Micah Richards suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury which saw the England defender carried off on a stretcher after receiving oxygen and led to 13 minutes of stoppage time, a Premier League record.
Richards fell to the ground in agony with no other player around him after apparently damaging knee ligaments.
The lengthy treatment he needed was added an earlier period for the
Carlos Tévez, playing in a deeper role after a half-time change, sealed
That goal ended a trying week for City in winning fashion but the manner in which victory was obtained posed more questions than answers for a team struggling to scale the dizzy heights they reached in their best moments last season.
The inquest into the tactical debacle in Amsterdam, which left City’s Champions League aspirations in ruins on Wednesday after a 3-1 defeat to Ajax, ensured that Roberto Mancini’s team selection would be of paramount interest.
Joleon Lescott, particularly poor in midweek, was relegated to the substitutes’ bench as Mancini opted, ostensibly at least, for a 4-4-2 formation. Having been openly critical of his players’ ability to adapt to shifting tactics, perhaps the City manager was deliberately returning to basics although it was an approach that did not work, in the first half at least.
Aleksandar Kolarov, a defender by trade, was played in a position wide on the left and seemed a little at odds, drifting into central areas as Clichy pushed up from the left-back spot, before switching flanks with Samir Nasri and playing as a right winger.
While Kolarov’s dead-ball delivery may be as good as that of any player in the division, the Serbian hardly slotted seamlessly into City’s attack which failed to find its rhythm.
Not until the 38th minute did Vorm have a meaningful save to make, diving smartly to ensure that a Tévez strike from just inside the area did not present any problems.
Instead, with the defence that was so embarrassingly exposed in Amsterdam again looking uncertain, it was the Welsh club that entertained aspirations of being the first visiting team to win a league game at the Etihad Stadium since Everton in December 2010.
Richards was forced into an excellent defensive header to deny Michu as he aimed to connect with a Pablo Hernández cross and the same Swansea forward had the ball in the net after 37 minutes only for his effort to be ruled out correctly for offside.
The half-time whistle brought a sound not heard at the Etihad for some time, the boos of a sizeable, and clearly disgruntled section of City supporters unimpressed by their team’s response to events in Amsterdam.
The Kolarov experiment failed miserably, Mancini acknowledging the fact by bringing on Mario Balotelli as his half-time replacement, a move which brought about an instant, and vast, improvement in City’s play.
Within the opening seconds, Sergio Agüero powered forward and unleashed a shot which rose wide of the goal but which showed more attacking intent than pretty much anything that had preceded it in the previous 45-plus minutes.
Balotelli almost met a low Nasri cross in front of goal, the same combination of players saw Balotelli round goalkeeper Vorm with the Swansea man doing well to force the Italian to the byline where he made an important save.
Just before the hour came the game’s pivotal minute as, first, Michu met a Hernández cross with a stooping header which Joe Hart pushed away Ki Sung-yueng’s follow-up shot being blocked by a defender.
Tévez’s goal followed within two minutes, adding insult to Swansea’s injury when he produced a shot which forced Vorm into such a desperate dive that he hurt himself badly in the attempt, seeming to have torn his groin and being replaced by Gerhard Tremmel.
City subsequently spent periods playing with three at the back and Swansea almost benefited from the defensive uncertainty during those spells.
A terrible Nasri clearance, after 74 minutes, fell straight to Jonathan de Guzman whose impressive 20-yard shot just missed the target.
The game ended on a negative note for City, however, when Richards fell to the ground, with nobody around him, clutching
his knee in agony near the end of the game. The England defender underwent lengthy treatment on his knee before being carried off on a stretcher.
Earlier, three City players declined to display the "Kick It Out" anti-racism T-shirts before the game despite an apparent thawing among the ranks of black players who have been making a protest over the issue.
Lescott and Richards, along with Balotelli, failed to show the black T-shirts, opting instead for City training tops as they warmed up ahead of the 5.30pm televised game.
Lescott had been mentioned last week as being one of the most high-profile Premier League players not to wear a T-shirt although on that occasion, at West Brom, City players were under no obligation to do so.
On Saturday, however, was their designated "Kick It Out" home fixture and all players were supposed to wear the T-shirts, with Mancini pledging his support for the "Kick It Out" campaign in his pre-match programme notes.