THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

15 May ~ While Manchester City travel to Swansea today hoping to secure a Champions League spot next season, their hosts have ensured a mid-table finish this season, meaning they will start their sixth top-flight campaign in a row in August. Prior to this stint in the Premier League, the Swans had spent just two seasons in England’s top division – though the first one included an unlikely title challenge in 1981-82.

Managed by John Toshack, Swansea had not been outside the top six all season and were third, just six points behind leaders Liverpool, going into their match against Manchester City on April 17, 1982. In front of 19,212 at Vetch Field Garry Stanley scored a superb long-distance strike on 11 minutes to put Swansea ahead, before Bob Latchford turned in a Robbie James cross ten minutes before half time.

Unfortunately for Swansea they lost five of their remaining six games and slipped to sixth place in the table. They were relegated the next season and did not return to the top division until 2011. Manchester City, who had briefly topped the table in December, ended up in tenth but were also relegated the following season – though their Division One exile lasted just two years.

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