The 2018/19 Premier League campaign provided drama, and plenty of it. Manchester City would go on to win its second straight title in close to end-to-end fashion, but the eventual one-point margin of victory would be a harbinger of things to come.
Liverpool’s ascent was nearly complete, and the Reds fought the entire way down the stretch hoping to capitalize on a critical slip from the defending champions. That slip never came, and a 2-1 Manchester City victory over Liverpool in January proved essential to the ultimate result. A moment of sheer brilliance marked the title win, with Vincent Kompany bagging the all-important goal against Leicester City in May.
[ MORE: Best goals of 2017/18 Premier League season ]
While the title bout was raging, teams provided us with countless moments of brilliance up and down the table. Chelsea and Spurs won a ferocious battle for the final two Champions League places over Arsenal and Manchester United, while Wolves secured a spot in the Europa League with a fabulous campaign that saw them prove dangerous for all top sides. Brighton & Hove Albion hung on for dear life as Cardiff City, Fulham, and Huddersfield Town went down.
The fight for the Golden Boot was also vicious. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah all finished with 22 goals in a banner year for Africans in front of net. Sergio Aguero was right there at 21, Jamie Vardy scored 18, and both Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane bagged 17. They were not the only ones to produce sparkling moments, however, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Aaron Ramsey, Andros Townsend, Andre Gomes, and Jean-Michel Seri all popping up with stunners among the crowd. In the video above, Ian Wright guides us through the best goals of the year with contributions from Michael Owen and Alan Shearer, with Wright’s Top 5 given at the end.
Vincent Kompany says history could help Manchester City climb back into the Premier League title race even after his former team dropped nine points back of first place Liverpool.
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Now at Anderlecht, the center back also said history might’ve played a role in City’s 3-1 setback at Anfield. In a rare bit of explicit honesty, the often interesting Kompany said that players do deal with demons of a club’s past.
“We always struggle at Anfield,” he said, according to Sky Sports. “I said that on Super Sunday, you’re fighting 25 years of not winning at Anfield and that’s difficult, it’s two games in one game: You’re playing a great team and you’re fighting history.”
“Flip it around and the same will happen for Liverpool. They will fight the history of not winning the league for 30 years. That should be to City’s advantage I still think.”
Do you buy that? Most of the buzz around the Premier League is that this Liverpool is a different team than even the dominant one of last season, and City has suffered big injury problems. The Reds players almost went out of their way last year to say they weren’t worried about blowing their table lead last season (which was bigger, later in the season).
Kompany also said that he believes City doesn’t need to add a center back in January, which is bonkers unless he’s coming back, but the Belgian has proven time and again that he’s one of the better minds in the game.
The guy did title his MBA dissertation, “How professional football clubs in the Premier League can benefit from home game advantage and achieve game-changing levels of improvement” after all. Then again, I’m not sure any of our dissertations on the same topic would’ve been approved had we done that.
Vincent Kompany‘s testimonial on Wednesday featured some big names from the former Manchester City defender’s time in the Premier League, and one in particular put jaws on the floor.
Paul Scholes, whose time at City’s cross-town rivals Manchester United overlapped Kompany’s Premier League journey by four years, produced a moment of brilliance that brought fans back to his time in midfield for the Red Devils. The 44-year-old donned a dark blue shirt for the Premier League All-Stars side at Kompany’s testimonial and wow’d the crowd.
With Robin Van Persie and Robbie Keane breaking forward, Scholes took a square pass from Cesc Fabregas and produced a stunning flick with the outside of his boot that fell perfectly in line for the two strikers on a run. Unfortunately, both Keane and van Persie went for the ball, and they ran into each other allowing Jolean Lescott to recover and end the chance.
The match ended in a 2-2 draw as Benjani Mwaruwari scored a last-minute equalizer for the Manchester City Legends. Martin Petrov opened the scoring for Man City Legends, but the Premier League All-Stars took the lead through goals by van Persie and Keane before the late goal left things all square.
Current Manchester City players David Silva and Sergio Aguero were on hand to participate, as were former City players Samir Nasri, Joe Hart, Kolo Toure, Mario Balotelli, and Pablo Zabaleta. The likes of Edwin van der Sar, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, and Thierry Henry suited up for the opponents.
Kompany himself was unfortunately sidelined for the match by a hamstring injury – a cruel homage to the rampant injury history of his long 11-year playing career at the Etihad. He picked up the injury while playing for his new club Anderlecht where he serves as player/manager. The club has started the Jupiler Pro League season on a terrible run of form, without victory through its first five games, but picked up its first win of the season against rivals Standard Liege with Kompany out injured.
Proceeds from the match went to benefit A Bed Every Night, a charity in Manchester dedicated to helping aid the homeless in the city.
Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany will be immortalized at the club.
The captain during City’s four Premier League title wins in the last eight seasons, the reigning champs announced on Wednesday that a sculpture of Kompany is planned.
In a statement released ahead of Kompany’s testimonial game, City confirmed the statue will take pride of place outside the Etihad Stadium.
“Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak revealed that we have also begun the process of commissioning a sculpture to publicly recognise and celebrate Vincent’s achievements and contributions which will take pride of place outside the Etihad Stadium.”
Also a road linking the first team training area and the youth team training center has also been named “Vincent Kompany Crescent” in another tribute to the Belgian center back.
Kompany spent 11 years at Man City, winning 10 major trophies as he was one of the first signings made by the then new owners from Abu Dhabi.
He left Man City at the end of last season, rejoining his boyhood club Anderlecht in a player-manager role.
Kevin De Bruyne hopes to link up with Vincent Kompany once again when his days at Manchester City are up.
De Bruyne, 28, has been in sensational form for club and country early in the season and has been the standout player in the Premier League so far.
Speaking ahead of Kompany’s testimonial game at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday the Belgian wizard told the Sun that he would love to play for his former teammate, who is now the player-manager of Anderlecht.
“I hope his [Kompany’s] career will be just as amazing at Anderlecht as it was at City. I’ve told him to keep a place in his team for me in a year, or seven, when I’m finished here,” De Bruyne said. “If he does do that for me I will already have my next destination lined up; my next job. I will definitely miss him being around City.”
Kompany is a legendary figure at City and in Belgium, but his time in charge of Anderlecht in a player-manager role hasn’t started well.
The Brussels club have lost three of their opening six matches in the league, but they beat top of the table Standard Liege 1-0 before the international break. Kompany has a very young squad to work with and is trying to develop a totally new playing identity, all while he’s still playing as a center back.
Kompany’s pull is clear and Anderlecht will definitely want him around for as long as possible if the likes of De Bruyne want to join his project. Quite how they’d be able to afford KDB wages is another matter altogether, but the fact he wants to do it one day shows how much respect and love he has for Kompany.
The latter was instrumental in De Bruyne joining City, and we all know how well that has worked out for both parties over the past few seasons.
After winning back-to-back Premier League titles together at City, De Bruyne and Kompany seem destined to stay inextricably linked.