Manchester City’s talismanic midfielder Yaya Toure has come under intense scrutiny from pundits and City fans alike this campaign, and with the imminent arrival of Pep Guardiola this summer, it looks increasingly likely that the Ivorian powerhouse will depart the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old will forever remain in the hearts of City fans after a six-year, trophy-laden stay in Manchester – and it is important that supporters remember him for all those moments of sheer quality.
Toure has made a habit of scoring timely and crucial goals for the Blues since signing from Barcelona in 2010, and his ability to dominate the midfield has made him one of the greatest players of all time.
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Here are ten goals that City fans must remember their iconic maestro by, should he leave for pastures new this summer.
10. vs Manchester United (Premier League; 25 March 2014)
With time dwindling away at Old Trafford and City already two goals ahead courtesy of an Edin Dzeko brace, Toure picked up a pass from James Milner on the edge of the box and fired into the bottom corner beyond David de Gea.The 3-0 victory kept Manuel Pellegrini’s side in the hunt for a second league title as they closed the gap on Chelsea to three points with two games in hand.
9. vs Fulham (Premier League; 22 March 2014)
Toure already had two goals to his name when he was picked out by Samir Nasri 30-yards from goal. City’s number 42 looked up and curled the ball superbly beyond a despairing David Stockdale to give his side a 3-0 lead. Fernandinho and Martin Demichelis later added to the midfielder’s superb hat-trick to give City an emphatic 5-0 win.
8. vs Viktoria Plzen (Champion’s League group stage; 17 September 2013)
Another collector’s item for the Ivorian as he picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the pitch before looking up and curling a magnificent strike into the far top corner. It was City’s second in a 3-0 victory against the Czech outfit and it helped Manuel Pellegrini’s side to a second-place finish in the group behind Bayern Munich.
7. vs Aston Villa (Premier League; 7 May 2014)
A goal that epitomised everything about Toure during the 2013/14 title-winning campaign. With City already cruising against a beleaguered Villa side, the Ivorian collected the ball on the halfway line before charging at the retreating visiting defence. After outpacing and outmuscling them all, Toure lashed the ball past Brad Guzan to score City’s 100th league goal of the season. The 4-0 win put Pellegrini’s side in pole-position, two points clear of Liverpool going into the final game.
6. vs Liverpool (League Cup final; 28 February 2016)
OK, this one is in a penalty shoot-out, but there’s no player City fans will have wanted to step up to bag the winning spot-kick for them. It seemed to take an age as Toure hobbled from the centre circle, but he was calmness personified as he fired into the bottom corner beyond Simon Mignolet to secure the trophy for City.
5. vs Dynamo Kiev (Champion’s League last-16, first leg; 24 February 2016)
With City already 2-1 ahead in the Ukrainian capital and coming under intense pressure from the hosts, up stepped Toure to give his side an invaluable two-goal cushion and a priceless third away goal. The strike effectively ended the tie as a contest as City saw the return leg out in Manchester to book a place in the quarter-finals for the first time.
4. vs Sunderland (League Cup final; 2 March 2014)
Arguably Toure’s finest goal in a blue shirt. With City trailing 1-0 courtesy of Fabio Borini’s first half opener, the midfielder collected the ball over 30-yards from goal and looped an astonishing shot into the far top corner to pull City level. That strike stirred a revival and within two minutes, Pellegrini’s side were ahead thanks to Nasri’s thunderous drive. Jesus Navas completed the scoring late on as City won 3-1.
3. vs Manchester United (FA Cup semi-final; 16 April 2011)
Toure capitalised on an error from the usually ever-reliable Michael Carrick to slot home the only goal of a nerve-wracking and pulsating cup tie. City managed to hang on as they booked a place in the FA Cup final for the first time in 30 years and the blue half of Manchester celebrated in style with the iconic ‘Poznan’.
2. vs. Newcastle United (Premier League; 6 May 2012)
Having just regained the initiative in the title race with a victory over United, City travelled to Champions League-chasing Newcastle knowing that a win on Tyneside would keep them top going into the final day. Toure bagged two goals to put City on the brink of a first title in 44 years – his first a curling effort 20 minutes from time, his second powered home from close range in the dying embers after a quick counter attack.
1. vs. Stoke City (FA Cup final; 14 May 2011)
The agonising 35-year wait for a major trophy finally ended as City clinched the FA Cup. Stoke failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to Toure who fired Roberto Mancini’s team to victory from 12-yards and wrote his name into City folklore in the process. The long wait was over, and a domino effect followed as the club continued to compete for – and win – major honours.
City fans, regardless of your opinions and reservations this campaign, remember the moments that Toure has provided over the years. He is, without a doubt, one of the greatest ever in your history.
He is, without a doubt, one of the greatest ever in your history.
Does Yaya Toure deserve to go down as a club legend at Manchester City? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!