Well, what a year it has been to be a Manchester City fan. It’s been a year that, when you step back and take a look at from afar, encapsulates the joy of following this wonderful team. We’ve put seven past Stoke, six past Watford and five past Liverpool. We’ve won at Old Trafford, set records that I can’t see any team coming close to surpassing any time soon. 18 Premier League wins in a row is seriously impressive.
But we’ve also been beaten 4-0 by Everton. Dumped out of the Champions League by Monaco. Somehow failed to overcome Arsenal at Wembley. There were points in this crazy year where we waved that white flag with an uninspiring whimper.
One thing has remained constant however, and that is entertainment. Who else could put six past a Champions league team but still go out on away goals?
We’ve been treated to some mesmerising football, and some truly mesmerising goals. I, rather foolishly, wanted to whittle 150+ goals down to 25. It was hard work, but as a tribute to 2017, I present to you my favourite 25 goals from this crazy calendar year. Please, sit back, and enjoy.
25. Delph vs Hull – 8th April 2017
The definition of a rocket, Fabian Delph made the most of a rare 2016/17 season start with a powerful drive into the right-hand corner to seal a precious win for City, ending a damaging four-game winless run. After great wing-play from Sterling, the ball was rolled across to Delph, who took two touches to take him to the edge of the box before smashing in an unstoppable strike.
24. Aguero vs Swansea – 13th December 2017
Win number 15 in our record-breaking run, our legendary striker topped off a sensational City performance with a goal that he had been hunting for all game. A fiery Aguero, not be denied by Fabianski for what would have felt like the 20th time, picked up the ball about 30 yards from goal, shrugged off a man from behind then took it wide of Alfie Mawson before arrowing a low shot into the far corner.
23. Sterling – West Brom 2-3 Manchester City – 28th October 2017
It may have been a tap-in for Sterling, but this goal was a masterclass in creating space and stretching the opposition defence. A neat one-two between Sané and De Bruyne took two defenders out of the game, before Sané played it back to De Bruyne, with options on the edge of the box. Sterling made a run from wide into the box, dragging a defender in and leaving space for Kyle Walker to run in behind. De Bruyne fed Silva, who in turn fed Walker, who smashed the ball across for Sterling to bundle home. From one side of the pitch to the other, City worked the space magnificently to create the goal, despite there being 7 defenders in the box – I have a feeling that this might be up there if Pep had to make a list.
22. Sterling – Manchester City 1-1 Everton – 21st August 2017
In a game that still bugs the perfectionist in me even today, Sterling rescued a point with a thumping volley with just 8 minutes to go, despite City being reduced to 10 men after Kyle Walker received his marching orders just before half-time. A looping cross from Danilo was headed away tamely by Jason Holgate, allowing Sterling to pounce and volley emphatically into the bottom left hand corner. One of only two occasions that we’ve dropped points so far this season, but at least we remain unbeaten going into the New Year. I think I can just about deal with that.
21. Sané – Southampton 0-3 Manchester City – 15th April 2017
Devastating counter-attacking at its glorious best, Leroy Sané sealed the points for City with the second goal of the game. The move started with a sublime flick from De Bruyne, who took two defenders out of the game, before spinning and making a surging run. Aguero found Silva, who played a lovely ball to find the rampaging De Bruyne, who, with Sané busting a gut along side him, slid the ball into the German’s path with a perfectly timed pass to beat the offside trap. Sané finished confidently, to send the away end into delirium.
20. Aguero – Watford 0-5 Manchester City – 21st May 2017
The final game of last season, you could say that this monstrous victory was an ominous warning to the rest of the league that Manchester City were going to be a force to be reckoned with next time around. And indeed, the fantastic passages of play produced that day bare resemblance to what we’ve seen this season, none more so than Aguero’s second of the game. The move began in defence, before Silva and Clichy linked up well to give the Spaniard space. Sané pelted forward at full speed, taking a perfect David Silva ball in his stride, before pulling the ball back to Aguero who side-footed home.
19. Gabriel Jesus – Leicester City 0-2 Manchester City – 18th November 2017
After 44 minutes of toiling to break down a resolute Leicester defence, this goal was a joy to behold. With relentless off the ball movement and slick passing triangles, Raheem Sterling, after an incisive one-two with De Bruyne, played a wonderfully weighted ball to David Silva, who squared to Jesus for the tap-in. And, while it may not add any extra quality to the goal, Leroy Sané lifting his arms in celebration before the ball even reached Jesus gives this move a very complete, clean feel.
