Manchester City's 10 Best Goals of the 2013/14 Premier League Season
The Sky Blues did not need both of the goals they scored in their final match against West Ham United to win the Premier League crown. They did not even need one.
But the two goals they did score brought their season total to a remarkable 102 goals, one ahead of the Reds' 101. And, of course, City nipped Liverpool by two in the count that mattered most—points in the table.
Choosing City's best 10 goals this past Premier League season is like trying to choose your favorite children at the exclusion of others. You love them all, naturally, but there is no denying that some are supernovas where others are only dinky stars.
This ought to be fun.
10. David Silva vs. Newcastle United, 8/19/2013, 6'
In all the excitement that the 2013-14 season brought to the blue half of Manchester, it is easy to forget that before the season started there were concerns and doubts about what was to come.
City supporters were behind new boss Manuel Pellegrini because, well, they had no choice but to get behind him. The manager they loved, Roberto Mancini, had been run out of town by City's brass—excommunicated with prejudice, really.
Pellegrini made many flowery promises about attractive football in the summer months before the start of the new season. Could he deliver?
It took less than six minutes to find out.
The goal's real significance, however, was the breathtaking speed with which it arrived.
Silva's goal was a warning shot for the whole league that City could damage opposing defenses with little warning.
9. Sergio Aguero vs. Manchester United, 9/22/2013, 16'
The arrival of the first derby for Manchester City just five matches into the Premier League season was not exactly welcome.
The Etihad partisans were therefore on edge. City could not afford to drop more points, particularly not to despised United.
City assassin Sergio Aguero calmed millions of frayed nerves with an acrobatic volley to open the scoring in the 16th minute. The manner in which he contorted his torso and left leg to sweep in Aleksandar Kolarov's laser cross was sublime.
The goal set City on course for what ultimately became a 4-1 drubbing of the Red Devils.
8. Jesus Navas vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 11/24/2013, 1'
That "1" in the caption is not a misprint.
Manchester City took the opening tap against Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad. It took just 13 seconds thereafter for Jesus Navas to score.
Amazingly, Navas' goal was not even City's first shot on target. City striker Sergio Aguero had tattooed Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a hard shot that the Frenchman could only parry into Navas' path.
Navas' finish was one of those Pythagorean exercises of angle and spin that make the Premier League so much fun to watch. As seen above, Lloris could only look back with concern and dread as the ball hopped into the netting behind him.
That was hardly the worst of it for Lloris, whose goal was breached five times more as City posted a 6-0 whitewashing of the North London side.
7. Edin Dzeko vs. Crystal Palace, 12/28/2013, 66'
Manchester City surely scored more impressive, artistic and athletic goals than the one Edin Dzeko produced in the 66th minute against Crystal Palace at the Etihad this season.
In its own way, though, Dzeko's was one of the season's most important goals.
Eagles manager Tony Pulis was his usual party-dousing self, packing his side back defensively and looking for an occasional counter. This was hardly the foe City would have chosen to play two days after a draining win over Liverpool.
Despite having 76 percent of the possession and managing 23 shots, City looked vulnerable to a draw or worse until Dzeko converted Jesus Navas' cut-back well past the hour.
For probability-based reasons, a club that scores 102 goals in 38 league games is just not going to win 1-0 too often. City managed it only twice all season.
At the time of Dzeko's goal, though, Palace looked headed for relegation. As such, the inability of the Sky Blues to get on the board tested the City supporters' patience.
No one would have predicted the torrid run Pulis would take Palace on in the season's second half, including a draw for the ages against Liverpool at Selhurst Park.
6. Cheik Tiote vs. Manchester City, 1/12/2014, 34' (disallowed)
Anyone who watched Newcastle United come apart like a doll won at a carnival game as the Premier League season ended would have a hard time imagining how tough the Magpies made things on Manchester City earlier in the season.
By the time the sides played their league match at St James' Park, City had already waffled the Magpies in the season opener and eliminated them from the Capital One Cup. Alan Pardew's side thus had a score or two to level.
City sneaked ahead in this match through Edin Dzeko's goal in the eighth minute. But Newcastle had the better of the play for much of the remainder of the first half, culminating in what looked like a wonder goal from Cheik Tiote.
The shot was struck with such force that City goalkeeper Joe Hart barely flinched in its direction.
Incredibly, though, referee Mike Jones disallowed the goal for offside despite the fact that none of the Newcastle players between Tiote and Hart even considered getting involved with the ball as it pierced the air and billowed the net.
As with any season, City got some good breaks (this one, the Raheem Sterling offside at the Etihad) and some bad ones (three suspect calls that led to goals at Aston Villa, for starters) from the officials.
