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Talking Points: Another late show



City started 2016 with a bang, producing another late show to snatch all three points at Watford.

Here are five things we learned from the clash at Vicarage Road…

A stunning comeback

I think it's safe to say not even the most optimistic of Blues foresaw the events that were to unfold in the final ten minutes.

Although we've become accustomed to late winners and dramatic finishes, the lack of clear-cut opportunities created left fans wondering where an equaliser would come from - never mind a winner as well!

With City sloppy in possession throughout, it appeared the best chance of levelling the score would come from a set-piece - and it did, courtesy of a glorious Yaya Toure volley.

Group Cele

Even then, I think the Blue faithful would have taken a draw but the revitalised visitors had other ideas, netting the second just three minutes later as Sergio Aguero planted a wonderful header into the far corner from an excellent Bacary Sagna delivery.

Once again, Manuel Pellegrini's men had left it late to snatch a win - and how crucial it could be. Having ended a poor run away from home, could this be the start of something special?

As @steviezart summarised perfectly on Twitter: "We keep finding the keys to get us out of jail. Good habit to have!"

Brilliant Bacary

Joe Hart reserved praise for Bacary Sagna in his post-match interview - and rightly so.

The defender had already impressed in the clash before claiming his assist, ending the game with a passing accuracy of 82%, five clearances, three tackles and one interception.

What makes his recent form more impressive is the fact he's played 28 games for City in all competitions this season - excluding internationals.

Bacary Sagna

In Pablo Zabaleta's absence, he has withstood a lengthy run of games without a break and has certainly done enough to earn the 'unsung hero' tag this season.

As his goalkeeper stated, the fact he's put in so much for so long but still had the energy to race down the wing late on and cross for Kun deserves some recognition.

Must be all those apple crumbles!

Tactical switch

Pellegrini's decision to bring off Eliaquim Mangala and bring on Wilfried Bony raised some eyebrows, as it meant Fernandinho was shifted to central defence.

The Chilean admitted it was a risky change but a natural one - and it paid dividends.

The Blues definitely had to do something to claw themselves back into the game and while it was an unexpected alteration, the extra man up top - along with the introduction of Jesus Navas, which moved Kevin De Bruyne to the other wing - had a positive effect.


There wasn't an onslaught as such but the visitors utilised the flanks more and the goals arrived shortly after.

The risk paid off!

Magic moments

City may have 'won ugly' but the strikes scored to clinch the three points were absolutely beautiful.

Toure's first-time finish to the near post - his third goal in four games - was handsome enough, while Aguero's expertly-placed header was even better.

Neither player had shone in the game up to that point, but - always capable of making magic - they came up with the goods.

Jesus and sergio

What a joy it is to have players of such quality, who can produce these acts of brilliance - even when things are not going their way.

Here's hoping Kun's season has been now kickstarted too. It always takes a few games for him to hit form after injury, but now he's off and running again...

Ringing the changes?

There isn't much time to sit back and enjoy Saturday's victory, with a crucial Capital One Cup semi-final first leg on the horizon...

City travel to Everton on Wednesday night, hoping to gain an advantage to take back to the Etihad Stadium - but with a packed January schedule, will Pellegrini opt to rotate the squad or stick with a winning side?

A total of 19 players have participated in this year's League Cup campaign, with only De Bruyne, Navas and Willy Caballero starting all three encounters.


KDB has scored in each round so far - will he make another appearance? Will Kelechi Iheanacho, Gael Clichy or Fabian Delph return to the squad? Will any other youngsters feature? What do you think?

Perhaps he will decide to alter the personnel for the weekend's FA Cup clash at Norwich instead...

Although the Blues have enjoyed a change in fortune at Goodison Park in recent visits, there's no denying it's still a tough place to go and with both sides seeking a positive result to protect in the second leg, this one could be a closely-fought, edgy contest.

Let us know your thoughts on Twitter.

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