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Writers' panel: best goals of 2016

GOAL - Yaya Toure scores his side's first goal

GOAL - Yaya Toure scores his side's first goal

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

David Clayton – Yaya Toure v Crystal Palace

He’d been out of the side for reasons that have been well documented, but Yaya Toure’s return to first team football was almost written in the stars.

He collected the ball on the edge of the box, with nothing obvious on played a one-two with Nolito before rifling an unstoppable shot home from 10 yards.

So what if it took a deflection? It would have gone in anyway and the fact that he scored a late second that sealed the points made his return all the sweeter.

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Caroline Oatway - Toni Duggan v Brondby IF

Choosing just one goal from this category was very, very tough. There have been some absolute stunners bagged this season.

The pick of the bunch arrived on the final game of the season – and it was as glorious as it was significant.

City travelled to Brondby in the last 16 of the Champions League, clinging to a narrow 1-0 triumph from the first leg.

An away goal would virtually seal the tie and it came courtesy of a moment of individual brilliance from a striker who had already won the Goal of the Season award in previous years.

There looked to be little danger when Jane Ross brought the ball town and played it into Duggan’s path, but the England star had other ideas and swivelled to volley a looping effort in off the post.

A special strike – and crucial in helping her side to book a place in the quarter-finals, as the game finished 1-1 on the night.

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Jack Mumford - Raheem Sterling v Arsenal

One of City’s star men in the second half of the calendar year, Sterling’s winner against Arsenal was a goal that encapsulated the exciting future he has in the game.

With the sides deadlocked at the Etihad Stadium and fans nervous that City would be held to a fourth 1-1 draw at home in this season’s Premier League, Sterling’s 71st minute strike lifted the spirits of everyone.

Kevin De Bruyne’s ranging pass out to the right left Sterling one-on-one with Arsenal full-back Nacho Monreal in the corner. After backing the Spaniard into the box, he cut inside and fired a left footed effort inside Petr Cech’s near post.

The goal sealed three points for City and ensured they kept pressure on leaders Chelsea but perhaps more importantly, it showed the confidence of City’s 22-year-old to express himself on the big stage.

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Rob Pollard - Kevin De Bruyne v Bournemouth

Kevin De Bruyne had been out injured for two months prior to the trip to Bournemouth in April and it was clear City had missed his influence.

But it became even clearer during the course of this match. City were 3-0 up inside 18 minutes and De Bruyne had been at the heart of everything, orchestrating the team’s best moments and looking threatening every time he picked up the ball.

He scored the second, a delightful goal that showcased the artistry and quality in City’s attack. David Silva won the ball in the final third, Sergio Aguero scooped a pass back into the Spaniard’s path and he produced a wonderful flick into De Bruyne who volleyed first time past Artur Boruc.

Absolutely top-class football. 

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Picture Special

Instagram: Most liked pics of the year

Quizzes

Man City Quiz of 2016

TEST  YOUR KNOWLEDGE: Have a go at our 2016 quiz

Test your knowledge of an historic year for Manchester City with our bumper 12-question quiz.

See how many you get!

What the Media Says

Clichy: Man City are still in the title hunt

CLICHY: Gael expects City to be involved in the title race

It’s second v third in the Premier League on New Year’s Eve as Manchester City travel to Liverpool and naturally, that match is drawing a lot of attention from the press.

Firstly, City defender Gael Clichy believes that Pep Guardiola’s men are still in the hunt for the Premier League trophy despite being seven points behind leaders Chelsea.