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Writers' panel: best games of 2016

GUNDOGOAL: Ilkay celebrates his strike that got City back on level terms

GUNDOGOAL: Ilkay celebrates his strike that got City back on level terms

As 2016 draws to a close, the Manchester City club journalists relive what they think were the very best City performances of the year.

David Clayton – City 3-1 Barcelona, 1 November

We’ve waited quite a while to beat Barcelona so the 3-1 win over the Catalans last October was a moment to savour.

It wasn’t only the result; it was the manner the Blues beat the most talented football team on the planet.

Barca were swept away at times, overrun and outplayed on a night when everything clicked – and all this after going a goal behind.

Rarely will the La Liga giants take a genuine beating like that and it could have been four or five. As brilliant as Lionel Messi is, it felt good to see him walking off the Etihad wondering what had just happened.

 

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Caroline Oatway - City Women 2-0 Chelsea, 25 September

Again, there are no prizes for guessing my favourite game of 2016…

It wasn’t merely the fact the victory secured City’s first ever WSL title – against their closest rivals and reigning champions I might add – but the fact it attracted yet another record attendance at the Academy Stadium.

Women’s football is becoming more and more popular, with our fanbase earning a reputation as the most vocal and dedicated.

More than 4,000 turned out to witness the clash of the titans, as the Blues scored twice to earn a 2-0 victory – the win that crowned them champions.

City were excellent, producing another display of attacking prowess and defensive solidarity. Chelsea hardly had a sniff.

The final whistle sparked jubilant scenes, which will certainly live long in my memory.

 

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Jack Mumford - City 1-0 PSG, 12 April

Already further than ever before by reaching the quarter finals, City had pulled off an excellent 2-2 draw in Paris in the first leg and were in pole position to make the last four.

However, given PSG's quality, it was always going to be a tense 90 minutes at the Etihad Stadium.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side were in control for much of the night and both Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi held Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani at arm’s length.

When Kevin De Bruyne found the bottom corner of Kevin Trapp’s goal with 15 minutes remaining, City fans allowed themselves to dream of the semi-final.

Even though City’s run was ended by Real Madrid a month later, that night against PSG is one that confirmed the Blues a seat on the top table of European football.

 

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Rob Pollard - City 3-1 Everton, 27 January

Having gone into the game 2-1 down from the first leg, the City fans felt before kick-off that the chances of a second League Cup final appearance in three seasons were somewhat remote. Everton are a strong side, resolute at the back and disciplined in midfield. It was a tough ask.

And when Ross Barkley scored after 18 minutes to extend Everton’s lead the tie felt almost certainly lost.

But this was a night that saw City’s spirit and quality shine through. Fernandinho levelled things up on the night six minutes later, before second-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne sealed a 4-3 aggregate win.

Out of the jaws of defeat victory was snatched. A trip to Wembley and more silverware beckoned.

What a night!

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