City on brink of title as Kompany rescues win with thumping long-range strike
Premier League, Etihad Stadium – Manchester City 1 (Kompany 70’) Leicester City 0
Vincent Kompany saved Manchester City with a spectacular long-range goal to beat Leicester City 1-0 and put his side on the brink of the Premier League title.
Knowing that any dropped points would hand the advantage in the title race to Liverpool ahead of the final matchday, City put in a nervy performance against an excellent Leicester outfit.
But just when it mattered, up stepped City captain Vincent Kompany to smash a stunning strike into the top corner from long range to win it for his team and leave them needing a win on the final day to complete a remarkable title defence.
"I always felt like today I was going to do something," Kompany told Sky Sports afterwards. "Everyone was telling me not to shoot, and I could really hear it. I was tired of hearing it! I've scored goals like that it training [laughter].
"It's 15 years in top-level football of players telling me to play it wide. I always said that one day I would take a shot and it would go in and they would all be happy, and today it happened."
Vincent Kompany is congratulated by Bernardo Silva on his magnificent strikeGetty Images
It is the 32nd time this season that the Premier League lead has changed hands, but City's 13th win on the bounce didn't look like arriving against a well-organised Leicester side.
Brendan Rodgers, who missed out on the title with Liverpool in 2014, frustrated Pep Guardiola with his players producing a disciplined display with City unable to create too many chances barring Kompany's thunderbolt.
In the first half, Sergio Aguero's header from Ilkay Gundogan's corner was brilliantly kept out by Schmeichel at his near post via the crossbar, with replays showing the ball had not crossed the line, and Leicester posed a threat on the break as James Maddison watched his shot curl a yard wide of the post.
But just when the home crowd were beginning to feel resigned to their fate, with anger directed towards referee Mike Dean, up stepped Kompany to crash in City's 100th home goal of the season as the Etihad erupted.
City will retain the title if they beat Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Sunday, but a failure to secure a 14th successive league win could open the door to Liverpool to snatch a first domestic crown in 29 years with a win over Wolves at Anfield.
Kompany provides goal for the ages. Sergio Aguero's memorable winner against QPR in 2012 had everything. We were sworn we would never see anything quite like that again. "Where would you like your statue, Vincent Kompany?" came the Sky commentary this time, from Gary Neville.
With Liverpool feeling they had one hand on the Premier League trophy, Kompany took a huge intake of breath, strode forward and found the postage stamp. It was a moment we will all never forget in this league we all love. It was a moment that summed up Kompany's value to Manchester City.
Kompany pings his shot into the top corner to decide a tense contestGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Vincent Kompany (Manchester City): Who else? This was a once in a lifetime strike. He had tried it before in training, he joked. But having been signed for as little as £10m by Mark Hughes in 2008, how can you put a price on what he has brought this club?
On the goal, there had been a few speculative attempts from the likes of Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden where strikes veered into the stands. Had Kompany followed in kind, who else would City have turned to for inspiration?
The Belgian scored a crucial goal in 2012 to down Manchester United on City's way to the title, and here he was again leading from the front, scoring with his first shot on target from outside the box since 2013. The job is not done yet. But it would be a fitting way to decide this rollercoaster race to the finish line.
32 - OFF THE BAR!!!! Aguero thinks he's scored!! How close was that?! Mike Dean looks for a beep on the watch but Kasper Schmeichel has produced a superb save to keep out his header from the corner! Millimetres the wrong side for City as the big Dane palms the striker's header onto the crossbar!
53 - CHANCE!!! Walker launches the ball for David Silva of all people to rise and meet to head it back across goal. Sterling is unmarked but he doesn't allow the ball to drop as he can't keep his own header down!
63 - CLOSE!!! What a run from Harry Maguire down the left after bringing it out of his own box. He finds Maddison, who has Albrighton to his right in acres of space but he goes for goal with his right foot very nearly finding Ederson's bottom corner!
70' - Manchester City 1-0 Leicester. GOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!! Never will you see a goal like this. Never will you see a goal as good as this to win a Premier League title.
Vincent Kompany has brought this ball forward from defence and with character and venom, he has found the top corner. Schmeichel isn't stopping that. WHAT. A. GOAL. It's an old school goal.
It's a 30-yard blockbuster that could decide the destination of this title.
88 - CHANCE!!!! Will Leicester get a better opportunity to level? Ederson's goal-kick is met by Maguire and Choudhury collects the second ball.
It's a fine pass to the unmarked Iheanacho, and with Zinchenko out of position, the Nigerian striker can't wrap his foot around his shot to test Ederson. What a chance!
Bernardo Silva stood out during a below-par Man City performanceGetty Images
- Man City have won each of their last 13 Premier League games – it’s the fourth run of a team winning 13+ games in a row in the competition’s history, with Man City the only side to have done so twice.
- Man City have beaten every team they’ve faced in the league for the second consecutive season; the only other English top-flight team to achieve this were Preston between 1888-89 and 1889-90.
- Vincent Kompany has scored his 20th goal in all competitions for Man City, with his strike tonight versus Leicester his first from outside the box.
- Leicester have won just one of their last seven away games versus Man City in all competitions (W1 D1 L5).
- Leicester have never won away from home on a Monday in the Premier League, drawing three and losing nine of their 12 such matches.
- Manchester City have scored in all of their home Premier League games in a single season for the third time (also in 11/12 & 12/13) - only Arsenal and Chelsea (4 times each) have managed to do so on more occasions.