Vincent Kompany’s goal is a great feel-good moment on the season for Manchester City.
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And that’s what he did Sunday against Southampton — in hostile territory no less.
St. Vincent made his mark at St. Mary’s in the 55th minute. Off a corner, David Silva played a delicious ball near the six-yard box that a charging Kompany headed downward, bouncing once and bamboozling Fraser Forster before going in the corner of the Saints’ goal.
It broke the deadlock on a game City had dominated. In true Pep Guardiola-fashion, the Sky Blues controlled possession in the first half, completing 400 passes according to Iain Macintosh of ESPN. Leroy Sane and Silva came close to scoring in the opening act, but the breakthrough remained elusive for City.
That is until Kompany got his head on Silva’s corner. It seemed to make all the difference for Guardiola’s men — Sane and Sergio Aguero added goals two and three soon after to secure a comfortable 3-0 victory over a solid Southampton.
It also seemed to mean a lot for the Belgium, who has battled injuries and setbacks in recovery for two years. After scoring, Kompany sprinted to the corner, caught up in the exhilaration of the moment, yelling in pure joy.
Overall, it was a high point in a season that didn’t meet expectations. The footballing world was caught up in Guardiola’s almost uninterrupted managerial excellence at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. It took awhile before people realized City was a project for the Catalan.
Guardiola needs different players to enact his vision for the club. This summer should see a lot of the old faces departing for new ones more suited to his tactics.
Kompany might be one of those leaving. His precarious fitness makes it difficult to predict whether he has much of a future at the club.
But Sunday’s goal was classic Kompany in a performance from City that was classic Guardiola. One points to the storied past, the other, a vaunted future. No doubt it was among the most memorable moments in a season that is destined to be remembered as a transition period and not the greatest in City history.
No, with Guardiola at the helm, those still are yet to come.