Vincent Kompany's wonder strike remembered...

City would go on to retain their Premier League title, with Kompany then retiring


It is 12 months to the day since Vincent Kompany let fly from distance to score one of the most memorable goals in Manchester City history - here we look back at his iconic strike that left the champions with one hand on the Premier League trophy.

It seems a lifetime ago now, but this time last year people were waking up to headlines proclaiming the City captain and his stunning long-range goal that saw off a stubborn Leicester City team to keep Pep Guardiola's side just ahead of Liverpool in the standings.

Where do you want your statue, Vincent Kompany?
Gary Neville, Sky Sports co-commentator

As such, it was the defining moment of one of the most intense and closely fought top-flight title races of the modern era and one we remember here:

The background

Heading into the Monday Night Football clash at the Etihad on May 6, 2019, the champions found themselves in the unusual position of trailing Liverpool in the league after Jurgen Klopp's team dramatic 3-2 win at Newcastle two evenings before.

That late victory at St James' Park gave Liverpool a slender two-point lead over City, albeit having played one more match than their rivals, as the season reached its thrilling finale in front of the Sky TV cameras.

Premier League table, Monday May 6, 2019, 8pm

Liverpool Pld: 37 Pts: 94 GD: +65
Man City Pld: 36 Pts: 92 GD: +68

The game

It was a contest dripping with tension and with so much riding on the result, it was perhaps unsurprising that apart from an early Sergio Aguero header against the bar, there was little goalmouth action to report.

However, as each minute ticked by at the Etihad, so the anxiety levels rose among the City faithful, who could see the title slowly slipping away.

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Manchester City's 1-0 Leicester

Nerves were also now being shown on the touchline as Guardiola, arms constantly waving in every direction, became ever more frantic watching his players try to break down a well-drilled Leicester outfit.

The first half came and went in a flash and it took the City manager just 11 minutes after half-time to make a change as Leroy Sane was introduced in place of youngster Phil Foden, but the visitors' backline continued to remain intact.

The goal

By now, it was virtually a game of defence against attack as the hosts threw caution to the wind in search of a winning goal that would keep the destiny of the title in their own hands.

Vincent Kompany shoots from range to make it 1-0 vs Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium
Image: Kompany shoots from range to break the deadlock at the Etihad

There were only 20 minutes left on the clock though and Brendan Rodgers' side were looking comfortable repelling wave after wave of City attacks.

That is, until Kompany took matters into his own hands.

Picking up possession from his centre-back partner Aymeric Laporte, midway inside the Leicester half, the City captain strode forward with purpose, looking for better-placed options.

However, there were none, with City's players all seemingly marked tight by opponents, leaving the 33-year-old with a decision to make over whether to pull the trigger or not.

Manchester City's Belgian defender Vincent Kompany (R) watches as his shot beats Leicester City's Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (L) to score the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on May 6, 2019.
Image: Schmeichel is beaten by Kompany's screamer

Kompany's team-mates were certainly sure what their skipper should do next, perhaps mindful he had never scored from outside the box in his Premier League career, but the man himself thought otherwise.

The central defender caught his 30-yard shot sweetly and the ball flashed past the previously imperious Kasper Schmeichel and into the top righthand corner.

The end

Barring one major scare right at the end of the game, when former City striker Kelechi Iheanacho somehow managed to side-foot wide of a gaping goal with just Ederson to beat, City saw out the remainder of the contest to bank a vital three points.

Pep Guardiola embraces Vincent Kompany after the 1-0 win over Leicester City
Image: Guardiola (left) embraces Kompany at the full-time whistle

The full-time whistle was met with a mixture of joy and relief from the home fans, who had just watched their team record a 13th straight league win to move back to the top of the table, one point above Liverpool, with just one match left to play.

The reaction

Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus tell Vincent Kompany at full time that they were both shouting at him not to shoot

When Kompany's piledriver hit the back of the net, Gary Neville - on co-comms at the time for Sky Sports - delivered his now memorable line: "Where do you want your statue, Vincent Kompany?"

The player, though, revealed how he had been angered by his team-mates' lack of faith in his shooting, something that spurred him on to try his luck.

"Today there was a little bit of frustration, I could hear the 'Don't shoot, don't shoot!' and it was annoying me a little," Kompany told Sky after the game.

"I thought I haven't come this far in my career for young players to tell me whether I can take a shot or not and I just took it!"

Kompany stepped up as captain when City needed him

Meanwhile, even Kompany's own manager admitted he had wanted him to pass rather than shoot!

"I was thinking, 'Don't shoot! Pass the ball, pass the ball!' but he took a good decision," said Guardiola. "Honestly, I didn't have too much confidence in him being able to score, but football is meant for that."

Pep Guardiola admitted he was hoping Kompany would pass the ball rather than shooting

The conclusion

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany lifts the Premier League trophy
Image: Kompany lifts aloft the Premier League trophy

Six days later and despite falling behind at the Amex, City held their nerve to see off Brighton 4-1 and retain their Premier League title, finishing just a point ahead of second-placed Liverpool.

It was fitting that Kompany, in what would turn out to be his final league appearance for the club, lifted the trophy on the south coast that Super Sunday.

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