Manchester City

My 3 Wonderful Manchester City Games. So What Are Yours?!

I am not going to be tempting fate, as a Manchester City fan I have learned over the years that good things appear on the horizon and then have a tendency to implode, leaving us not even back where we started but somewhere behind that.

All signs indicate that the club will soon be entering a new chapter in their history, when they move into the Champions League at some point in the next few years.

As a fan of the club for 27 years, I think it is time to look back, and savour some of the great moments that I have experienced with City before we move on into a brighter future.  For that reason I have spent a few weeks trying to decide which are the 3 games I think have been the most memorable during my time following the blues.

There are many games that came close; winning at Old Trafford thus securing the double over our arch enemies, the 4-2 win over Arsenal when Adebayor scored THAT goal, and then you can go right back to the early 90s, and the days of David White and Niall Quinn torturing sides under the tutelage of Peter Reid.  I have tried to justify my choices, but whatever you think, why not let me know in the comments below, but for what its worth, these are my top 3 Manchester City games of the last 27 years:

Blackburn Rovers V Manchester City – 7th May 2000 – Ewood Park

I remember this game as if it were yesterday.  Me and my dad had even considered going to Blackburn to sit on that hill overlooking the ground hoping to be part of the promotion party.  The previous year City had somehow secured promotion out of Division 2 under Joe Royle.  A season of stabilisation was expected to follow, however, that was not the case.  With essentially the same team that had been promoted the previous year, Royle lead the Maine Road club back to the top flight.

Shaun Goater become even more of a hero that season, and his goals blitzed a path through Division 1.  City had flown through the season and needed just a single point from a very difficult trip to Ewood Park to secure automatic promotion back to the big time.

It is a day I will never forget, I really felt that City were back, and even though we were relegated the following year.  Royle and his double promotion put impetus back into the club and ultimately got us back to where we belong.

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Manchester City V Manchester United – 9th November 2002 – Maine Road

I was only 5 when City had battered Manchester United at Maine Road in 1989, and sadly I have no memory of it, although my dad tells me that I should!  I grew up never expecting to beat Manchester United, at that stage I had given up hope.  I had my heart broken on numerous occasions, one game in particular stands out in my mind in which City took a 2 nil lead and contrived to throw it away in the second half.

There was something different however about City under Keegan, the club was changing and many people around Maine Road felt we were going places, however come derby day, I was hardly full of confidence.  It was our last season at Maine Road, and as things transpired, the last derby at the old ground became one that I would never forget, and still to this day after a few more derby victories, it remains the one that I enjoy the most.

Whether it was Neville feeding Goater, or the great Bermudan scoring his 100th Manchester City goal, I am not sure.  It could even be the fact it was the last derby at Maine Road that makes it so special in my mind, but one thing is for sure, die hard City fans won’t need to watch this video, because in our minds we have relieved all of these moments hundreds of times ever since!

Gillingham V Manchester City – 30th May 1999 – Wembley Stadium

I have a friend that I met at Uni who supports Gillingham, and when he found out I was a City fan, he decided to not talk to me ever again.  His reaction only lasted about 20 minutes until I bought him a pint in an attempt to build bridges.  He was so hurt by that game, and I suppose you can understand why.  The Division 2 playoff final for the 99/00 season was rubbish for 80 minutes.  It was a cagey affair and both sets of fans were anxious.

We had made a late season charge into the playoffs, and we probably didn’t deserve to be there, but Joe Royle managed to get it together in the 2nd half of the season.  We scraped past Wigan in the previous round to set up a barn storming final at Wembley – but for 81 minutes it was anything but exciting…then it got worse.

Carl Asaba scored in the 81st minute to put Gillingham in front, and then in the 87th minute Robert Taylor (who would go on to play for City) made it 2-0.  The game was over, the Kent club were promoted, thousands of City’s fans began to pour out of the stadium, but then in the 89th minute something miraculous happened, and the rest is history.

There is really nothing new to say about this game, I genuinely believe that if City were not promoted on that day in May they would not exist today.  The finances were dreadful and the club was dying, I still get a lump in my throat when I think of that game and especially Nicky Weaver’s celebrations come the end of the shoot out.

Everything City have today is built on that goal Paul Dickov scored in injury time, there was really no other choice to round off this list, so come on Blues, lets enjoy it one more time…“…City here looking for an opening, ITS DICKOV AGAIN……’

For more of my thoughts on City and football as a whole, follow me on twitter @soccercityjoe!

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