'I have lived the dream': Kompany's best moments at Manchester City

By Stephen Creek 19 May 2019 22
'I have lived the dream': Kompany's best moments at Manchester City

Vincent Kompany said he had "lived the dream" as he called time on his Manchester City career in the aftermath of the victory that clinched an unprecedented treble.

After 11 seasons at City, the 33-year-old announced his decision to join his boyhood club Anderlecht as player-manager on a three-year deal, and he said his years in Manchester give him the football education he needs to launch the next phase of his career.

That his last game in the sky blue of City saw him captain the team to a 6-0 FA Cup final win over Watford was fitting, given the glittering, trophy-laden years that preceded it.

The four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four EFL Cups and two Community Shields Kompany won with City only tell part of a tale packed with memorable moments.

As an inspirational captain waves goodbye to the conquerors of English football, we look back at his best moments.

May 2011: A first taste of glory

Kompany said that beating Manchester United in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final was the moment City started to believe they could win trophies.

The confidence with which City despatched their bitter rivals 1-0, courtesy of Yaya Toure's goal, was underpinned by Kompany's towering performance at centre-back, and he was every bit as good in the final.

Alongside Joleon Lescott, Kompany put in another faultless display at Wembley as Toure struck again versus Stoke City, securing the club's first major trophy in 35 years and giving birth to a dynasty.

April 2012: Turning the tide

Manchester United won the Premier League title 13 times between 1993 and 2013, but a crucial goal from Kompany preceded the end of the Red Devils' era of dominance.

The 2011-12 title race was poised on a knife edge with United holding the advantage until Kompany rose in first-half stoppage time at Etihad Stadium to power a header beyond David de Gea.

The 1-0 victory - over rivals City would hold off to win the title on goal difference 13 days later - and Kompany's becalming of Wayne Rooney signalled a shift in the balance of power from which United have never fully recovered.

May 2014: Title number two

United delivered one last Premier League title for Alex Ferguson in 2013, but the following year they were nowhere to be seen as Liverpool pushed City all the way to the final day of the 2013-14 season.

Manuel Pellegrini's City team needed a point from their clash with West Ham to regain the title, and their captain was on hand to score the second in a 2-0 victory at the Etihad before he lifted English football's most coveted trophy for a second time.

2016-2018: Fighting to be fit

A series of injuries tarnished Kompany's season in 2015-16, restricting him to just 14 Premier League appearances, but the indomitable Belgian starred in the EFL Cup final and was named man of the match for his display before a penalty shoot-out victory over Liverpool.

Calf problems continued to badly hamper Kompany, although in February 2018 the sheer force of his spirit and desire to play was on display at Wembley. He scored City's second in a 3-0 EFL Cup final win over Arsenal and was again named man of the match.

May 2019: Bowing out in style

Kompany's last Premier League campaign was arguably the most thrilling of all and, when City desperately needed a moment of inspiration to see them over the line, their captain fantastic did not let them down.

Even his team-mates were taken aback when Kompany swung back his right foot with 20 minutes left to play in a must-win game against Leicester City at the Etihad, and the thunderbolt he unleashed into the top right corner of Kasper Schmeichel's net from 25 yards stunned everyone.

The goal settled the match and left City just needing a win over Brighton on the final day to clinch the title, which they duly delivered, and while Kompany will always be remembered at City for his defending rather than his finishing, the image of his wonder strike will forever be etched into the club's collective memory.

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Stephen Creek