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City 100: Ilkay's return and Kompany joy

COMETH THE CAPTAIN: It's safe to say Vincent Kompany loves a Manchester derby goal!

COMETH THE CAPTAIN: It's safe to say Vincent Kompany loves a Manchester derby goal!

Ton up! In celebration of our City Centurions' remarkable, record-smashing season, we are running a 100-themed summer feature...

With your help, we fondly recall '100 reasons to smile' from our wonderful 2017/18 campaign, which ended in spectacular fashion as the Blues clinched an unprecedented 100 Premier League points.

Share your favourite memories from an incredible season - the awesome, the eye-catching; the heart-warming and pride-inducing - on Twitter @ManCity, no matter how big or small... and yours could be featured over the next few weeks.

43Ilkay's return

Needless to say, City’s sensational 6-0 triumph over Watford was rather enjoyable… and for more reasons than one.

Pep Guardiola’s men delivered a footballing masterclass at Vicarage Road to move top of the Premier League table and continue our impressive start to the season, in which the Blues had managed to bag 15 goals in the last three games.

Edging closer to breaking the Club’s all-time goalscoring record, Sergio Aguero starred with a wonderful hat-trick in the terrific triumph and equally pleasingly, Ilkay Gundogan made his long-awaited return.

READ: Brazil and Belgium prepare for last 16

WATCH: World Cup memories | Kyle Walker

The German had been sidelined for nine months with an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in his right knee against the same opposition and had gradually eased his way back into action with cameos in a friendly against Girona and our Elite Development Squad’s 2-2 draw with Leicester.

His return to first-team action saw the midfielder replace the superb Kevin De Bruyne on 66 minutes and he deservedly received a welcome ovation from the travelling City faithful.

Four days later, Gundogan looked to have suffered a set-back, suffering another knee injury in the Carabao Cup win at West Brom – his first start since his return – but fortunately, the knock proved not to be as serious as first feared and the German would go on to play a role in the Blues’ league and cup double success.

TREBLE CHANCE: Sergio Aguero completes his hat-trick

Highlights

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Watford v Man City: Brief highlights

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44Vinny's joy

It’s one of the first fixtures you look for when the Premier League calendar is released in June and the 176th Manchester derby was one of the most eagerly-awaited clashes in recent history.

The equation was simple: should City win at the Etihad Stadium, the Blues would seal the title. Pretty high stakes to say the least!

Naturally, the atmosphere was electric in anticipation and the day seemed to be panning out to perfection, as far as the home side were concerned, as Guardiola’s men sailed into a two-goal lead inside half an hour.

The scorer of the opening goal… none other than the one they call ‘Mr Manchester City’: Vincent Kompany.

Cometh the hour, cometh the captain! The City skipper loves a goal against United. He’s bagged two against the Reds – both of which were almost identical and celebrated in iconic fashion.

READ: World Cup player focus | Vincent Kompany

WATCH: World Cup memories | Kevin De Bruyne

His matchwinner in the 2012 encounter – a powerful header from a corner which swung the title pendulum in the Blues’ favour with two games remaining – is regarded as one of the most memorable goals in the Club’s history. The Etihad Stadium erupted in ecstasy and the Belgian’s run to the corner flag – complete with screams, a leap into the air and a knee slide – is certainly one of the greatest goal celebrations of recent memory.

Lightning would strike twice six years on, as once again, Kompany rose highest to head home a corner (this time from the opposite side) and ran to the exact same spot to share the moment with the jubilant City fans.

Of course, it would not turn out to be the fairytale ending we’d hoped for, as United staged a dramatic second half comeback, after Gundogan had doubled the lead, but for that moment, it seemed the storyline could not have been scripted better...

In the end, we wouldn’t have to wait too long to be crowned Premier League Champions for the third time.

Features

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Vincent Kompany: World Cup heroes and memories

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Men's Team

Brazil and Belgium prepare for last 16

RUSSIA: Six City players could be involved on Monday

It’s been a World Cup full of drama and entertainment and Sunday was no different as both last-16 games were decided by a penalty shoot-out. ​

All the latest from Russia as Belgium and Brazil prepare for action

Media Watch

Media Watch: City to land French teenager?

MEDIA WATCH: Mikel Arteta has reportedly played in a key role in City's attempts to sign French youngster Claudio Gomes

There are more transfer rumours on this morning’s back pages, as well as talk of a new role for Bernardo Silva, who excelled for Portugal as they crashed out of the World Cup on Saturday.

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from across this morning's back pages...

Men's Team

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