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Best of 2015: Top five moments

Joe thanks the fans and hugs the badge

Joe thanks the fans and hugs the badge

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

A goalkeeping 'phenomenon', that late goal feeling, Club milestones and more make up mcfc.co.uk journalist Paul Handler's five moments to remember from 2015…

Phenomenon

The first part of 2015 was, broadly speaking, a tough one from a football point of view. There was a fine Premier League finale with six successive wins, but ultimately no silverware. One performance sticks in the mind though, that of goalkeeper Joe Hart in the 1-0 defeat at Barcelona in the Champions League. Afterwards world great Lionel Messi called City and England's number one a 'phenomenon'. Praise doesn't come any higher than that and it's a fitting tribute to Hart's consistent brilliance over the year.

South Stand opening: a new high

Everything came together for City's first home game of the 2015/16 Premier League campaign. The soaring South Stand was completed in time for the match against last season's champions and stretched the Etihad Stadium's capacity to over 55,000. The extra stand height and fan noise electrified the atmosphere, with chants tumbling down onto the pitch… it was loud! The players responded and blew Chelsea away. Yet another milestone in the Club's history was chalked off in style.

South Stand unveiling

Kelechi clips Eagles' wings

There are few things sweeter in football than a late goal and Kelechi Iheanacho's instant impact at Crystal Palace takes some beating. Thrown on in the 89th minute, the young Nigerian sprung onto a half-chance to prod goalwards and maintain City's early 100 per cent record. The winner summed Iheanacho up, a genuine striker with a hunger for goals. He has since followed it up with three more to underline his huge potential. Bring on 2016!

De Bruyne denouement

City have made a habit of scoring late goals this season but this one felt like a turning point in Group D for Pellegrini's side. Kevin De Bruyne was looking every inch the Club's record signing - his 91st minute goal was his fifth in seven games - and a major piece of the early season jigsaw puzzle had been slotted into place.

Not Barcelona

Ever since the 2008 takeover City have been making major strides on and off the pitch - topping Group D felt like another one. There was to be no Barcelona reunion in the last 16, with the Blues earning what looks a more favourable draw on paper against Dynamo Kiev. At the start of matchday six City that outcome looked unlikely but Manuel Pellegrini's men did their bit, Sevilla did theirs against Juve and the so-called Group of Death was buried. Now the key question for 2016 - can City make it count?

Your turn to play 'em, @Arsenal! #UCLdraw pic.twitter.com/ojx5obbkX7

— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) December 14, 2015

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