On a night that will be remembered solely for one of the best goals in Premier League history, there’s no shortage of things to talk about. Here’s what we learned from the penultimate chapter of City’s astonishing Premier League campaign…
Sorry, Sergio – The Skipper’s Stolen Your Style
There are world class goals, then there are title-winning goals, and then there’s this goal. With twenty minutes to go against a dogged defence, he drives at the backline and, thirty yards out, unleashes a swerving thunderstrike right into the top corner via the underside of the bar to win the game. It was the perfect goal. And no City fan would rather see it scored by anyone other than Vincent Kompany.
The captain hasn’t had an easy few years thanks to injuries, but against Leicester he continued his tradition of coming through on the big occasions with the best goal of his career. It was an unbelievable strike, utterly surreal and bizarre and beautiful all at once. Sergio Aguero himself would have been beyond proud of it- you’ll never see anything quite like it ever again. And it may well have won the Premier League for City.
Once a Blue…
While we’re not suggesting that former City striker Kelechi Iheanacho deliberately missed his clear-cut late chance last night, it was certainly a relief to see him skew the chance of the game wide. The Nigerian proved himself to be an excellent finisher and a composed frontman during his spell at the Etihad so, despite his abysmal form this season, everyone in the stadium was holding their breath nervously when the ball fell his way to equalise.
Whether Kelechi’s subconscious took over or he really did just get his angles wrong, City fans everywhere will be forever grateful that the ball didn’t nestle in the bottom corner and cost them the title. He never quite fulfilled his promise in a City shirt but this young striker is still aiding the sky blue cause two years on. Thank you, Kelechi Iheanacho.
Pick Your Moments…
A brief break from the article now to spare a thought for the match-going fans who were unfortunate enough to time their toilet trips for just seconds before Kompany’s sensational goal hit the back of the net. These poor supporters were moments away from witnessing one of the greatest moments in the history of the football club but, among a chorus of “Don’t you dare shoot, Vinny” from the watching crowds, they turned their backs.
If you haven’t seen the images flying around social media of a few unlucky souls leaving the stands two seconds before Kompany’s strike, they’re well worth a look.
Maybe hold it in next time, eh lads?
The Kompany of Legends
We’ve already talked about his outstanding goal, but if I was allowed I’d write a whole article about Big Vinny K this morning, so he deserves at least another segment. Kompany’s goal last night may have cemented his place among Colin Bell and David Silva in the eyes of some, but on a wider scale, will it finally earn him the respect he deserves as one of the all-time Premier League legends?
Certainly not many players can claim to have scored the decisive goals in two 1-0 title-race victories seven years apart. Even fewer have lifted the trophy three times, maybe even four. None can boast such a magnificent forehead. Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Sol Campbell- Kompany is in that bracket. They are our rival’s heroes and he is ours. You get the feeling only injuries and the colour of his shirt have stood between Kompany and Premier League immortality all these years- but if City go on to win the title now, he will surely be remembered by even the staunchest of rivals as one of the league’s finest ever.
“We are so close”
You read that in Pep’s voice, didn’t you?
The words have never been truer than now. Just one more win, against one of the worst sides in the league since Christmas, will be enough to secure another title win for City. But Brighton are a proud team with a good manager, and City don’t know how to do it the easy way.
With Fernandinho, De Bruyne and Mendy among those likely to be missing for the trip down south, Guardiola is likely to demand a similar starting XI to come up with the goods in this game. It’s been a long old season, with players like David Silva, Bernardo and Raheem Sterling playing for frankly insane amounts of time, but just one last push is required to make City the first team in a decade to retain the title.
You can follow us on Twitter for more Manchester City content: @City_Xtra