Mens Team

Sudden impact: Man City's super subs

SIX APPEAL: Edin Dzeko celebrates after sealing City's remarkable 6-1 demolition derby win at Old Trafford in October 2011
Bernardo Silva made the most dramatic of impacts for Manchester City in our excellent 3-0 Champions League win away at Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

Less than 60 seconds after having come on a second-half substitute, the Portuguese midfielder drilled home a wonderful left-footed shot to set a satisfying seal on a hugely impressive night’s work by Pep Guardiola’s side.

Bernardo’s sudden impact helped maintain a rich tradition of impressive City cameos from the bench down the years.

Here, we delve into the memory bank and select five other stand-out substitute appearances…

Mario Balotelli v Politehnica Timisoara - August 2010

Super Mario provided a lifetime of memories during his three years at City and his debut display from the bench in our Europa League tie away in Romania gave a hint as to what was to come.

The Romanians were proving stubborn opponents and the game was still goalless when, with an hour almost gone, Roberto Mancini decided to introduce Balotelli, who had only completed his moved to the Blues from Inter Milan a week before.

And on 72 minutes, the Italian striker made a dramatic impact by demonstrating a cool hand to sweep the ball home from close range after being set-up by Emmanuel Adabayor.

It was the opening chapter in a remarkable tale that helped endear Balotelli to the hearts of all City fans with Mario proving a key talisman in our 2011 FA Cup triumph and 2012 Premier League success.

Edin Dzeko v QPR – May 2012

The big Bosnian striker emerged as a potent weapon for the Blues during his illustrious five-year spell at the Club between 2011 and 2016.

Vying for selection along with Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez during his City career, Edin often proved a vital addition to City’s armoury from the bench.

Arguably one of the most under-appreciated Premier League strikers, Dzeko made numerous priceless contributions as a substitute, none more so than his impact in THAT game against Queen’s Park Rangers in May 2012.

With City needing to beat the Londoners to claim our first Premier League title but trailing 2-1, Dzeko was brought on by manager Roberto Mancini in a bid to wrestle back control.

It's fair to say the ploy worked more than a treat! In the second of five minutes of added time, the Bosnian brought City level, rising to head home David Silva’s assist to pave the way for Sergio Aguero’s unforgettable moment of magic.

Dzeko has described his goal as the most important of his career and few City fans would disagree. For without Edin’s timely intervention, there would be no 93.20.

Edin Dzeko v Man Utd – October 2011

The importance of Dzeko’s vital strike against QPR can never be over-estimated of course but for sheer chutzpah and unbridled joy, Edin’s cameo from the bench in our 6-1 derby demolition on United take some beating.

City had already stormed into a 3-0 lead at Old Trafford when Dzeko was introduced with 20 minutes left to play.

But rather than simply seeking to run down the clock and settle for what we had, City upped the ante with Dzeko taking the mantle of tormentor-in-chief by dispatching two fantastic goals with time almost up.

WATCH: Goal of the Day: Dzeko v United

His second was a thing of beauty in itself, Dzeko clinically finishing off an exquisite volleyed pass from David Silva and then celebrating in style with a six-fingered salute.

It was an image that perfectly encapsulated a day that will never be forgotten by Blues all around the world.

Leroy Sane v Liverpool – September 2017

Our German winger helped provide the coup-de-grace to a five-star showing by City against Liverpool early last season.

Pep Guardiola’s side were already in cruise control, having motored into a deserved 3-0 lead against the Anfield visitors when Sane was brought on with just under half an hour to go.

WATCH: Rewind: City 5-0 Liverpool

Leroy wasted little time in reminding Liverpool all about his devastating pace and finishing qualities.

On 77 minutes Sane exchanged a sublime one-two with Benjamin Mendy before then smartly converting.  

The 23-year-old then saved the best until last, curling home a wondrous shot in stoppage time to set the seal on a true five-star display.

Sergio Aguero v Swansea – August 2011

If any City supporters needed reassuring about Sergio Aguero’s quality following his arrival at the Club from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011, his incredible impact as a substitute on his debut spoke volumes.

Though the Blues had just taken a second-half lead, the Swans were proving obdurate opponents when Kun was sent on with an hour gone at the Etihad.

As impacts go, Sergio’s takes some beating. Within eight minutes, the Argentine has struck to register the first goal of his City account, Kun sliding in at the far post to meet Micah Richards’ cross.

WATCH: Goal of the Day: Aguero v Swansea

Aguero then turned provider, producing the most audacious and delicious of volleys from the by-line for David Silva to make it 3-0.

And Kun then capped a remarkable half-hour by firing home a 30-yard screamer to send the Etihad fans into raptures.

As Joe Hart remarked afterwards: “He’s decent isn’t he?”

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