The Manchester City captain had already shown how valuable he was to his coach in recent weeks, even before Monday’s heroic goal against Leicester.
Which he was able to score with the best of 30-meter goals. With nearly 70 minutes played and Manchester City’s title at risk, Vincent Kompany launched a rocket against Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester City in the penultimate game of the season against Liverpool, which promises to be the last significant act in Kompany’s 11-year career at the club, a happy and historic ending.
After a win, it means that City can hold the title by beating Brighton on Sunday, the 33-year-old denied that he was going to retire. But Kompany left it’s future open by saying “nothing is written in stone”, a meaning reinforced by Guardiola. We’re going to have a beer together and decide what’s best – for him and for the club,” said the manager, “what’s clear is the conviction that drives Kompany.
About the arrival of Roy of the Rovers, he said: “I woke up and said: I’m going to do something today’. I woke up like that for the last five games and it never happened. But I think it’s the recipe for success: wake up and think, “I’m going to do something. Sometimes these things are made to happen – I can’t explain. I wanted it, I believed it, and it happened:
His very first goal of the season was to win the title on time, to the man, in a breathtaking way. Just when City needed someone to take up the double challenge of breaking the deadlock and (perhaps) breaking Liverpool’s heart, its experienced captain answered the call.
Kompany has already made the headlines. Let’s go back seven years, to the 2011-12 season derby in Etihad on April 30. Then Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United came out on top, three points clear of City, with three games to go. When David Silva scored a corner at half-time, Kompany lost Chris Smalling, who took the lead and City won their first title since 1968 on the last day of the match thanks to Sergio Aguero’s goal in the last second against Queens Park Rangers.
Monday was his 338th participation in City. Since arriving from Hamburg in August 2008, Kompany’s physical robustness has gradually deteriorated. He has made 252 league starts from a possible 416 and has not managed 20 or more since the 2014-2015 season – the count since he was 13, 10, 17 and 12 years old until now in the current campaign, making Kompany’s resurgence at the end of the season even more admirable.
He became Guardiola’s partner for Aymeric Laporte in central defence, named in the XI in the last three outings: the 2-0 win at Manchester United and the 1-0 wins over Burnley and Leicester. It would be a big surprise if he was not selected for the trip to Brighton and, if fitness allows, the FA Cup final against Watford the following Saturday. City won the Carabao Cup – Kompany was a substitute at half-time – so have a chance of a triple domestic history. Kompany says: “Two massive matches – we go to Wembley, we play Watford, we play Brighton; I’m happy to play two finals. It’s very simple: you win two games, you win two trophies, you lose both games, you lose two trophies, you lose two trophies, you lose two trophies,” said Kompany, who scored Monday night’s goal, fell when he received an Ilkay Gündogan pass.
But unlike Steven Gerrard, whose defeat against Chelsea in April 2014 allowed Demba Ba to score in a victory that precipitated the collapse of the Liverpool title challenge, he recovered. “I felt I still had time,” he says. I wasn’t as nervous as people think, but I thought to myself, “Typical, you’re the hero of the game, then you slide and the others score a goal. But I thought no, not today: “At the end, the children of Kompany went out on the field to share one of the most memorable moments of an exceptional career. “I don’t think they know I scored,” he says. “I was talking to them and it was like, “Pffft. It didn’t seem to affect them much, but it had a seismic effect on the title. That’s what big game players do: intervene when necessary. Kompany has won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and four League Cups. Completing the national triple would be a Hollywood finish if Kompany’s time in City is about to end. But don’t be too surprised if he returns next season setting an example, inspiring his teammates and, sometimes, scoring brilliant, unexpected and vital goals.