Thursday, 19 May 2011

My Top 3 City Games

The life of a Manchester City fan as you will be fully aware is full of ups and downs, during my years following the club I think I have been put through every emotion and that in many ways makes the whole experience even more fun.  Looking back over the years there have been some real highlights and that brings me to this post.

When I decided to launch this website, I thought an interesting thing to consider would be my favourite ever game.  That task soon turned into a far bigger challenge than I originally thought, so I decided to make a top 3, because who doesn't enjoy a list?

Many games came close, the demolition of Arsenal with THAT Adebayor goal, the 4-1 mauling of Manchester United, and maybe even my first ever game at Maine Road against Leeds.  I think however that the ones I selected represent my most memorable, but clearly this is up for debate.  Without further ado, I present my three most memorable City games:

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 the leadership of Joe Royle.  A season of stabilisation was expected to follow, however that wasn't 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.

Manchester City V Manchester United & Stoke City - 16th April & 14th May2011 - Wembley

It may be cheating to role 2 games into 1, but I can't really separate these.  The Manchester derby semi-final was probably the highlight of the current season for many City fans, in many ways it was bigger than the final.  Then again seeing the team celebrate the club's first trophy for 35 years was also incredibly exhilarating.

These games have to go hand in hand, I and many others wish it was Stoke in the semi and then the defeating of the reds in the final, but in the big picture I am not so sure it matters.  City lifted a trophy and beat their biggest rivals at Wembley on route and that really is the important thing to remember.

Aside from the first 25mins of the semi-final, City were near dominant for the rest of their cup run.  Toure slamming the ball into the same net twice makes it even more memorable, the fact that both goals were in front of the sides amazing support made the moments even sweeter.

The talk now is that this will be the first of many and lets hope that is the case, but without a doubt, the first is the most important and it is 2 days of my life that I will never forget!

Gillingham V Manchester City - 30th May 1999 - Wembley

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......'.

There we have it, those are personally my most memorable games supporting this great club, if you disagree or have some other suggestions, why not comment below or join the debate on twitter @thegoatfeeder

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