18. Kompany – Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace – 6th May 2017
It’s always nice when Vinnie scores isn’t it? The celebration of this one might not compare to his advertising-board arms-out salute to the away fans at West Brom, or his incredible outburst of emotion after his header at Southampton, but it was just as heart-warming to see our skipper, so plagued with injury misfortune, with a smile on his face. With De Bruyne on the ball out wide after a cleared corner, Kompany made a darting run to the edge of the crowded six-yard box, where he received a low ball which he smashed, much like a striker, into the roof of the net. A class finish from a class act.
17. Aguero – Napoli 2-4 Manchester City – 1st November 2017
The record-breaker. Goal number 178 for Sergio Aguero, City’s greatest ever goal-scorer. A goal that will forever go down in Manchester City history, right alongside many of his others. From a Napoli corner, the Blues broke with blistering pace, with that man Leroy Sané again central. The winger was bundled over, but Aguero used his predatory instincts to pounce upon the loose ball, before taking it into the area and ruthlessly dispatching it into the corner. If you want to know why Aguero is our record goal scorer, you don’t need to look much further than his record-breaking goal.
16. Sané – Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace – 23rd September 2017
Despite Crystal Palace being pointless and goalless when they visited the Etihad in September, it took quite a while, and quite a good goal, to finally break their dogged defence down. Leroy Sané provided the killer blow this time on 44 minutes, latching onto a chipped ball over the defence after a one-two with David Silva. The skill to not only stretch and keep the ball in play with wonderful control, but to also flick the ball over the defender and then poke through the legs of the onrushing keeper, is only testament to the amazing potential our young German winger has. A very well taken goal indeed.
15. De Bruyne – Manchester City 3-1 West Brom – 16th May 2017
Another comfortable win in the late of last season, Kevin De Bruyne lit this game up with a brilliant first-time finish from the edge of the box. I think it makes a goal look so much better when the keeper stays rooted to the spot and watches the ball fly in, and that’s exactly what Ben Foster did here. On the half volley, De Bruyne showed fantastic control to not only keep the ball down, but to place it in the corner with such power and accuracy that Foster felt there was no need to even try to stop it.
14. Sané – West Brom 1-2 Manchester City – 20th September 2017
Scorer of both goals in this Carabao Cup fixture, Leroy Sané almost single-handedly sent us through to the fourth round with an exquisite finish just before the 80-minute mark to win the game for City. Having received a wonderful ball from Bernardo Silva, Sané approached the penalty area menacingly, with the ball glued to his left foot, before pushing it inside the defender and whipping an unstoppable curling effort high into the top left-hand corner.
13. De Bruyne – West Ham United 0-4 Manchester City – 1st February 2017
To open the scoring in another embarrassingly comfortable victory, Kevin De Bruyne combined beautifully with Gabriel Jesus, who was making his first Premier League start, before lashing the ball home. In a game where the front three of Sané, Jesus and De Bruyne shone, it was the German winger who made space for De Bruyne to receive the one-two from Jesus, who then left keeper Darren Randolph motionless as he slammed the ball into the bottom corner. Beautifully simple, yet clinical, ruthless and unstoppable.
12. Aguero – Manchester City 2-1 Burnley – 2nd January 2017
With the Blues reduced to 10 men, this piece of magic from Aguero took most by surprise, not only because it extended our lead to two in such unfavourable conditions, but because he had absolutely no right to score from where he did. After Sterling went to ground after failing to take the ball around keeper Tom Heaton, Aguero latched on to the loose ball and somehow, from a seemingly tight angle, managed to lash in a powerful drive, beating the despairing dive of the floored keeper, two defenders who stood on the line, and the post. The look of sheer confusion on Michael Keane’s face, the first defender on the line, who looks around for the ball before staring in disbelief at Aguero, sums up this goal rather nicely.
11. Aguero – Watford 0-6 Manchester City – 16th September 2017
A stunning solo goal to seal a magnificent hattrick, Sergio Aguero was in the form of his life as City put Watford to the sword. Picking up the ball 35 yards from goal, the Argentinian skipped through the middle of two midfielders as if they weren’t there, before slaloming his way in and out of out-stretched legs. The chance looked over as he was forced out wide, but with the deftest of touches he managed to dink the ball goal-wards on the slide, sending it trickling towards the far post, where it just crossed the line despite the best efforts of the defender.
Look out for the top 10 on New Year’s Day!
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