Bony continues to play at this level, though, Swansea is a side that nobody will want to face in the coming weeks.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter