Manchester City had endured the longest barren run in their history which ended 8 years ago today!
Growing up as a Manchester City fan, pretty much my entire life coincided with a trophy drought which finally ended on 14 May 2011. I saw City win the League Cup at Wembley when I was 9 years old but then no major trophies for 35 years! To say that this period was formative or character building is sadly nonsense. As a fan I dealt with the persistent taunts and the banners at Old Trafford but never forgot.
It had felt as though the tide had turned when Sheikh Mansour bought the Club in 2008, but it took a number of years to begin to shape the business. By 2011 we had an expensively assembled side as we sought to catch up after 35 years of perennial under investment but would City be able to step up and actually win a trophy or would we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot?
The road to the Final involved draws and replays before we somehow found ourselves in a Wembley semi final against arch rivals and champions, Manchester United. When City won that game 1:0 thanks to a great Yaya Toure goal then all of our hopes started to take shape.
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The 130th FA Cup Final took place on 14 May 2011 between Manchester City and Stoke. Tony Pulis was the Stoke manager and given he was also the Gillingham manager back in the 1999 play off final, I took that as a good omen before the match.
After a tight opening half which finished 0:0, Stoke had the best chance of the game so far when Kenwyne Jones was played through for a one on one with Joe Hart in the City goal. Hart kept his nerve, and importantly also kept the ball. We all breathed a sigh of relief and ten minutes Yaya Toure sealed the match. Whether he pounced on a loose ball or created the chance I am still not really sure but our biggest of big game players scored the decisive goal and ended the longest trophy drought in our history.
Most of the pundits at the time reckoned the Man of the Match was Mario Balotelli for a marauding and menacing performance, but history has not been kind and it is the winning goal most of us focus upon.
The win felt like a sea change in the fortunes in our Club. The noisy neighbours had not only woken up, but were intent on having a party. In the next 12 months we capitalised upon this new found belief and went on to win the League Title thanks to Sergio Aguero in the 93rd minute. Like many fans i do not believe that League title win would have happened had it not been for Yaya Toure at Wembley in 2011.
The Manchester City side on that day:
Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov
De Jong, Barry, Toure, Silva