The brilliant play of Yaya Toure was on display yet again in Tuesday's Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
The City midfielder dominated the centre of the pitch for the full 90 minutes, especially in his side's defensive third. Toure cancelled out a number of attacking threats and made United club-record signing Juan Mata look like a lost puppy without a sense of smell.
In the 89th minute, he finally added his name to the scoresheet, capping off an impressive herby performance with a smart far-post finish.
When the camera panned to United boss David Moyes looking on in disbelief as his side suffered yet another defeat at home, I couldn't help but feel like he was reveling in how Toure embodied everything he wished his midfield could be.
The Ivory Coast international's physical play in front of the penalty area is rapidly becoming somewhat legendary. He is able to wrestle players off the ball with his brute strength and massive frame whilst abiding by the rules of the game.
The beauty of Toure's style of play is that it has gone unnoticed by the casual football fan in recent years, a spectator craving the spectacular and a bundle of goals (traits not usually associated with your everyday central defensive midfielder). In years past, I've heard his style of play referred to as "boring" and "lacking the ability to be creative."
But Toure is doing all of the above and more during this latest Premier League campaign.
With 17 league goals, he leads City in scoring and sits third overall behind Liverpool's duo of Daniel Sturridge (19) Luis and Suarez (28). His link-up play has been nothing short of world-class, whether that be holding the ball through the middle or slotting a pass to darting wingers for shots on goal evidenced by his five Premier League assists.
He's not just finishing off chances, he's creating shots for himself, something he hasn't done as much of in the past. He's scored some beautiful goals this season, highlighted by his hat-trick goal from 30 yards out against Fulham at the weekend.
Besides his individual accomplishments, his new-found goal scoring prowess and the hype surrounding his ascension to the top of the world football talent pool, Toure has City winning matches and in a commanding position for a title run heading into the final weeks of the season.
Premier League leaders Chelsea have played two games more and are only three points ahead of City, meaning there's pressure on both sides to collect nothing but three points every match from here on out.
With Toure anchoring the midfield for Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini's side could undoubtedly hoist the trophy for the second time in three years.
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