On This Day: Elano scores the ultimate free kick as Manchester City beat Newcastle (2007)

It has been exactly a decade since that free kick by Brazilian maestro Elano secured three points for Manchester City against Newcastle at the City of Manchester Stadium.

It isn’t just Elano scoring a beautiful free kick that made the day so special, but the fact City fans had endured some of the worst football in club history under previous boss Stuart Pearce. The arrival of Sven-Göran Eriksson and exciting signings like Elano were like a breath of fresh air.

City went 1-0 down to the visitors when Obefami Martins scored with a clever lob after 28 minutes. However, Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov equalised before the break to give City hope going into the second period.

And when Emile Mpenza headed home an exquisite cross by Petrov a couple of minutes after the break, the 40,606 fans in attendance erupted in joy.

The best was yet to come, as with just a few minutes left on the clock, Elano scored one of the finest free kicks you will ever see from 25-yards, a goal that is still talked about ten years later.

After the game, Eriksson said, “This team is very good and when they play more games together they will get even better. It’s good and I like to see them play football.

“It was a very good performance so I’m very happy and we could have scored more goals. But I am delighted – good football.

“The third goal from Elano was fantastic. You have to have class feet to score a goal like that from such long range.”

City were excellent for two thirds of the 2007/08 season, but ultimately slipped down the table and finished in ninth. Little did fans know that better days were soon to come, but no one will forget where we came from…

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