Amat and Britton are Swansea's best players but Guidolin is the real star

Swansea held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium and, with a difficult season now over, have good reason to be optimistic about the future.

In Francesco Guidolin, who recently signed a two-year contract extension with the club, the Swans have arguably their most tactically-sophisticated manager in the Premier League era.

The Italian's side routinely show the kind of tactical nuance that was absent from Garry Monk or Brendan Rodgers' versions of the team, and the prospect of a full season under Guidolin's guidance is exciting.

Based on Sunday, his biggest job will be to fix a leaky defence. Were it not for appalling Man City finishing, their 17 shots surely would have produced more than one goal. Jordi Amat is pushing for starts but doesn't help a collective lack of height, while full-back is a position in flux on both sides.

Guidolin is known for playing a three-man defence and perhaps this approach can help Swansea next season. The personnel might need tweaking, but the manager has at least shown he has the tactical savvy.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Kristoffer Nordfeldt, 7 -- Should be happy to have only conceded a single goal against talented forwards, even if he was helped by his opponents' inability to finish. Lacks Lukasz Fabianski's aerial command but offers noticeably better distribution, which might give Swansea an edge against teams who keep the ball on the ground next season.

DF Angel Rangel, 7 -- Coped well when matched up against highly-skilled, younger and more athletic men, but surely can't be the Swans starting right-back again next season. Or can he?

DF Federico Fernandez, 6 -- Needs to better his heading skills as he is Swansea's only tall centre-back. Missed another golden opportunity to score and was shown up by Amat, who won five of the six aerial balls for which he competed.

DF Jordi Amat, 8 -- Looked completely comfortable facing one of the Premier League's best attacking units and won several key battles. Should start games next season, but how will he fit in? A pairing with captain Ashley Williams makes Swansea too vulnerable to high balls. Perhaps Guidolin's famed three-man defence can offer a lifeline.

DF Stephen Kingsley, 7 -- A second straight game against tough opposition and again Kingsley shone. He was an attacking force against West Ham; on Sunday he showed he can defend, too. Should be the first-choice left back next season.

MF Jack Cork, 7 -- Swansea's midfield workhorse was at it again with a typically unflustered and committed all-round performance.

MF Leon Britton, 8 -- Led the team in tackles with three while making four interceptions and asserting himself physically, which is impressive considering his stature. Is still secretly the heart of the Swans but he can't play forever.

MF Leroy Fer, 7 -- Swansea ought to get Fer under contract ASAP. Rumours of a return for Joe Allen seem absurd considering Fer is arguably better in almost every area of the game and can be signed for free, assuming he wants to stay. Will not be bullied off the ball, unlike so many Swansea midfielders in the Premier League era.

FW Jefferson Montero, 6 -- Fought all game but the Man City defence was too well organised to break down. Could well have added Bacary Sagna to the list of opposing full-backs he's gotten sent off this season.

FW Andre Ayew, 6 -- Couldn't unlock the defence and was shut down time and again by the opposing midfield. Tried to do too much himself and his enthusiasm to come deep for the ball might actually have hurt his game, since there were no other Swans players further forward to create space.

FW Wayne Routledge, 7 -- Routledge has quietly had a decent season. Seemingly undroppable under Monk no matter how poorly he or the rest of the team played, he's begun to earn a regular starting pace under Guidolin with a consistent all-around game. He doesn't electrify, but he's a committed team player and that's too often undervalued.


MF Mo Barrow, 6 -- Replaced Routledge in the 59th minute but struggled to get involved as Man City pushed and pushed for a second.

FW Bafetimbi Gomis, NR -- Replaced Ayew in the 82nd minute and, while he managed to throw his weight around a little, couldn't improve Swansea's blunted attack.