Monday 10 December 2018

City give Toure a fitting farewell

Man City 3-1 Brighton

Yaya Toure shows his appreciation to the Manchester City fans as his brother Kolo looks on. Photo: Getty
Yaya Toure shows his appreciation to the Manchester City fans as his brother Kolo looks on. Photo: Getty

Most goals, most wins, most points. Manchester City ended their season at the Etihad and said farewell to one of their modern greats by staking their claim to be the best team of the Premier League era.

After fluffing their lines against Huddersfield Town on Sunday, the champions finally broke the records they have been threatening to shatter since the start of the season, as Danilo, Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho's goals comfortably saw them past Brighton.

City have now eclipsed the 95 points earned by Chelsea in 2004-05, the record of 30 wins in a single Premier League season set this time last year and the 103 goals scored by the west Londoners in 2009-10.

The only disappointment was that Yaya Touré could not cap his 316th and final City appearance with a goal, but the Ivorian - central to so much of the club's recent success - was richly rewarded for his service after the final whistle.

Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on. Photo: Getty
Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on. Photo: Getty

His brother Kolo presented him with a framed shirt, a copy of the mosaic that will signpost a pitch dedicated to him at City's training ground and a lifetime season ticket, sat next to fellow Etihad old boy Pablo Zabaleta.

The closing stages became what the game had always threatened to be - a Touré testimonial. The Ivorian was urged to shoot with his every touch and Mat Ryan was booed when one run into the penalty area by Touré ended with the Brighton 'keeper making a routine save.

Touré was eventually replaced by Lukas Nmecha, a striker 15 years his junior, but only after a hug from each of his team-mates. Eight years on from joining a club of new money and grand aspirations, he leaves a Premier League great and one of Guardiola's record-breakers.

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