Mens Team

Top ten: Fantastic free-kicks

PERFECTION: Leroy Sane curls in a wonderful free-kick to level on the brink of half-time
In celebration of Leroy Sane’s sumptuous set-piece against Hoffenheim, we look back on ten more memorable free-kicks of City folklore…

1 Elano v Newcastle, 2007

The first that comes to everyone’s mind! This one rises to the top of the pile as cleanly as it was struck – like an arrow, leaving Magpies shot-stopper Shay Given helpless.

City had already turned the game on its head, as Martin Petrov cancelled out Obefami Martins’ opener before Emile Mpenza netted just after the break – but Brazilian maestro Elano sealed the points with arguably the greatest free-kick in City history, rocketing the ball into the top corner to spark delirium in the Etihad Stadium.

WATCH: Goal of the Day: Elano v Newcastle 2007

READ: Sublime Sane and Phil of the Future

WATCH: Match highlights | City 2-1 Hoffenheim

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2 Michael Tarnat v Blackburn, 2003

An unusual goal from an unlikely source – but a crucial one at the time.

There was only four minutes on the clock when City were awarded a seemingly-harmless 40 yards from goal. When Michael Tarnat moved forward to take it, a delivery into the box seemed the most hopeful outcome.

However, the German had other ideas and instead opted to try his luck. Racing onto the ball from his lengthy run up, the defender fired the ball into the bottom corner with outstanding swerve to deceive Brad Friedel, setting the Blues on our way to an unforgettable 3-2 win which put Kevin Keegan’s men top of the Premiership!

WATCH: Goal of the Day: Tarnat v Blackburn

3 Paul Power v Ipswich, 1981

One of the most celebrated goals in the Club’s history, Paul Power’s wonderful effort in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park will live long in the memory.

The skipper, who scored in all bar two of the rounds, beautifully curled Steve MacKenzie’s lay-off into the bottom corner in the second period of extra-time to send John Bond’s side to Wembley.

A delightful goal in dramatic circumstances – and fitting that it should cometh the captain.

WATCH: Golden Goal: Paul Power, 1981

4 Aleks Kolarov v Leicester, 2013

A goal of real quality courtesy of our Serbian free-kick specialist – this was surely his best.

Just eight minutes had passed when the left-back was handed the opportunity to unleash a ‘Kola-rocket’ and he duly accepted, bending a sensational strike into the top corner from 25 yards to beat Kasper Schmeichel and put the Blues within touching distance of the Capital One Cup Semi-Finals.

We would of course, go on to lift the trophy.

5 Kevin De Bruyne v Cardiff, 2018

Cheeky but effective! Another fabulous cup strike – this one courtesy of Belgian star Kevin De Bruyne.

Handed a tricky tie at the Cardiff City Stadium, the Blues had to be at our stoic best to triumph in this one and a piece of individual brilliance broke the deadlock early on to stun the home crowd into silence.

Awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, everyone in the ground awaited a De Bruyne curler – but the playmaker had other ideas and fooled everyone, rolling the ball casually under the leaping wall to open the scoring.

6 Stuart Pearce v Watford, 2001

The dawning of a new era.

City kicked off the 2001/02 campaign with a new manager, new faces and new optimism for the future.

Keegan stood at the helm, tasked with guiding the Blues back to the Premiership and having recruited some exceptional talent, he could not have wished for a better start as the Division One opener heralded a 3-0 win over Watford.

Debutant Eyal Berkovic ran the show that day but fellow newbie Stuart Pearce would also hit the headlines, adding the icing to the proverbial cake by smashing a trademark set-piece into the back of the net for the third. What a season that turned out to be!

WATCH: Golden Goal: Stuart Pearce, 2001

7 Carlos Tevez v Stoke, 2011

Ever capable of achieving the impossible, Carlos Tevez enjoyed a night to remember when Stoke visited the Etihad Stadium in May 2011.

As the two sides locked horns for the second time in a matter of days, after the Blues had triumphed in the FA Cup Final at the weekend, the Argentine smashed the Potters with two moments of genius – the second a remarkable free-kick which somehow bent around the wall and into the top corner.

Better than a hole-in-one!

8 David Silva v Huddersfield, 2018

Need a moment of magic? El Mago is your man!

Regarded as the greatest player to ever don the sky blue shirt, David Silva has delivered countless memorable moments throughout his career and his exquisite effort against Huddersfield this season will forever be remembered fondly.

It wasn’t just the quality of the strike… or the fact that it marked his 250th Premier League appearance… the best part about the goal was the fact it was witnessed by his baby son, Mateo, who of course has endured a difficult start to life.

Silva acknowledged his family in the celebration, kissing his tattoo and pointing up to where they were sat. A heart-warming moment to further enhance what was a stunning strike.

WATCH: Every Angle: David Silva v Huddersfield

9 Yaya Toure v Hull, 2013

A master of the set-piece, Yaya Toure bagged countless free-kicks during his time in Manchester.

Such was his skill, free-kicks within range would always be greeted with anticipation - cries of: “Come on, Yaya!”

Any of his fabulous finishes could have made it onto this list but his bending effort in off the crossbar proved particularly memorable for its exceptional accuracy.

10 Kevin De Bruyne v Barcelona, 2016

One of the most enjoyed free-kicks in recent history helped City to record an historic triumph over Barcelona – our first victory over the Spanish outfit in six attempts.

When Lionel Messi broke the deadlock on 21 minutes, the renewed pre-match hope looked to have been dashed – but Ilkay Gundogan cancelled out the opener before the break to give the hosts hope.

Shortly after the second half, another stupendous De Bruyne masterclass turned the game in City’s favour, as the Belgian stepped up to wrong-foot Marc-Andre ter Stegen with the perfect finish.

WATCH: City v Barca: Match highlights
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