But the washing out of Tiote's goal was perhaps the most significant. St James' Park was a cauldron that day, and a draw would have looked pretty good to City if the Tiote goal had stood.
5. David Silva at Hull City, 3/15/2014, 14'
Manchester City went down to 10 men at the KC Stadium inside of 10 minutes.
Worse yet, the man they lost was captain and rocksteady centre-back Vincent Kompany, who in retrospect might have preferred to allow Nikica Jelavic in on Joe Hart rather than leaving the match so soon.
City looked to be in grave danger. Is there another kind?
Then David Silva did the sort of thing David Silva seems to do for laughs.
Silva took control of the ball from a Yaya Toure pass a few yards outside Hull City's penalty area. The small Spaniard took a couple of steps with the Tigers defenders waiting for a pass that never came.
Instead of passing it, Silva hit a small Exocet into the top corner of Allan McGregor's net.
The goal did enormous good for City, who from that point on managed to nearly split possession evenly with the hosts and eventually scored again to make the final count 2-0.
4. Edin Dzeko at Manchester United, 3/25/2014, 1'
Manchester City's first derby came very early in the season, with so many possibilities still there for each club to seize.
By the time the return engagement at Old Trafford rolled around, though, only one side had much to play for. And it was not Manchester United.
Edin Dzeko's goal inside of one minute may not have sealed David Moyes' fate as a soon-to-be ex-boss at United, but it surely did not help the Scot's cause.
Most troubling for United (and thus most gratifying for City) was the absurd ease with which City strolled around United's Theatre of Dreams, scoring three goals and taking three points with a leisurely aura.
City-United is widely considered to be one of the most venomous rivalries in the Premier League. Not this time, though.
The United fans were too disconsolate and sleepy from their side's awful performance to make any noise of their own.
Dzeko's goal started it.
3. Yaya Toure at Crystal Palace, 4/27/2014, 43'
If all Yaya Toure had done at Selhurst Park was set up Edin Dzeko's goal in the fourth minute, taking the Crystal Palace supporters' voices away in the process, it would have been a fine performance from the Ivorian.
But Toure had much better in him.
Toure's goal in the 43rd minute was the sort of goal that men approximately half his size score with some regularity. A speed move, followed by an abrupt change of direction, a step to the left, a pause for poise.
And then a curling left-footed strike with his head down, hitting a miniscule portion of the target without having to look at it.
If Luis Suarez or Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo had scored this goal, it would have been noteworthy and widely admired.
That a man of Toure's bulk and height could shift gears so fluidly in tight spaces was beyond ridiculous.
2. (Tie) Edin Dzeko at Everton, 5/3/2014, 43' and 48'
Manchester City traveled to bogey ground Goodison Park with full knowledge that their last road match of the season, under the circumstances, might have been their scariest.
The loss at Liverpool to Anfield was a fright-fest, for sure. But City probably took the pitch in that match figuring that a draw was about all they could hope for given the form Liverpool were in at the time.
City's match at Everton was an entirely different matter.
A City win would put their Premier League title destiny completely in their own control. Any dropped points would all but hand the trophy to Liverpool.
Not surprisingly, at a place where they had won but one of their prior 15 matches, City trailed after just 11 minutes when Ross Barkley bent a beauty by City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
City sides of the fairly recent past might have resigned themselves to their sad fate. This time, though, Edin Dzeko would not let them.
After Sergio Aguero leveled the score, Dzeko scored twice on both the eve and the aftermath of the half-time whistle. Then for good measure, he wasted four-and-a-half minutes with a phantom knock to help preserve City's 3-2 lead late in the second half.
Once City had left Merseyside with these three points, the storybook ending was all but finished.
1. (Tie) Samir Nasri (39') and Vincent Kompany (49') vs. West Ham, 5/11/2014
West Ham United talked a pretty good game before taking on Manchester City at the Etihad on the season's final day.
The Hammers' predictable message was one of playing with pride and trying to get a result, not just coming to Manchester to get immortalized on City's Premier League championship posters.
Then West Ham came out and ceded 68 percent of possession and managed no shots on target in 90-plus minutes.
Still, even though City needed a simple draw to win the league, not one City supporter in attendance was satisfied in the 39th minute with a scoreboard full of zeroes.
Samir Nasri changed that with a moment of precise force that popped the top on the Etihad's pressurized stands.
Once Nasri scored, even ordinarily skittish City fans had to admit that the thought of this particular group of Hammers scoring twice to win seemed beyond their skill level.
When Vincent Kompany thrashed home City's last goal of the 2013-14 campaign, they might as well have brought the trophy to the side of the pitch in that 49th minute.
Because City never looked back again after that.