As 2016 draws to a close, the Manchester City club journalists offer their favourite moments of the year.
David Clayton – Caballero heroics
The Capital One Cup final was a hard-fought, tense match that ebbed a flowed. Liverpool had their moments, City enjoyed good spells, but when Fernandinho put the Blues ahead, it looked like that might be enough.
Of course, Liverpool levelled late on and forced extra time where it seemed the momentum of the Merseysiders would mean there was only one likely winner.
The Blues held and ultimately deserved a penalty shoot-out, but our record hasn’t been brilliant over the years so it didn’t make pleasant viewing. However, Willy Caballero, who had waited patiently for his moment to shine behind Joe Hart, made three excellent stops to give Yaya Toure the chance to convert the winning spot-kick with one to spare.
This was Caballero’s day and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
Caroline Oataway: Final whistle v Arsenal
There were plenty of these to choose from too – cup lifts, amazing goals, great saves, crucial tackles… but the moment that sticks in my memory is one of real togetherness: the final whistle in the Continental Tyres Cup semi-final against Arsenal.
It was no secret that the Blues had endured a difficult week, following the tragic passing of former Blue Zoe Tynan.
Desperate to progress in remembrance of their friend, the team pulled together and showed incredible courage to step on to the pitch and earn a 1-0 victory, booking their semi-final spot against the side that had denied them the feat the previous year.
Jennifer Beattie netted the winner and pointed to her black armband in memory of Zoe.
City battled and scrapped through the 90 minutes – and perhaps Lady Luck was on their side somewhat – but the scenes at the final whistle portrayed just how much it meant. There was an outpour of emotion as the team huddled to reflect on what was an exceptional achievement.
Jack Mumford: Pep’s announcement
All seemed calm as Manuel Pellegrini stood up at the end of his media address on the 1 February until he announced that he was to leave at the end of the season.
With the footballing world in shock, there was barely time to catch a breath before it was announced that two-time Champions League winning manager Pep Guardiola would be City’s new boss.
Guardiola, the attention of the footballing world, had chosen to become part of City’s project and fans could begin to drool over the club’s chance to replicate the football he conducted at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Rob Pollard: Full-time whistle v PSG
City’s relationship with the Champions League hasn’t been easy.
Having first qualified for the competition in 2011, they were eliminated at the group stage twice and the last 16 twice in a disappointing four-year period.
Their European credentials were understandably being questioned.
However, all that changed last season as Manuel Pellegrini led his team to the semi-finals. They topped their group and then battered Dynamo Kiev in the away leg of their last-16 tie before a 0-0 draw at home saw them through to the quarter-final for the first time.
A semi-final tie against Paris Saint-Germain followed and the French champions were most people’s favourites.
But City performed magnificently in the French capital, drawing 2-2, and put themselves in a great position ahead of the return game.
What followed was a fraught 90 minutes that demonstrated City’s growing European nous. Whereas in the past they would perhaps have shown naivety, this time they controlled the game, scored with 15 minutes remaining and secured a 3-2 aggregate win.
A classic two-legged European display that perhaps didn’t get the credit it deserved.
The full-time whistle that signalled City’s place in the last four was glorious