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Silva service ends with some golden touches

Manchester City 5 Norwich City 0

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Manchester City's David Silva. Photo: Reuters

Manchester City's David Silva. Photo: Reuters

Pool via REUTERS

Manchester City's David Silva. Photo: Reuters

So, that's it. The last the Premier League will see of David Silva, and the last it will witness of the Spaniard and Kevin de Bruyne pulling the strings together in central midfield for Man City.

Good news for opponents, as poor Norwich will testify; bad news for those of us who enjoy watching masters at work, and a real shame that City fans were denied a final opportunity to watch their special brand of artistry in the flesh.

On an afternoon when City reached a century of league goals for the third time in seven seasons, Pep Guardiola avoided any injuries ahead of next month's Champions League quest and Norwich slipped quietly out of the top flight, there was little doubting who the stars were.

De Bruyne scored two stunning goals and claimed his 20th assist of the campaign to equal former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry's Premier League record, but even the irrepressible Belgian might acknowledge that this was a day to pay particular tribute to his colleague's own rare talents.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with Norwich City manager Daniel Farke. Photo: Reuters

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with Norwich City manager Daniel Farke. Photo: Reuters

Pool via REUTERS

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with Norwich City manager Daniel Farke. Photo: Reuters

 

Silva was afforded what Guardiola described as "the smallest standing ovation of all time" when he left the field in the 85th minute, even if the City manager made it clear that the club will give him the send-off his decade of extraordinary service truly deserves when the chance allows.

As it was, Silva had to settle for being applauded by team-mates, and a dressing-room call from the City chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, who thanked the midfielder after the game for everything he has done.

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Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus makes his way towards goal. Photo: Reuters

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus makes his way towards goal. Photo: Reuters

Pool via REUTERS

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus makes his way towards goal. Photo: Reuters

 

Further, more lasting tributes will follow once Silva had kicked his last ball for the club.

"I will miss working every day with these amazing people at the club," Silva said. "I couldn't imagine when I came here to win so many titles and in the way we won them - but the way people have treated me and my family for 10 years, I love all of them."

© Daily Telegraph, London

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