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Writers' Panel: Man City's best of April

TOGETHER: Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero celebrate during the victory over Southampton

TOGETHER: Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero celebrate during the victory over Southampton

April was a busy month for all of Manchester City's sides but what were the highlights according to our writers?

Best goal

Rob Pollard - Sane v Southampton

City are a side that often control possession and dominate games – but many of the finest goals Guardiola’s team have scored this season have been on the counter, where their pace, quick passing and ability to improvise at speed come to the fore.

Their second in the 3-0 win away at Southampton was one such example. Kevin De Bruyne’s quite brilliant flick to Sergio Aguero in the middle of the pitch saw the Belgian go on a run into space and ask for a return pass, which duly came from David Silva’s wonderful first-time ball. De Bruyne, now in plenty of space, raced towards the area and squared for Leroy Sane, who tapped home easily from 15 yards out.

It took only a few seconds, with some neat passing and quick thinking along the way, but Southampton had been ruthlessly ripped apart and the game was as good as over. 

David Clayton - Fabian Delph v Hull

Of the 12 goals scored by City during April, Fabian Delph’s thunderbolt versus Hull City was the strike I enjoyed the most.

He hasn't had the best of times in terms of injuries since joining City so he deserved the goal and the ensuing celebration for never letting his head dip when it might have easy to have done so.

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Caroline Oatway - Sergio Aguero v Arsenal

Aguero has the superhuman ability to be able to score any type of goal, under the most intense pressure.

The striker opened the scoring in the FA Cup final with a moment of brilliance. Having outpaced Nacho Monreal, the striker only had Petr Cech to beat and seemed to have taken a touch too strong but in fact, it was the perfect weight to draw the goalkeeper out and Kun scooped the ball over him to put City into the lead.

It was a superb finish with huge importance, though of course not enough to clinch victory.

Jack Mumford - Leroy Sane v Arsenal

A moment of magic early on can change the whole outlook of a match and De Bruyne’s incisive pass for Sane here looked set to do that here.

The German winger’s electric pace took him past Hector Bellerin and he showed a composure akin to an experienced striker as he rounded David Ospina to set up a thrilling match in London.

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Best match

Rob Pollard - Southampton 0-3 City 

In truth, April wasn’t the best of months, given the dropped points against Chelsea, Arsenal and Middlesbrough, as well as the FA Cup semi-final defeat at Wembley.

But the win over Southampton was undoubtedly impressive. City dominated the ball in the first half, with an unusually defensive Southampton side managing to frustrate. But a second-half blitz that saw City play some quality attacking football opened them up and the three points deservedly came back to Manchester.

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David Clayton - Southampton 0-3 City

The outstanding display of April, the Blues were in imperious mood at St Mary’s.

There were so many good things to admire on the day – Vincent Kompany’s return, Nicolas Otamendi’s display, Sane’s all-round performance and Aguero’s finishing.

But the control and spin on the halfway line by De Bruyne was sublime and brilliant by the Belgian who worked tirelessly all afternoon.

Caroline Oatway - Lyon 0-1 MCWFC

It wouldn’t be enough for progression to the final but Man City Women’s Champions League victory in Lyon issued a statement to the rest of Europe.

Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, the Blues knew they had a mountain to climb to reach the last stage but the Blues battled bravely and earned a shock 1-0 win at the home of the reigning champions, thanks to Carli Lloyd’s second half strike.

It clawed Nick Cushing’s side back into the tie and although they couldn’t net the two further goals they required, their triumph proved that City – in their debut season in the tournament – could compete with the best.

Jack Mumford - Southampton 0-3 City

Southampton are an inconsistent side – which is why they find themselves in mid-table in the Premier League – but City’s second half showing at St Mary’s would have blown away all in the division.

Not only were City fans delighted with the three points; they could also say that Vincent Kompany was a vital cog in the team once more.

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Best player

Rob Pollard - Vincent Kompany

In the space of five games, Kompany has brought new assuredness and physicality to the City defence and we look far better for it. He’s looking as sharp as ever.

It’s been a pleasure to have him back. City loves him more than he will know.

David Clayton - Vincent Kompany

Just edging out team-mate Aguero, the captain’s comeback during April has been one of the highlights of the second part of the season.

He’s reverted back to his usual towering presence after so many set-backs and his goal at Southampton showed how much the Club means to him and to his legions of fans.

Not just that, but he was a man-mountain against the Saints and United and impressed against both Arsenal and Middlesbrough – welcome back, skipper.

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Caroline Oatway - Sergio Aguero

It’s been another fruitful season for Aguero and he was at his lethal best in April.

The Argentine striker netted six goals in seven games, including that sensational finish in the FA Cup semi-final.

Kun is City’s second-highest all-time goalscorer.

Jack Mumford - Arijanet Muric

The development of Aro Muric over his first full season in England has been fascinating. April wasn’t a stellar month for City’s U18s – losing the FA Youth Cup final and ground on their Premier League opponents – but the Swiss youth international saved three penalties and his charismatic presence continues to impress coaches at U18 and EDS level.

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Best moment

Rob Pollard - Kompany’s post-match interview at Southampton

We’ve all been saddened by Kompany’s injury situation over the past few years; the Premier League’s finest defender denied so much playing time during his prime, with City robbed of their inspirational leader at the back.

But April saw a sharp turnaround for him. He played five of City’s seven matches, scoring a fine goal at Southampton that opened the scoring and set City on their way to victory, planting a downward header past Fraser Forster having outjumped Maya Yoshida from a corner.

His celebration is now etched in all our minds – but it was his post-match interview that really stood out. "If I had to work 15 years to have one moment like this, I would do,” he said.

To hear that after everything he has been through sums up Kompany’s professionalism, desire and, most of all, his love of this football Club.

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David Clayton - City fans at Wembley

Watching 30,000 or so foil flags waving as City came out at Wembley was quite a sight and stuff like that always send a bit of a shiver down my spine.

It looked fantastic, colourful and vibrant and if the game was decided on fans alone, we’d have won the game hands down.

The celebrations for Sergio’s goal were also something to behold – especially when you’d like to be in the middle of it all doing the same!

So while the result was deflating, our supporters were anything but and hopefully, next time things will be different.

Caroline Oatway - Kompany goal v Southampton

“Cometh the hour, cometh the captain!”

In terms of iconic Kompany goals, this one won’t make number one but it will live long in the memory.

The Belgian has endured a difficult season, plagued with injury, and his return to action provided a welcome boost.

His first goal since August 2015 arrived at Southampton as he broke the deadlock, rising to plant a header past Fraser Forster.

The celebrations that ensued – from the fans and the player himself – showed just how much it meant to the Club to see the skipper firing on all cylinders once again.

Jack Mumford - Muric's penalty save v Chelsea

It seemed at the time that, even though both sides were going to be much changed, City laid down a marker for the Youth Cup final by beating Chelsea in the Premier League.

It wasn’t so but a major factor in that victory for a City side containing several U16s was the inspirational performance of Muric – including a diving penalty save to maintain the lead in the second half.

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